VSee Tip #1 – Shortcuts for Arranging Your Video Windows

VSee video chat window shortcuts

Unlike most video conference services, VSee gives you tons of control over how you want to display your video windows. Click on the icon with the four tiles in the top right corner of your video window for the “Arrange Video Windows” menu (pictured above).  Better yet, try these easy shortcuts to quickly arrange your windows just the way you want.

Make video windows bigger and smaller

  • CTRL + plus key (+)  to make video bigger
  • CTRL + minus key (-)  to make video smaller

Line up video windows along one side of your screen

  • CTRL + [Arrow Keys] in the direction you want the windows to align
    • CTRL + ←   to tile left
    • CTRL + ↑   to tile top
    • CTRL + →   to tile right
    • CTRL + ↓   to tile bottom

Any window adjustments you make are automatically saved for your next call.

Save a video windows layout

You can also save a particular window order or window layout that you like to use, such as for recurring meetings. Please note that the saved layout will only apply to calls with the same number of callers as the original saved layout. Here is a quick video tutorial on how the save a video windows layout.

*Mac users should substitute CMD (⌘) key in place of CTRL, like this:

  • CMD(⌘) + plus key (+) to make video bigger
  • CMD(⌘) + minus key (-) to make video smaller
  • etc., etc.

More tips


VSee Tip #3 – What Do the Colored Bars on a Caller’s Window Mean?

VSee tutorial - network barsThe bars on the bottom right of a caller’s video window show you the strength of the network or connection between you and the caller.

  • Green (strong) – great audio and video
  • Yellow  (medium) – possibility of some audio and video interruptions
  • Red  (weak) – likely to have audio and video interruptions

If you have a weak connection and your call keeps breaking up, you can try one of the following to improve the call:

  • Lower the screen resolution – Go to the bottom right of your video window, click gear icon –> video settings –> resolution
  • Decrease the frame rate – Go to the bottom right of your video window, click gear icon –> video settings –> frame rate
  • Completely mute your video – Go to the bottom left of your video window, click the video camera icon

VSee tips video settings menu

If you need more help, contact customer support or sign up for a live VSee webinar help session.

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An Open Letter to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in Response to the “No Working From Home” Memo

Dear Marissa,

At Heidy Maldonado’s wedding 10 years ago at the Stanford Memorial Church, I shared with you my dream of creating a simple tool that lets people work remotely with the same productivity of physically being together.

I am now the CEO of VSee – a video chat and screen share tool for creative teams to get things done. Our team of 30 people is spread around the world in 10 cities, with half in the SF Bay Area. Our local team comes in to work 1 day a week – to socialize, get a free lunch, and just to have fun. We’re our own lab rats to help us understand why remote work doesn’t work.

In the beginning, we suffered the same productivity issues cited by your head of HR Jackie Reses. We have overcome those productivity issues with these 3 Golden Rules of Remote Work:

1. Have a 50 – 80% work time overlap with your remote teammates.

Your teammate must be able to reach you for a quick decision as fast as if you are sitting next to each other. If a teammate can never be quickly reached, then let them go, since you will have productivity loss.

2. Don’t make decisions over email.

Teach your teammates when NOT to use email. Despite IM and social network, email is still the default method of corporate communication and it becomes easy to slip into making decisions via email – this is when you start getting CC’d email ping pongs that go back and forth for weeks. The text medium hampers our brain’s decision-making processes which is better handled by visual cortex.

3. Use the right tool for creative teamwork.

Although Webex is a great presentation tool, it requires too many mouse clicks when doing work, such as critiquing a design or hacking out some code. Skype is a great communication tool, Google+ Hangouts is a great hanging out tool, but neither are designed for teamwork. Creative teamwork requires seeing faces AND being able to share any application with a single click. Every extra click needed adds to collaboration friction that will slow down your team decisions.

Today, VSee serves 8000 enterprises from IBM and Navy SEALs to high energy startups. If Yahoo! follows these 3 Golden Rules – you will get the productivity you desire.

Why not hire VSee to be Yahoo’s remote work coach?  We can help structure your remote work processes from doing a design critique, to pair programming, to managing your remote teams. By June, you will find that your remote employees are actually more productive than your in-office employees!


P.S. As Richard Branson pointed out in his response to your memo, the world is becoming more connected. i.e. even if you go to work, your coworkers and customers will be in another location anyway.

Links to the “No more working from home” memo and some reasoning behind the new ban

How To Record A VSee Session and Presentation

VSee for Windows allows you to record the individual speakers’ videos when in a call.  Just go to your VSee address book and select Tools–>Record, give the video files a name, and you’re good to go. Files are saved to your local disk so there is no need to worry about recording time limitations.

VSee record video

On Mac, click on VSee Address Book to get the VSee toolbar.  Select File–>Start Recording. The feature is only available when you’re in a call with someone.

VSee recording Mac

Unfortunately, VSee recording does not record shared screens or desktops. It also is not enabled on VSee for Mac. If you want to record a presentation or interactive interview., we recommend using a third party screen recording software. There are lots of tools out there, both free and paid, that do the job well.

The most well-known is Camtasia by Techsmith for $300, which is easy to use and does all kinds of cool, fancy things like automatic mouse zoom, adding sound tracks and screen effects, and interactive quizzes.

If you want something that just gets the job done, there are plenty of other options. Just make sure you have enough CPU to run both VSee and the screen recording program or the video will be choppy. Also, be aware that free software usually has limitations such as limited screen recording time, limited space for storing screen recordings, watermarks, inability to edit the video, etc.

Some of the tools I’ve seen come up on a lot of lists are

  • Screencast-o-matic – web-based (requires Java), limited to 15 minutes of recording, stores only 1 video at a time, can publish to YouTube
  • Jing – created by the makers of Camtasia, limited to 5 minutes of recording, and I’ve never figured out how to record sound although it does do it
  • Screenr - web-based, limited to 5 minutes of recording, no video editing
  • Camstudio – an opensource alternative

If you need more, here are some useful reviews of free screen recording software by people that have actually tried out the software.

Here is also a nice 3-minute video by Mel at ScreencastingWizard.com discussing some of the extra features he looks for in screen casting software such as cursor control, ability to add animation, dialog boxes, text, and multiple video and audio streams.

Some of these extras you can do in a separate video editing tool like Windows MovieMaker, iMovie, or YouTube (which I’ve found takes a long time to make changes and crashes a lot), but it’s always nice to be able to do it right there in the same program.

Happy screen recording!

Worksnug Interviews VSee on Video Conferencing Productivity

Video link: Worksnug interview – Milton on Video Conferencing Productivity

Check out Worksnug community manager San Sharma‘s interview of VSee CEO, Milton Chen.  In 20 minutes they packed in everything from

  • why Cisco WebEx is great for sales presentations, but bad for virtual teams
  • how a 1 second delay in clicking can mean a 50% loss of productivity
  • what you need for good video communication

About Worksnug

WorkSnug is a tool that connects mobile workers to the nearest and best places to work in the major cities of the world.  With dozens of teams around the globe, they review hundreds of viable workspaces for such things as WiFi, noise levels, power provision, community feel, even the quality of the coffee.  Users can also add their own reviews to Worksnug’s extensive database.  Get reviews from the website, or better yet, from WorkSnug’s free Augmented Reality iPhone app.

More mobile working tips

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