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Video calls make collaboration easier as you can connect with other board users right there in Whiteboards. No need for a third-party tool and switching between tabs and software. Just start a call and get everyone on the same page, discuss ideas, and work together seamlessly. 

NOTE: Video calls are limited to max 50min per session on the Free plan. This feature is only available on the standalone version of Whiteboards—www.whiteboards.io.

When using the call feature for the first time, make sure to allow Whiteboards access to the microphone and camera in your browser. 

TIP: If you can't see this feature, ask your organization Owner to enable it in Administration >> Features >> Video chat.

Starting a call

To start a call on your board, click on the headphones icon in the upper right corner or press CTRL/CMD + J on your keyboard.

As soon as you do, the call will start and the toolbar on the top will change.

On this toolbar you can:

  • Access more call options,

  • Enable/disable camera (also works with the shortcut CTRL/CMD + Shift + V),

  • Enable/disable microphone (also works with the shortcut CTRL/CMD + Shift + M),

  • Start/stop screen sharing (also works with the shortcut CTRL/CMD + Shift + S),

  • See how many people are on the call by looking at the number next to the headphones,

  • Leave the call by clicking the green button (also works with the shortcut CTRL/CMD + J),

  • See avatars of people on the call.

People who are outside the white box are on the board but haven’t joined the call yet. 

Joining a call

When someone starts a call on your board, you will see the option to join it in the upper right corner. Click Join (or CTRL/CMD + J) to connect with others on the call. 

You can see who has their microphone disabled on their avatar—look for the orange dot

When someone is talking, their avatar will get a green dot to indicate the speaker:

NOTE: If you’ve been inactive on the board for 10 minutes, you will be disconnected from the call. To avoid that, keep the board browser tab open and move your cursor from time to time.

Call options

Call options consist of the following:

  • My video&audio on cursor — this setting shows your video stream next to your cursor on the board. It also means that if the second option(“Always play my audio to all participants”) is disabled, your audio will be played only to those who see your cursor. 

  • Always play my audio to all participants — turning this on means that no matter whether someone sees your cursor or not, they will hear what you’re saying when your microphone is enabled. When turned off, only those who have your cursor within their viewport can hear you.

  • Microphone — select which microphone device you would like to use during the call.

  • Camera — select which camera you’d like to use during the call. 

  • Add card with my camera stream — adds an element on the board where users can view your video. Your camera in the toolbar in the upper right corner must be enabled for this to work.

  • Add card with my screen share — adds an element on the board where users can see your screen. Once selected, the browser will ask you to select what you want to share and screen sharing will be enabled automatically. It’s necessary to add this card in order for others to see your screen.

TIP:  When you want to divide your call into groups and make sure they don’t hear the other group talking, turn off the Always play my audio to all participants setting. Make sure everyone has this setting turned off, select an area on the board where each group should meet and they will only hear people who are within their viewport.

NOTE: If you disable these two options: My video&audio on cursor and Always play my audio to all participants, people will only be able to hear and see you if you add your video stream to the board. Otherwise, despite having the microphone and camera enabled, no one will be able to hear what you’re saying or view your video. 

Following users

While following users works outside the calls too, it’s super useful when you connect through a call to make sure everyone is looking at the right thing. Following adjusts your viewport to the one of the person you’re following.

If you want to present your work on the board during the call, click on your avatar and select Start presenting

As soon as you do, everyone on the board will get a notification asking them to follow you. Click Follow to start seeing what the other user is showing. 

You can also start following someone who’s not currently presenting. Click on their avatar and select Follow. Use it to see what they’re seeing when you’re not sure where someone is or what they’re talking about.

Another option is to ask a specific person to follow you. Click on their avatar and select Ask to follow you. Use it when you feel someone is lost and might need to refocus.

They will get a notification that asks if they want to follow you. Clicking Accept will start the following.

When you click Follow, your board will get a colorful outline and, at the top, you’ll see the name of the person you’re following. Click Stop to no longer follow that person.

When someone is being followed, their avatar will indicate so with the number of people who are currently following this person. 

If you want to stop following someone, simply move the board to a different position with your cursor. You can also click on their avatar and select Stop following or click Stop on the board outline.

To stop presenting, click your own avatar and select Stop presenting

Video and screen sharing stream cards

Adding video or screen-sharing stream cards can work as a gallery of all the call participants. Each person can add their own card from the call options and move it to the location of their choice. 

NOTE: Make sure your camera or screen sharing is enabled in the upper right corner for the video/screen share to be shown on the card.

When enabling screen sharing, a window will open asking you to select what you want to share: your entire screen, a window, or a browser tab. Make your selection and click Share.

You can also add video/screen sharing streams of other people. Do that to create a gallery of participants or add structure to the meeting for example by placing the video stream of a person next to their tasks.

To add a stream card:

  1. Go to Power tools.

  2. Click Insert video stream.

  3. Select whose stream you’d like to add — the current speaker or a specific call participant.

  4. Press Insert to add the card.

As soon as you do, a card with the stream will be added to the board. You can resize it as needed too! 

When someone disconnects from the call, their stream will stop working.

The video/screen sharing card has a toolbar with the name of the user shown on the card and a set of options. These are: 

  • Share camera stream — changes the card to show the camera stream of the user (if they have their camera enabled in the top toolbar).

  • Share screen share stream — changes the card to show the screen of the user (if they have screen sharing enabled in the top toolbar).

  • Mute/Unmute this stream — enables/disables any sound coming from that card.

  • Add comment — add a note for your collaborators.

  • Lock — keep the element locked in place so it can’t be moved until it’s unlocked (also works with a shortcut CTRL/CMD + L).

Other options include: 

  • Copy — copy this element to the clipboard (you can use the shortcut CTRL/CMD + C),

  • Duplicate — create a duplicate on the board, next to the original element (achieve the same effect by pressing CTRL/CMD + D),

  • Cut — remove the element from the board and copy it to the clipboard at the same time (CTRL/CMD + X will trigger the same behavior),

  • Comment — add a note for your collaborators,

  • Lock — keep the element locked in place so it can’t be moved until it’s unlocked (also works with a shortcut CTRL/CMD + L),

  • Bring to front — move it to the front of other layers on the board (use CTRL/CMD + ] to do it from the keyboard),

  • Send to back — send it to the bottom of the layers on the board (use the shortcut CTRL/CMD + [ to do the same),

  • Remove — delete the element (you can also select the element and press DEL/backspace button on the keyboard).

Advanced:

  • Set sticky — when scrolling, the element will stay within the viewport so it’s always accessible from wherever you are on the board,

  • Disable shadow — remove the visual shadow underneath the element.

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