Since the spring, we’ve all become far more accustom to video calls and meetings than we ever dreamed we would. With Zoom’s meteoric rise to the top of the video chat heap, there were parts of its interface that not only became sought after – they became expected. After all, if the majority of people jumping into video calls expected Zoom and all the quirks that came along with it, parts of the way Zoom handled aligning those callers also became expected.
Over the years, we’ve had plenty of different ways to see others in video calls and we’ve had varying ways that our own face was included in the mix. For one-on-one calls, generally your own face is minimized as much as possible to keep you engaged in the conversation. But with bigger meetings and more participants, Zoom saw fit to include your face right alongside the others during the entire call, and most users (myself included) actually liked this.
No one really wants to stare at themselves all day, but being able to clearly see your camera setup greatly helps to keep you in the frame and sure that there isn’t anything strange going on in your feed. With Google Meet, the default method of showing your face was to put you in a small box up in the corner while drawing your attention to the other callers. Again, I get the idea, but Google Meet’s default size for that video monitor up top is so small that you can have a hard time telling whether you are in the frame or not. Especially in meetings where you need to be back away from the laptop a bit, this can be a bit odd and lead to framing that looks silly for the other callers.
How to add your face into the grid
We’ve previously written about an extension that helped out with all this grid layout stuff, but thankfully Google has completely added grid layouts to Meet. There’s an issue, though. If you hop into a Meet and put things into grid layout, you are still not included in the main grid and your camera feed will only show up in the tiny box in the top-right corner. The grid is great for everyone else, but it does little to solve the tiny selfie camera issue for you.
In order to overcome this, Google has put the toggle in a bit of a strange position that – until yesterday – I didn’t even know existed. All you have to do is put your meeting into grid layout (3-dot menu on the bottom > Change layout > tiled) and then hover over your face in the top right corner and you’ll see two bubbles. On the right is one that looks like a grid and, hovering over it, you’ll see a message that says “show in a tile.” Click this button and voila – you are now a part of the larger grid.
Additionally, you can also hover over any participant in the grid layout and click the same button to add or remove them from the grid. I’d imagine this could be helpful if someone is doing something visually disrupting or thinks they left the call and never actually did. While the necessity for hiding someone in the grid may be less than your need to be included in that grid, it’s still a nice touch and gives you some pretty nice flexibility in configuring the look of your layout while in a call. We certainly hope this helps some of you out there that are stuck in video calls all day. I know it has made my Google Meets much better already.