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Get the low-down on screen sharing with Skype

Skype helps people collaborate. That’s a big benefit to many small businesses, especially those with dispersed colleagues.

In fact, many people tell me that screen sharing is their favorite Skype collaboration tool.

I share that enthusiasm.

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Sharing your screen is one of the most efficient ways to walk someone through a Web site, display a presentation or demonstrate how to use new software, among scores of other scenarios common to many workplaces.

We’re proud that one-to-one screen sharing remains free for all our users, as it’s always been. Subscribers to Skype Premium have some additional screen sharing capabilities, including the ability to share screens with a group, and to share screens and transmit video simultaneously.

Today I’d like to provide some information on screen sharing both with and without Skype Premium.

To share your screen for free with one other person, start a Skype call with that contact. If it’s a video call, your outgoing video needs to be off when you’re sharing your screen. However, you can continue to receive video from the other person.

Then, if you’re on a PC, click the + button in the call bar and select Share screens. On a Mac, you’ll click the + button at the bottom of the conversation window.

ss2.pngAfter that, if you’re on a PC you choose whether you want to share your whole screen (meaning the other person will see everything on your entire computer screen), or just one screen or Window. To share your whole screen, hit “Start.” To share one Window on a PC, hit the down arrow and make that selection. Hit Stop Screen Sharing when you’re done.

So that’s how free one-to-one screen sharing works. Pretty simple. Here’s the additional screen-sharing functionality you get when you subscribe to Skype Premium:

• Sharing your screen with a group. Launch a group Skype call, and when you start sharing your screen, everyone on the call will see it (they don’t need to be Skype Premium subscribers). You can send and receive video at the same time too. As long as the person who initiates the group video call has Skype Premium, anyone else on the call can share his or her screen with the group. Only one screen can be shared at a time, however.

• Sending video and sharing your screen at once. With Skype Premium, you don’t need to stop sending video as you do when you’re sharing your screen for free, even on a one-to-one call.

You should ensure you’re running the most current version of Skype if you plan on screen sharing (actually, I urge you to install the most current version no matter how you use Skype).

If you want to subscribe to Skype Premium, prices start at $4.99/month (you can buy a day pass for $4.99 too). Skype Premium comes with other great benefits outside of enhanced screen sharing, so it’s worth checking out.

How have you used screen sharing in your business? Tell us about it.

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