The Skype Community is a place for asking questions and getting answers about Skype. I pop in there often to see what kind of questions users ask frequently that I can answer in a post like this.
In this post I’m going to delve into one of those questions: How to control the separate video streams in a group call. So whether you prefer cruise control or keeping the reigns in your own hands, these tips will help you get the look you want from your group video calls.
These tips apply to Skype for Windows desktop.
Dynamic view and Normal view
You might not have realized this, but on Skype group calls there are two different views that you can switch between. These control the way the different video streams are presented to you so it’s important to know the difference.
Dynamic view resizes and moves video streams dependent on who’s talking on your call. The aim is to make sure that whoever is presenting gets the lion’s share of your screen space.
Normal view removes the automated nature of dynamic view and instead shows all video streams equally. You can still resize and move individual videos, but it’s a manual process that gives you full control.
To switch between the two views while on a call, simply move your mouse to bring up the call bar, then click here:
Mouse controls in classic view
If the Normal view is more your speed, you can still emphasize individual video streams manually with a click of your mouse. Simply click on a video stream once to emphasize it and again to return it to the flock.
You can also resize your own video in the same way, but it starts out emphasized and will shrink on the first click.
Tip: While you’re clicking around, try double-clicking during a call to switch to full screen mode.
Call controls for background Skype
On a related note, when you’re in a group video call and you put Skype in the background you’ll get a small control window that you can move around your screen. These controls show you the video of the person currently speaking, the duration of the call and buttons to mute yourself and to end the call.
You can enable or disable these controls by going to Tools > Options > Call > Show advanced options and (un)ticking the box next to Show call controls when Skype is in the background.
Interested in learning more tips, tricks, and features in Skype? This blog is a great place to start, but check out the Skype Community for more.