How to Make Google Hangout Screen Share Bigger or Full Screen

I work remotely quite a bit, so I do a lot of screen sharing and remote meetings. My team uses Google Hangout a lot. We’ve evaluated a few other options, but Hangouts are good enough for now. The one thing that has troubled us is that there’s a lot of chrome (no pun intended) around the video itself, so sometimes it’s hard to see what’s being shared.

standard

Look at all that wasted whitespace! Everyone’s first thought, of course, is to just take the browser full screen.

fullscreen

That doesn’t gain us much. A couple of nights ago, I stumbled upon a rather unintuitive way to accomplish what we’ve always dreamed of. Zoom out.

zoomed

By zooming out in the browser, the sidebar and participant list shrink. The video grows to fill the remaining space.

You might still have some bars on the left/right or top/bottom due to aspect ratios, but this is the same thing you’d get watching a 4:3 show on a 16:9 TV or vice versa. The above screenshots are sharing a 1280×1024 monitor and viewing on a 1333×768. Here’s what the opposite looks like.

wide

Hope this helps someone.

Note: Going “on air” supposedly lets you take the video full screen. I haven’t tried this, as many of our meetings involve confidential business information. If your discussion is less sensitive, you could always give that a go.

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About David Ruttka

I've been "making computers do things" since I first saw King's Quest on a 286 PC in the mid-80's, but I turned it into a career just over a decade ago. While the majority of my experience has been on the Microsoft stack (C#, .NET, ASP.NET), I've recently been diving deeper into JavaScript and exploring the Ruby universe. Occasionally, I'll do a public speaking gig or write a blog post. When I'm not coding, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching hockey, and playing the occasional video game. You can also find me on Stack Overflow, Google Plus, and Twitter. Microsoft Certified Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 Specialist; MCPD Windows Developer 3.5
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5 Responses to How to Make Google Hangout Screen Share Bigger or Full Screen

  1. Jason Dell says:

    Google hangout screen sharing are best suited for casual and social interactions. But for business meetings, security is what everybody aims for, hence, tools such as webex, R-HUB web conferencing servers, gotomeeting etc. are used.

  2. Ken Jones says:

    Thanks David, very useful tip !!. I use Google Hangouts for teaching English online, having made the move away from Skype. I’ll admit the small shared screen size was giving a problem for my students. It would be nice if I knew how to one-click zoom full screen….

  3. CSadler says:

    I will try that – thanks for posting

  4. Great find. It will help me in my online classes. Thanks friend.

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