[Zoom] How to share documents such as PDFs and powerpoints using the screen sharing function

[Zoom] How to share documents such as PDFs and powerpoints using the screen sharing function
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From July 15, 2022, Zoom will have a 40-minute limit even for meetings with two participants if you have a free subscription. (Previously, it was only for meetings with 3 or more people.)
Companies and organizations using Zoom for business should consider switching to a paid license at this opportunity.

As lifestyles diversify, working styles such as telework and telecommuting are spreading as new ways of working in the New Normal era.

Being able to work anywhere is appealing, but in order to do business smoothly, it is essential to have a means of communicating with people in remote locations.

In such a case, I would like to recommend the web conferencing tool “Zoom”.

By using the “screen sharing” function installed in Zoom, you can proceed with discussions while sharing various materials such as videos and document data.

Here, we explain how to share materials using the screen sharing function of Zoom.

We have also summarized useful functions that you want to use together with document sharing, and what to do when you cannot share documents.

Operations and Procedures Related to Zoom Material Sharing

Operations and Procedures Related to Zoom Material Sharing

If you want to share materials on Zoom, it is convenient to use the “screen sharing” function that comes standard with Zoom.

With Zoom’s screen sharing function, you can share the following data as materials.

  • PPT file (PowerPoint)
  • PDF file
  • Image/Video
  • browser screen, etc.

First, let’s take a closer look at the procedure for loading these files into Zoom and sharing the materials.

When the host shares materials

The operation method for the meeting host to share materials on Zoom is as follows.

Document sharing from a desktop application (computer)


  1. Launch the Zoom app and start the meeting
  2. Click “Screen Share” in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen
  3. Select the file you want to share from the list
  4. Click the “Share” button

Three types of tabs, “Basic”, “Details”, and “File”, are displayed on the screen for selecting a shared file, and you can select the following files.

basic Screen, whiteboard, iPhone/iPad, other running apps
detailed PowerPoint (virtual background), part of the screen, computer audio only, 2nd camera content
File Dropbox・OneDrive・Google Drive・Box・Microsoft SharePoint
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When using for document sharing, the basic operation is to select the necessary data from the basic tab.

Document sharing from a mobile app (smartphone/tablet)

  1. Launch the Zoom app and start the meeting
  2. Tap “Share” in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen
  3. Tap the type of data you want to share from the list
  4. Select the file and tap “Done”

The Zoom mobile app allows you to share the following data:

  • screen
  • photograph
  • iCloud Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Skype. However, very interesting alternatives have emerged to the well-known Microsoft OneDrive
  • Google Drive
  • Box
  • Website URL
  • bookmark

When participants share materials

Zoom also allows participants other than the host to share materials.

The operation method is the same as that of sharing materials by the host, but if participants wish to perform sharing operations, it is necessary to obtain permission from the host in advance.

The host has the authority to specify the following three items regarding the sharing of materials by participants.

Participants who can share at the same time One participant can share at the same time / Multiple participants can share at the same time
Who can share Host Only / All Participants
Who can share when others share Host Only / All Participants

If you want to change the sharing settings, follow the steps below. (For PC)

  1. Click the “△” next to “Screen sharing” on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen
  2. Click “Advanced Sharing Options”
  3. Specify options and click “x”

Switch the screen of the displayed material

If you want to switch to another document while sharing the document, the operation procedure is as follows. (For PC)

  1. Click “New Share” on the toolbar
  2. Select the file you want to switch from the list
  3. Click “Share”

Stop document sharing

To end document sharing, click “Stop sharing” at the bottom of the toolbar.

When you stop sharing, you will automatically switch to the meeting screen.

You can also stop sharing by closing the app or file itself that is being shared.

However, this is similar to forced termination, so basically we recommend that you click the “Stop sharing” button to terminate.

Application! Useful Zoom sharing features to know

With the screen sharing function of Zoom, you can perform various operations other than document sharing.

Next, let’s take a closer look at the recommended Zoom sharing settings that you want to remember as a set with document sharing.

remote control

With Zoom, it is also possible to remotely control the other party’s screen by controlling it.

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This function is useful when you want to directly explain the operation instead of verbally, or when you want to edit data on behalf of the other party.

The operation for remote control using Zoom’s sharing function is as follows.

  1. Ask the other party to perform the screen sharing operation and display the necessary screen
  2. Request remote control by clicking “Remote Control” on the toolbar
  3. Get approval from the other party

Whiteboard function

The whiteboard function is a function that allows you to share a blank screen and write text and illustrations directly.

Both the host and participants can write, and the contents of the whiteboard can be saved as image data.

The whiteboard is displayed in the “Basic” tab of the shared list, and can be used by specifying the whiteboard on that screen.

Share smartphone screen on PC (iOS)

You can share your iPhone/iPad screen while using Zoom on your computer. (Android is not supported)

The method of mirroring with iPhone / iPad is as follows.

  1. Click “Screen Share” in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen
  2. Select “iPhone/iPad” from the list
  3. Click the “Share” button
  4. Click “Install” when “A plug-in is required to share your iPhone/iPad screen.”
  5. When the installation is complete, tap “Screen Mirroring” from the control panel on the iPhone / iPad side
  6. Tap “Zoom-○○○○” from the list

In the case of mirroring, the screen currently displayed on the iPhone/iPad is shared as it is, instead of selecting a file saved on the iPhone/iPad.

Not only can it be used for business purposes, but it can also be used to share videos privately, share game screens, and stream gameplay.

Causes and solutions when materials cannot be shared

If you are unable to share materials even after following the procedure, there may be a problem with your Zoom settings or network environment.

Finally, let’s take a closer look at the causes and how to deal with document sharing failures.

You haven’t updated your app/browser

If you cannot share documents, please check the version of the installed Zoom app.

If the host or participants are using a Zoom app other than the latest version, problems may occur in each function, including document sharing.

You can check the update information from the settings screen of the app on your computer, or from the App Store or Google Play on your smartphone or tablet.

If the latest version is released, please update as soon as possible.

Document sharing may also not work if the version of the device itself is old.

iOS 11 or higher is required for iPhone/iPad, and Android 5.0 or higher is required for Android.

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Participants are not allowed to share

If the host can share materials, but the participants cannot operate, it is highly likely that the authority settings for material sharing are inadequate.

Tell your host that you can’t share materials and ask them to change the settings.

Your phone and PC are connected to different networks

If mirroring with your iPhone/iPad does not work well, it may be because the networks used by your smartphone and your computer are different.

For example, mirroring will not work if your home line is selected for your computer and your mobile router line is selected for your smartphone or tablet.

Make sure each device is connected to the same network when using mirroring.


  • With the screen sharing function of Zoom, it is also possible to share documents such as document data and slide shows.
  • Use of remote control and mirroring functions expands the range of document sharing
  • If you cannot share materials, check the version of the Zoom app/device and network status.

With Zoom, you can easily communicate while sharing materials with people who are far away.

If you are planning to introduce IT tools for telework or working from home, please consider using Zoom.