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Hi everyone,

Webex isn't as popular over here in Germany as it is in other countries, esp. the USA. Thus, I haven't had to familiarize myself with that software until now. Now a new client wants me to do trainings in Webex Meeting, and I have tested a bit with the free version that they offer. During the tests I have come across the following issues for which I haven't been able to find an answer for:

1. Is there any chance that the participants can use a Webex whiteboard in the breakout rooms? If yes, how can they find it? There's none listed when using the share function in a Webex breakout room.

2. How can I make Webex recognize the PPT slide show window as an application for screen sharing? In my tests Webex offers only one option to choose PPT as an application and opens the screen share to the presenter view as default. To show the actual PPT slide show there only seems to be the alternative to share my second monitor. That however glues the menu bar with all the Webex functions to the top of that second monitor.

3. Is there any chance to move that menu bar from that second monitor to my other one during screen share? I always place chat and participant windows on my first monitor because it's the bigger one, and I would love to have all the Webex options on that monitor and just the PPT slide show on the other one.

4. I often ask my participants to annotate on my slides or a whiteboard. In Webex, I only seem to be able to activate annotation for the participants by individually clicking on their names in the participant list and set the appropriate check mark. Is there any other way to this, like a general setting in the room options, that I could use? Especially since participants are no longer able to annotate after coming back from breakout rooms?

So, if you're a Webex expert, do you know how to solve these issues? I'd very much appreciate any help I can get.

Best regards,

Susanne Plaumann

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  • Morning Susanne,

    Great to hear from you. Webex Meetings is getting more use, I think, partly because Cisco have put a lot more development into it recently. 

    1) No whiteboard available in Webex Meetings breakouts (or other things!). You can read more about limitations here. Alternatives might be Mentimeter, Padlet, Jamboard, Mural, Miro or others. 

    2) You should be able to run your PPT and see it as an application to share. You could try running it in a window to see if that works. You can upload your PowerPoint, though it does mean any animations won't work. 

    3) Do you mean the menu at the very top middle of the screen, that drops down when you mouse over? I'm not sure I've ever tried to move that, I'm guessing that is standard on your Monitor 1 as setup on your computer. Is your big monitor set as #1? Are you using Windows or Mac?

    4) Yes, from memory it's something like Participant menu > Assign priveleges > Check the annotation box.

    Hope that helps, let us know. 


    What do others think?

    Webex - Webex Meetings | Known Issues and Limitations for Breakout Sessions
    Learn about known issues and limitations for breakout sessions in Webex Meetings.
  • Hi Susanne, this is how to turn on the annotations for participants:

    Video Conferencing - Annotate in Cisco Webex Meetings
    If you’re wondering how to bring attention to content that you're sharing, this article is for you! Use text, lines, shapes, and color options from t…
    • Hi Jo,

      thanks for all the help and the links. We've solved the whiteboard question for breakout rooms by using external tools (i.e. Jamboard, Flinga). So far I've done 4 sessions in Webex Meeting which have run fairly well. However, the annotation privileges for participants are still a mystery.

      Obviously we have to take at least 3 steps to enable annotation on slides (something I'm using fairly often):

      1. Enable annotation privileges in the participant menu (does this general privilege only enable annotations on the whiteboard?). However, this didn't enable participants to annotate slides when I activated the annotation tool.
      2. Allow participants to annotate by adding the privilege to each and every participant listed in the participant list (which is quite burdensome).
      3. Activate the annotation tool from the menu on the slide I want the participants to add annotations to. The annotation toggle didn't work (see link in post above).


      Well, it's not as bad as it may sound, and I have encountered this in GoToWebinar as well. But it troubles me that the participants lose the privilege to annotate each time when 

      • they come back from breakout rooms or
      • someone else shares his screen.

      Is the privilege to allow participants to annotate bound to the presenter role? It seems to be the only answer to the privilege vanishing without having changed anything.

      And we have run into another question that we couldn't find an answer to in the Webex guides: When running a poll using the short answer type, I couldn't get the poll results to be visible to all participants. So far the solution to this has eluded me as well as the customer's producer. Does anyone know how to show the results of all short answers to the participants when using that poll type?

      Any help is very much appreciated as I have another 2 session in Webex Meeting ahead of me next week. 

      Best regards,

      • Hi Susanne,

        Very glad you've been doing the sessions and using an external tool, probably easiest for access for everyone. 

        When you want people annotating on slides, are they ones you have uploaded using File > Open and share or are you doing a screengrab?

        You are right about using the participant menu, it should be all you need. 

        What your participants will need to do though is turn on the toolbar. The Webex Meetings help has loads of stuff about the details of the annotation tools. It doesn't explain very well how participants turn them on:

        They need to move their mouse. On the very left of the screen a toolbar appears. They click the first icon, a "squiggle" like testing a pen. Then a new toolbar appears left of that, where they have the annotation tools. 

        Let me know if that helps on the annotation question. 

        • Hi Jo,

          thanks for all the insight. As it turned out, annotation for participants isn't a problem when sharing files as you described or using the whiteboard, but it is cumbersome when showing a presentation via screen share. It took some time until I realized that I could share PPT files via file share as well ... the customer never uses that feature and neither do their facilitators. Somehow they're hooked on screen sharing.

          However, I ran across something odd when trying to share a landscape pdf file: Webex changed all pages to portrait format so that I couldn't use it.

          Oh well, that's it with Webex for now. At least I know what to look and ask for if another customer requests trainings in Webex!

          Best regards,

          • Hi Susanne,

            Fab that you've found sharing PowerPoint files and annotation is easy - in one sense it's a basic feature, but if your clients have always used screenshare then of course they won't know about it! 

            Weird about the PDF and annoying. At least, as you say, you know about it now for the future and we are always here too :D 

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