Using Gallery Modes to Improve Your Meeting Viewing Experience in Microsoft Teams

Being able to concentrate on the important content in a Teams meeting is critical to your concentration and absorption. Out of the box, Teams does a pretty good job at prioritising the content that is imporant.

When video is used, the person speaking is given a prime location within the primary video tile window and even highlights the video tile of them to make it easy for people to focus on the important contributor at that time.

Sharing content via screen share provides a near full window display experience, but when there are several people joined, the video tiles can overlay the bottom part of the content meaning some information may be hidden by the disrupted view.

Fortunately, Teams allows you to control what content you want to see and how. There are a few layout options depending on how many people are in the meeting and using video.

Disruptive Distractions

In a serious meeting where concentration on the content being shared is critical, you may want to limit the distractions to you. In Teams meetings, if someone uses meeting chat you see a chat bubble popup above the content.

Chat Bubbles in Teams

Whilst it is not super intrusive, it can make interrupt your concentration, You can turn this off using the meeting control options by clicking on the ellipsis (…) and Turning Off Chat Bubbles

This only applies to your experience. It does not turn off chat bubbles for everyone else.

Another distraction could be video tiles. Perhaps you are not interesting in Jack scratching his nose. You can turn off incoming video from participants by selecting Turn off Incoming Video from the ellipsis menu.

Look At the People You Are Talking To With Gallery On Top

By default when content is being shared, the video gallery of participant is at the bottom of the screen. When you think of it, this is a stupid place for it to be as your webcam is probably at the top of your PC monitor. People naturally talk to faces, not cameras, so the instinct is to look at the person you’re speaking to.

With the default gallery, you end up looking down on the camera rather than into it.

With the Gallery on top feature, you can move the video tile gallery to the top of the Teams meeting window making it easier to look at the person you’re speaking to without dropping your head. From the meeting options menu, choose Gallery on Top

Gallery Modes

When not sharing any content within the meeting, participants are allocated a video or avatar space in the Teams meeting gallery. The default gallery allows up to 9 meeting participants to be shown at any one time in a 3 x 3 layout.

Microsoft Confirms 3x3 View Coming for Teams - Office 365 for IT Pros

In this mode, all other participants are hidden and the layout will changed based on the active speaker. Meaning is participant number 10 starts to contribute, their video will come into the tile view and another person at random will be deselected and hidden.

With 10 people or more in a meeting you have the option of large gallery mode. Large gallery mode allows up to 49 video tiles to be shown in a single pane in a 7 x 7 layout.

Switch to Large Gallery View in Microsoft Teams Meetings // Microsoft Teams  // Marquette University

A feature coming soon will include a slider where tiles will only be limited by the maximum meeting capacity of Teams itself.

Together Mode is another view that uses similar technology in background filters whereby it removes your background completely and places you in a theatre style view as if you are sitting next to your coworkers. This is a fun mode that requires 4 people at a minimum to unlock.

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Gallery Modes can be found from the ellipsis in the meeting control bar. (excuse the greyed out options – this is because the meeting hasn’t met the minimum requirements of the mode, so it is unavailable)

Focus and Full Screen Modes

Focus mode becomes available when content is being shared. When clicked it will remove all participant video tiles from your view and just show you the content that is being shared.

Full Screen Mode maximises the meeting window to your screen, removing all other screen distractions. You can use full screen mode in conjunction with any other mode for a more immersive experience.

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