Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Canva gets those WFH Zoom video meetings snazzy

Not a fan of your home being the background of Zoom conferences in this new “work from home” world? Canva has a fix.

With so many of us staying home and self-isolating, video conferencing is the new way to run meetings, but the view from your office can be less than professional.

If you’re concerned about office coworkers judging you from afar — remote judging, not just remote working — the prospect of a work from home (WFH) meeting can be just a little daunting, and far too easy to just leave the camera off. Alternatively, there’s the masking tape approach.

But so many of are online and video chatting than ever before, so much that we’ve never seen so many web cams used at once on laptops.

Like you, everyone has the same predicament: how do you look professional in your makeshift office when there’s all that stuff behind you?

Australia’s online graphic editor Canva may have a fix for it, and it’s one that won’t cost a penny: an online template for making WFH video conference backgrounds.

It’s something Canva has spun out of its regular graphic editing system, with a free template and image set specifically for use with Zoom’s web conferencing. The concept allows you to generate an image or video background, export it in the right format, and then replace it in Zoom for use during your next video conference.

Zoom’s video conferencing platform does allow you to do that, replacing your typical home office background with an image or video of your choosing, and the Zoom app isolating you from the background at the time.

Replaceable backgrounds, however, aren’t shared between all video conferencing apps, and so while Zoom supports the concept, Google Hangouts and Google Meet does not at this time. If you have a PC, you might be able to get the same sort of thing working with Chromacam, but it’s Windows only at the moment.

For now, Canva’s creative fix for the ho-hum work from home backdrops won’t work on much, though if you’re using Zoom in your workplace or school, this will at the very least brighten up your WFH day job.

And even if you don’t use Canva’s Zoom background creator, you can always snap your own or download something fun and make your backdrop a little more interesting. Try to keep it professional, though; it is your day job, after all.

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