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.


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


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.


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 1280x1024 monitor and viewing on a 1333x768. Here’s what the opposite looks like.


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.

This post originally appeared on The DevStop.