Using your iPhone as a Webcam

The one thing about iPhones is that they have really good cameras and those on many Macs are not that great, wouldn’t be great if you could use your iPhone camera instead of your built-in webcam. Well you can, and the one I have been using recently is NeuralCam live, It connects using the same USB/lightning cable you use to charge your iPhone and it works really well.

I like it because you can position the iPhone to get a good angle, and you can move the iPhone to show something close up, really useful for teaching. It is also better in low light.

The app is really useful as it helps set everything up as you do need to run a small file on your Mac and it helps you do that.

Here’s a video I made to show you how I set it up, you will see I used a small tripod and a smartphone holder. Below the video are links to where you can find them.

Items I used in this video.

Sirui professional mini tripod:
Joby Gorillapod:
SMALLRIG Smartphone Tripod Mount holder Clamp,Tripod Phone Adapter:

Posted in Apple, Apple Mac, elearning, Iphone, Mac, mobile devices, MS Teams, skype, Zoom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Use a PowerPoint as a Background in a Zoom Meeting or Webinar

Zoom has become the go to way to keep in touch and run webinars, it is also great for teaching and doing demos. Now you can make it even more useful when teaching or doing that demo by having your presentation as your virtual background, and it works whether it is PowerPoint or Keynote.

I must admit I really like this as you can move how you appear over the background, so you can be full screen and then point at the slides just like they do in a weather forecast, or you can shrink yourself down into a corner, any corner, or anywhere on the screen. So the only thing is that it doesn’t allow you to use the animation or transitions you have in your presentations but I think you will agree this is so engaging you may not need it. As for video you have embedded that doesn’t work either but you can play that separately using the share screen option.

Here’s a video I made to show you how to use it.

Posted in Education, elearning, PowerPoint, teaching, Working from home, Zoom | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Create Your Own Template in Microsoft Word

You’ve probably seen the array of templates that come with Microsoft Word, but what if you want to create your own. It’s really easy to do.

There are advantages to using templates especially if you have forms or documents you need to fill in regularly.

One advantage is they are easy to find. As they are always in the templates section when you go to New document or New template.

They always open as a new document so less chance of overwriting a similar document. For example, I’ve seen it where people have an invoice and use the same one for creating the next one. They would type in the new details and then choose save as. However, if you click on save or autosave kicks in, it overwrites the one you opened.

Here’s a video I made to show you how to do this on Windows and Mac.

Posted in Microsoft 365, Microsoft Office, microsoft word, word | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why Use a Canon Camera as a Webcam Using the EOS Webcam Utility

Many of you have been using Zoom, Skype, MS Teams and other apps for keeping in touch and also for teaching and demonstrating during the lockdown. And I think many of you will keep doing this when everything returns to normal…eventually.

One of the things I’ve been doing to engage my audience and help with teaching whether it be digital skills, photography or video, is to connect a camera and use that instead of the built in webcam. I have a capture card to do this but it is another piece of kit. The great thing is Canon released their EOS Webcam Utility Beta that allows you to connect using just a USB cable. This is great as capture cards have been hard to get and you should have a USB cable that came with the camera. Not all cameras are compatible and their is a link below to the Canon support page to check and all the links to download too. The ranges that do have cameras that work are the EOS and Powershot cameras, but not all of them.

This not only allows you to have a better image and have the camera at eye level, no more staring up your nose, but it means you can zoom in and out and move the camera. This is great for teaching either for school, college, university, dancing, yoga, Pilates, cooking, you get the idea.

As it is using your camera it means not only a better image but bokeh (blurred background) and depending on the camera, better in low light.

Now the other thing is you can switch cameras too so you can go from your webcam to your Canon camera that might be close up on what you want to show.

Here are the links mentioned in the video:
Support page for EOS Webcam Utility Beta, this is where you will find a list of compatible Canon cameras, download and installation instructions:



Tethertools TetherPro USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Micro-B Cable, 15 feet, High-Visibility Orange:
Tether Tools USB 3.0 to USB-C 4, 15 feet, orange (the one used in this video):

Manfrotto Befree live:
Canon EOS R:

Posted in digital photography, Filming from home, MS Teams, photography, skype, video, Zoom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Use Polling in a Zoom Webinar

If you have been using Zoom to do your webinars, and there are a lot of people using Zoom right now, then you might want to get a bit of interaction with your audience. By the way, this is a feature for webinars and not meetings. You have a to pay a bit more for the webinars but you might find that worthwhile.

A poll allows you to set a question with different answers, just like multiple choice. You ask the audience to give their response to help answer your question or find out a bit more about them or what they would like from your webinars. One you have got their responses you can share it with them if you like.

One of the great things in Zoom is that is saves the responses so you can go back and have a look later

Here is a video I made to show you how to setup and use polling in Zoom webinars.

Posted in Webinar, Working from home, Zoom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sorting Out All Those Dongles with a USB-C Hub

If you’re like me and have a MacBook Pro or another Mac with USB-C ports you might have dongles to connect to your older USB devices like hard drives, scanners or even your network, SD card or HDMI TV or monitor. This is not only costly but that is a lot of dongles to carry around with you.

The same is try if you have an iPad Pro, it only has one port so you might need something that can also including plugging in power.

Thankfully a USB-C hub came to my rescue and they work on Macs with USB-C and with the iPad Pro, the ones with a USB-C port.

The great thing is it not only allowed me to connect to USB 3.0 devices but also allows me to connect a USB-C device or power. It also has an HDMI port, network port a slot for not only my SD card but also a micro SD slot, that’s so useful as I don’t need to carry around the annoying micro SD to SD card adaptor. So that’s a SD card read and a micro SD card reader in the same gadget.

Mine is from a company from Alleasa but there are others, they might have different ports or features. I have to say I’m pleased with mine and hope it sorts out all those connectors for you too.

Here’s a video I made about it.

Posted in Apple, imac, iPad Pro, macbook | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Increasing Your Audience On YouTube

If you are adding videos to YouTube you probably want to grow your audience either because you have something you enjoy sharing, want to grow your business or perhaps become an influencer. Whatever the reason you want more views.

Having used YouTube now for about 12 years and with quite a respectable number of views I thought I would share some of the things I do to get noticed. In case you are wondering I have seen my views increase quite quickly since using the tips I mention below. I saw a four fold increase in views, as I was getting about 3,000 views per day that was a considerable increase to 10,000 to 12,000 views per day.

One thing that does help are good videos with useful information. If something is popular on YouTube it is because people want it. Now you might find some of the videos you load are not getting views but others are. It often puzzles me which ones work and which ones don’t.

If something isn’t working I do look at amending the title, perhaps I haven’t got it right. Make a change and see if that helps.

Keywords are important too and you might want to tinker around with those. Sometimes I add some keywords and then later something comes to mind and I add some in. Occasionally I do remove some that I think just didn’t make sense.

The description is where you can make a difference too as what you say there could come up on a search. It also helps to link to other videos. As far as I know YouTube likes that. So like to other videos, I would like to my own ones too and there is something you can do with end screens and cards, more about that in a moment.

Recently YouTube has implemented chapters that means your audience can jump directly to a part of the video, they can jump back to something to listen to it again or maybe they want to jump forward to something they want and don’t need the earlier bits. Perhaps they have a favourite section and want to see that again, and maybe share it with their friends.

Here is a video on creating chapters.

There are some other things you can do to help people subscribe or watch your’s or other videos. This call to action is important and you should mention it in your video, ask your viewers to subscribe and like the video, I had to learn this from my nephews and nieces but it does help. The moment I started do this I could see an increase in my views.

Part of the call to action is the end screen and cards. The end screen comes up at the end, the name of it suggests that. You’ve probably seen this, it displays other videos and also a subscribe button. It can also link to a website to help drive traffic.

Here is how you do it.

Another thing you’ve probably noticed is the little i that appears in the top right hand corner of a video often with a suggested video, but it can be used to link to your website or approved website, a playlist and until recently a poll (YouTube is disabling this soon), these are called cards. They are unobtrusive but can be effective in getting your audience to link on to something else.

Here is a video about adding cards.

There is one more thing and that is creating playlists, I’m sure YouTube likes it when you create playlists but it also means that your audience can find related videos that flow from one to the other. Playlists, like your videos, are shareable and that can be useful. I have playlists about particular topics so rather than sending each individual video I can just share the playlist.

Here’s another video this time on creating playlists.

Hope that all helps, in case you are wondering I have seen a difference in the number of views I get. Don’t forget if you like the videos do like and subscribe, also share them with your friends, family and colleagues.

Posted in video, Video production, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Started with iMovie

Working from home over the past few months has become the norm for many and with that having to record themselves using their smartphone like an iPhone or Android phone. Just before the lockdown started in the UK I made a video on showing how to record yourself.

But people also want to edit and if you have a Mac then you may well have iMovie, and if not it is free, well the last time I looked (16th June 2020), it is free on iOS devices too like your iPhone and iPad.

The thing about iMovie is you can do a lot with it, OK, Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro CC allow you do more but they are more for professional use and have features many don’t use. If you need to record something and put something together for work or even for your family occasions or holidays then iMovie is probably for you.

To get you started, and this takes you through creating a project, importing video, images and music, and then on to editing, adding titles, music and finally sharing your movie.

I broke it down into two part and there are chapters as well, a nice new feature on YouTube, here’s the link to that post, how to add chapters

Here are the two videos for you.

Getting Started with iMovie – Part 1

Getting Started with iMovie – Part 2

Posted in video, Video editing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Setting Up Panelists in a Zoom Webinar

The great thing about webinars is that unlike a Zoom meeting the audience only sees the panelists, in a meeting everyone is visible unless the host or participant turns off their video, this can be time consuming and difficult to manage and possibly have to deal with latecomers.

With a webinar the host and panelists are the only ones seen and they can share their screens, one at a time.

So you can send an invite out to the attendees but you need to send a separate link to the panelists which you can set up in advance. When you set up the panelists, you enter their email addresses, when you have finished setting them up, and you can have up to 50 panelists, it will automatically send them an email.

You can make changes during the webinar, if there is an attendee you want to make a panelist this can be done and also take a panelist and make them an attendee.

Here’s a video I made to show you how to set up panelists and alone make attendees panelists and panelists attendees.

Posted in Working from home, Zoom | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment