What’s new in Adobe Connect 9.3

Adobe® Connect™ is a web conferencing solution for web meetings, e-learning, and webinars. It powers mission critical web conferencing solutions end-to-end, on virtually any device, hence boosting productivity within the organizations. The new version of Adobe Connect offers improvements in the following major areas:
  • Entirely new functionalities to enhance screen sharing and make it even more user-friendly.

  • A fresh approach to whiteboard collaboration.

  • Multiple in-meeting usability enhancements to make virtual collaboration smooth, customizable, and secure.

  • Added usability for Seminars and Events to make these easier for attendees and organizers.

Screen sharing enhancements

In Adobe Connect 9.3, screen sharing is redefined to make it more user-friendly. Using the enhancements, Presenters and Hosts can continue to engage with participants, while attending to the key meeting functions smoothly.

Preview of windows and applications

The screen sharing options dialog makes it easy to share a monitor, one or more applications, or one or more open windows. The dialog provides a preview of the available monitors, windows, and applications. The selected monitor, applications, or windows are highlighted in the dialog.

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Share a specific monitor
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Share one or more applications

Screen sharing MiniControl

When you start sharing your screen, a screen share control panel opens at the bottom-right corner of the screen. The panel, called MiniControl, is not visible to other participants and is not a part of the shared screen. The presenter gets a participant's view of your screen share.

The MiniControl displays alerts for the notifications. This panel provides all the tools for a presenter to control the meeting without ending screen sharing or switching back to the meeting room. The options can be accessed by clicking on the individual icons.

MiniControl
Collapsed MiniControl

To collapse the MiniControl to a compact mode, click on the icon of the open view and the MiniControl collapses. Alternatively, double click on the top bar of the panel.

To minimize the MiniControl to the taskbar, click Hide MiniControl on the top right corner of the MiniControl.

Attendee control

You can access the Attendees pod from the MiniControl by clicking the icon. Typical controls required to manage attendees are available via this option. For example, you can change roles and grant rights.

Screen share Attendees pod

Chat control

This option provides the current presenter to read and respond to the chat messages, without switching back to the meeting room to check the Chat pod. This integration helps presenters be more interactive while sharing their screens.

The panel displays alerts for new messages received. You can read the messages without swithing to the main meeting room. You can receive and respond to both public and private messages from here.

Screen share chat control

Camera, speaker, and microphone controls

You can control your web camera, speaker audio, and microphone audio, using the panel buttons. The fully functional webcam pod lets you start, pause, and stop your webcam feed. You can also switch the primary video when you have multiple feeds.

The speaker and microphone controls let you change the volume and mute or unmute your audio devices.

Multiple webcam feeds in the control panel
Audio control in the control panel

Notification control

You can manage all your notifications from the control panel. For example, you can allow or reject participants requesting to join the meeting. The panel also displays the pending number of notifications that need the presenter's attention.

Act on the notifications from the control panel

Switch between meeting room and MiniControl

The presenter can switch back to the meeting room view to access other functionalities that are not available in the panel. Click the icon to open the meeting room without stopping the screen share.

The presenter can revert to the MiniControl from the notifier, by clicking the icon on the Share pod, or from the context menu of the Share pod.

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Options to switch to MiniControl
A.
Use the icon in the top bar of the Share pod

B.
Use the notifier in the upper right corner of the meeting room

C.
Use the option in the context menu of the Share pod

Zoom levels for participants

Users now have more zoom level options available. The exact number of steps available to a user depends on the display size.

Zoom options available based on display size

Whiteboard enhancements

Whiteboard drawings are more impressive and it is easier to see markups on documents and images. Hosts can now grant drawing rights to participants in three different ways, improve fidelity of drawing, and export the drawings. Adobe Connect 9.3 onwards, drop shadows and 3D look on stamps is not supported.

A whiteboard drawing comparison and missing drop shadows

Tools palette

A new palette contains the drawing tools. The tools palette is vertically oriented, the tools are available in a user-friendly way, and the menus open horizontally. This behavior is in line with the toolbar in the Adobe Connect mobile application. Also, the changes make the user interface touch friendly.

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Whiteboard tools palette
A.
Select objects or pan a whiteboard

B.
Write content using various writing tools

C.
Delete Selected object

D.
Write text and add basic formatting

E.
Draw shapes and symbols

F.
Undo drawing actions

G.
Redo drawing actions

H.
Arrange the selected objects

Pens

The whiteboard offers new marker, highlighter, pen, and pencil tools! These make the whiteboard collaboration and drawings more lifelike and smooth.

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Whiteboard drawing and writing options
A.
Marker tool

B.
Highlighter tool

C.
Pen tool

D.
Pencil tool

Color, opacity, and size pickers

In alignment with the other award-winning Adobe drawing tools, the color selection tool is updated. You can pick the colors by selecting hue, saturation, and brightness values, using the vertical sliders.

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Whiteboard color picker

Opacity picker lets you define the opacity of the shapes. Size picker lets you pick the size of the writing using the pen and marker tools.

Arrange menu

The arrange menu lets you select drawn objects that are behind other objects and move them forward and vice versa. The four new icons represent Move to Front, Move Forward, Move Backward, and Move to Back commands.

Controls to arrange whiteboard objects

Defaults and stickiness

To support the varied use cases in a user-friendly way, the last used settings in the whiteboard are remembered. You need to change stroke weight, color, fill, and so on for your specific needs only once. The persistence is specific to a meeting. On the new meetings, you can use new choices, you can use new choices.

Drawing rights

Hosts and Presenters can let any participant draw on whiteboard by granting the drawing rights in three ways.

Note: Participants cannot turn on the Drawing mode for Share pods with these rights. Only Hosts and Presenters can enable the Drawing mode.

To provide drawing rights to individuals, select the name from the Attendee list and from the pop up menu, select Enable Drawing. You can revoke the rights by selecting Disable Drawing.

Enable drawing rights for individuals from the Attendees pod

To provide drawing rights in a specific whiteboard to all the participants, select Enable Participants to draw from the pod's context menu. Deselect the option to revoke the rights in the whiteboard, for all the participants.

Enable drawing rights on a Share pod for all participants

You can grant universal drawing rights to all participants in all pods, from the in-meeting Preferences dialog. This preference is remembered for every session using the meeting room.

Enable drawing rights for everyone in a meeting room

Exporting your drawings

To save your drawings locally, you can export the whiteboard as a PNG file or send a snapshot via email.

Export your whiteboard drawings

In-meeting and other usability enhancements

Many in-meeting enhancements provide a smoother, a more secure, and a more customizable meeting experience to hosts, presenters, and participants.

Mask phone numbers of participants

Meeting Hosts can now mask the phone numbers of the participants to respect the privacy of the participants. The option is available in the in-meeting preferences dialog, in the Attendees Pod section. The option is persistent for a meeting room.

Masked phone number in the Attendees pod

Guided hints

To make it easier for attendees to get familiar with an Adobe Connect meeting room, animated tips are displayed when they enter a meeting room. The tips are role-based and differ for hosts, presenters, and participants. The tips or guided hints showcase the primary workflows for a role. Individual users can chose to not see the guided hints when the users enter a meeting room.

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Guided hints sample

After a user checks Don't show this again, the user can launch the tips animation from Help > Show Tips for Adobe Connect in the meeting room.

Country code selector for dial out option

At times users mistakenly dial out without the country code or do not follow the applicable syntax. To avoid errors the dial out field is split in to country code and the phone number. Users can select the country code from a pop up list of pre-populated codes and country names.

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Select country code from pop up and separately enter the phone number to dial out

By default, a meeting room tries to pre-populate the country code based on the location of the user. Users can change it as required. Also, once a country code is set, it is remembered for subsequent sessions.

New message alerts in Chat pod

The Chat pod generates a sound to alert a user, if two chat messages are more than five seconds apart. This option is available individually for each user and is remembered across all the meeting sessions on a machine. To activate the Chat sounds, click Chat sounds from the context menu of the Chat pod.

Enable sound alerts for new message in Chat pod

Attendee status in break out rooms

In Adobe Connect 9.2, notifications of status change in a break out room (BOR) did not show in the main meeting room. In Adobe Connect 9.3, this change is reverted to the previous behavior. Now hosts in the main meeting room can see the status changes of any user in a BOR.

Also, the notification sent by a user in BOR to hosts using Send message to host option is persistent. Host can explicitly dismiss the notification.

Save recordings while deleting a Meeting room

If you delete a meeting room, you can now retain the meeting recordings. You are prompted to move all the recordings to your My Content section. You can choose to not move the recordings and delete them along with the meeting room.

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Prompt to save recordings while deleting a meeting room

Persistency of microphone rights to participants

Hosts can provide persistent microphone rights to participants. In a meeting room, go to Audio > Audio Conference Settings, and select Allow participants to use Microphones. The microphone rights granted from Audio > Microphone rights for participants do not persist across sessions. Changing the latter settings does not affect the audio conference settings in the meeting preferences.

Restricted webcam rights for participants

When participants are granted webcam rights by Hosts to share their webcam feed, they have restricted functionality only. A participant can start own feed, stop own feed, or locally pause other feeds. A participant has no other rights in the Video pod.

Unified help and support experience

Using the in-product help links, Adobe Connect 9.3 on-premise users can now access help and documentation local to their environment, instead of being redirected to adobe.com. Adobe Connect administrators and the organization’s IT department can provide local, targetted content and troubleshooting information to their users before the users reach out to content hosted on adobe.com.

Enhancements to Seminars and Events

The following usability enhancements make it easier to register, organize, and attend Adobe Connect Events and Seminars.

Personalized single click event links

For public seminars, where users can register without passwords, Adobe Connect generates customized links in the confirmation email and the associated calendar invite. This personalized link allows a user to join the webinar with one click, without having to enter their email on the login page.

Customized registration confirmation page

Event Managers can create the registration confirmation page by adding runtime fields and customize the page to their requirements. Also, a calendar invite button can be placed on the page. Registrants can download the calendar invite to update the event information in their personal calendars.

Attendee rejection notification in Standby mode

The seminar hosts get a notification pop up displaying the number of users rejected entry in the currently open seminar session due to the quota limit. The host can create a new instant session and the rejected participants can join by re-opening the seminar session.

Notifier indicating rejected attendee count

Require responses for Seminar calendar invite

Seminar emails now have an option to request the responses to the invite sent to the participants. This option allows organizers to track the status of attendees without clogging their Inboxes. This feature works only for Microsoft Outlook.

Email opt out link and opt out report

Event managers can now provide an option for recipients of event emails to opt-out from further invitations. Upon clicking an available opt out link, the users are taken to an opt out page. Visiting the opt-out page triggers a confirmation email. Upon clicking on a link in the email, the user's opt-out request and the user's identity are confirmed, and the a success message is displayed in the page.

Event Managers can download an opt out report, from the Event Administration area of Adobe Connect Central. Event Manager can also find an opt in link, which they can share with the users interested in opting in.

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Download opt out report

Track status of Event emails

Event managers can track the status of emails sent for an Event against all email triggers. The option is available in the E-mail Options tab under an event. The possible values of the status of an email are Unpublished/Cancelled, Queued, Sent, Opted out of email invitations, and Bounced/Error.

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E-mail options to track email status

Extend Seminar Sessions

Seminar hosts can extend a session beyond 2 hours. At the end of 2 hours, seminar hosts are notified about the session close and given a choice to extend, for 30 minutes at a time. The extensions work only if there are no conflicts with a pre-scheduled seminar session.

Extend seminars that extend beyond their scheduled time

Specify choices of multiple choice registration question using a CSV

Event Managers can create multiple choice registration questions by specifying the list of choices in a comma separated or new line separated format. Event Managers do not have to enter the various options to a question manually.

Added social integration on Event pages

Event Managers can customize Event pages to include Twitter share and Facebook like buttons. This helps in crowd sourcing event promotion. The options are available while editing an Event page, from the AEM Sidekick under social plugins category. By default, the components fetch and display the Event information but the displayed information can be customized.

Require responses for seminar iCal invite

Seminar emails have an extra option to request for response to the iCal file sent to the participants. This is equivalent to the Request responses setting in Microsoft Outlook meeting invite. The option is selected by default. The option works only for Microsoft Outlook users on Microsoft Windows.

Training related changes

Concurrent learner training reports

New reports are added for accounts with concurrent learner setup. These reports allow the Account Administrators to view information related to usage and license utilization. The following information is available in the report, for a given duration:
  • Peak concurrent learners using the account in the given period

  • The numbers of users denied, during a given duration, due to concurrent users quota limit

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Concurrent learner training reports

These two reports can be seen at a granularity of days, weeks, or months. The reports can be downloaded as CSV files too.

Adobe Connect add-in and mobile client

Microsoft Lync add-in for Adobe Connect

The add-in works in conjunction with your Microsoft Lync client and allows you to quickly invite your contacts for an instant Adobe Connect session. Just drag and drop the contact(s) in the add-in tool bar to send them an invite.

This add-in will be available separately on the Adobe Connect Downloads and Updates page at https://www.adobe.com/support/connect/downloads-updates.html.

Adobe Connect Mobile client

Host, share, collaborate, and train from anywhere, anytime, with the free mobile client for Adobe Connect. The client brings the major Adobe Connect capabilities to the palm of your hand for true mobility.

Adobe Connect Mobile client provides a rich experience, for the tablet users, to host and attend meetings. Mobile hosts now have a set of meeting controls unmatched by any other web-conferencing client in the marketplace. The controls include sharing documents and presentations from an Adobe Connect Server. Now the hosts can change the layout within a meeting, use the whiteboard, and draw on the slides to highlight a critical point. Various controls over participants’ recordings and audio within the meeting are also available to tablet-based mobile hosts.

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Adobe Connect Mobile client provides unmatched collaboration options on your mobile or tablet devices