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 Using Lync for Webinars

The Archdiocese has an implementation of Microsoft Lync 2013 available for webinars and videoconferencing. ACC and ACES user accounts can sign in to The ADLA Lync system to access all the features of Lync (IM, chat, voice/video multi-party meetings).

In addition, anyone with a modern web broswer can attend a Lync meeting/webinar without having to sign in with an ACES account. This page provides instructions for attending meetings using the Lync Web App.

For more information about Lync and how to use it, see Microsoft's Lync Support Site. There are also helpful links in the list to the right on this page. If you have questions, feel free to contact our support via the link at the right.


1. General System Requirements

Lync Web App will run on the following (see Microsoft's page for details):

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or later (if you are using Windows XP, you must have SP3 and run a 32-bit browser)
  • Firefox 12.x on Windows or Mac OS-X
  • Google Chrome on Windows or Mac OS-X

In addition, you can install the free Lync App for Android or iOS from Google Play or iTunes. These apps allow you to join a Lync meeting and provide audio and video support. See more information about Lync Mobile Clients.

In order to be able to hear the presenter, you'll need speakers. Generally speaking, computers come with sound inputs and outputs built-in. A good test to see if you'll hear a Lync webinar is to go watch a YouTube video. If you can hear the clip then you should have no trouble with Lync. If you want to be able to ask questions by voice during the webinar you'll need a microphone as well. Laptops and tablets generally have microphones built in. Desktop computers usually need a plug-in headset to provide voice support.

Of course, you'll also need quality internet access. Webinars work best if you have more than 1Mbps (1 Megabit per second) of download bandwidth available per webinar user on your local network. Some software installed on your computer ("web optimizers" and some personal firewall or network security software) may interfere with your connection so turn them off. Lync Web App uses standard web communications protocols so it will pass through most content filters and firewalls without trouble.


2. Attending a Lync Webinar   

Lync webinars are sent as a web URL link that looks like this: (this is not a live link). To attend a webinar, simply click on the link you were given or type it into your brower's address bar (NOT the search bar). You will be sent to the Lync Web App sign-in page. If you have the full Lync 2013 client installed on your system it will be used instead of the Web App.

The Lync Web App sign-in page has a few options. In order for you to participate in the audio part of the conference, you need to download and install a plug-in for your browser. Before you sign in, make sure you check the "Install Lync Web App plug-in" box:

To sign in as a guest, just enter your name and then click on the "Join the meeting" link. If you prefer to sign in with your ACES account, click on the "Sign in if you are from the organizer's company". You'll be prompted for your ACES user name and password. You'd normally want to sign in with your ACES account if you were going to be a presenter or meeting organizer. "Guest" users have limited meeting controls and can't act as presenters.

Once you sign in, and if this is the first time you're using the Lync Wep App, you'll get a prompt from your browser about a download. This is the plug-in installer. Choose "Run", not "Save" and the plug-in will download and install itself. Shortly after installing, your browser will ask you if you want to run the "Lync Web App Plug-in". Choose "Always run" and you'll never be bothered by the prompt again.


3.   Using Lync Audio Features

Once you join a meeting, you'll be prompted with the following:

If the plug-in found audio hardware that it can use on your computer, you will be given a choice of what to use. Most people will only see the "Using my computer". Click on that to tell Lync to use your computer speakers and microphone, then click Join.

The "I will dial in to the meeting" option is always displayed and is a secondary choice. There are a limited number of dial-in lines so only dial in if you are having trouble with your sound setup.


Once you join the meeting, you may find that you still can't hear anyone. There are two places that you'll want to check to make sure that Lync is using the correct inputs and outputs. The voice menu, at the lower-left part of the App window is the place to start:

You'll see a volume control and a list of audio devices that Lync thinks it can use. Again, most people will only see "PC Mic and Speakers" unless then have other audio installed (like a USB headset). Make sure the proper audio device is selected and the volume is set.

If you're still having trouble, you can go into the Settings menu. It's the "gear" icon at the upper-right:

Click on the "gear" and select "Options" from the menu. (Hey, there's also help available...)

You'll get a settings dialog. Select "Audio Device" from the left list and you'll see this:

From this dialog you'll be able to change the devices that Lync uses for speakers (output) and Microphone (input). Most people will not need to get into this level of detail. It's useful for people who have more complex computer configurations with multiple audio devices.

If you're still having no luck with sound, the last resort is to use the dial-in number and conference code supplied with the invitation. If you're sure that you have all the audio settings correct then you may have issues with firewalls content filters that are interfering with the audio stream.

4. Viewing the presentation

Usually, you'll run Lync Web App in a full-screen browser window. When the presenter is showing something (like their desktop or a PowerPoint deck), you'll see their content in a smaller pane of the Lync window. If you want to increase the size of that pane, there are two buttons at the lower-right part of the Lync window:

Select "Presentation View" to maximize the presentation pane. To the right is the "Full Screen" button. That takes you into and out of "full screen mode", which gives you even more screen space for viewing presentations.


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