The integration of Microsoft Windows NetMeeting with Microsoft Office allows you to meet online with people at different locations in real time (real time: The actual time in which events occur. When documents are shared in real time, any changes made to them are instantly visible to everyone sharing the document.). When you start an online meeting from within an Office program, NetMeeting automatically starts in the background and allows you to begin sharing the contents of your document. When you are in an online meeting, you can share programs and documents, send text messages in Chat (Chat: A Microsoft NetMeeting feature that opens a separate window in which online meeting participants can type and send text messages to each other.), transfer files, and work on the Whiteboard (Whiteboard: Microsoft NetMeeting feature that opens a separate window in which online meeting participants can type text; draw shapes; copy, paste, and delete objects; and highlight or point to text and graphics.).
You can either host an online meeting or be invited to participate in one. The host of the online meeting and all participants must have NetMeeting installed on their computers, but the host is the only person who needs to have the shared document and its program installed. Also, the host should confirm that all participants know which directory server (directory server: Also called an Internet Locator Service (ILS) server. A computer that lists the names and e-mail addresses of people who are running NetMeeting and who are logged on to the server. This information is used to connect to their computers.) will be used for the meeting and can access it.
As the host, you can either schedule the meeting in advance by using Microsoft Outlook or start an unscheduled online meeting from within the document you want to share. If the people you invite accept your invitation, the online meeting begins. You can invite one or more people at any time to join an online meeting. The people you invite to an unscheduled online meeting must have NetMeeting running on their computers and be logged on to a directory server for them to receive your online meeting invitation.
At the start of an online meeting, you are the only person who has control of the shared document, although all participants can see your document on their screens. You can allow participants to make changes at any time. When you are making changes to the document, the other participants can no longer make changes, but they will be able to watch you work. When someone else is making changes to the document, you will not have the use of your pointer - not only in the document, but also for any other purpose.
When you are invited to participate in an online meeting, you will receive a message requesting you to join an upcoming online meeting or one that is already in session. When you accept a call to join an online meeting, the Online Meeting toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, click Customize on the Tools menu, and then click the Toolbars tab.) and the document that is being shared appear on your screen.
By sharing a document with the host, participants can review and make changes to the document. During an online meeting, only one person at a time can change the document, but multiple users can work in Chat or the Whiteboard simultaneously if the host is making changes to the document.