7 August 2008 @ 10:09Easy Screen Sharing

I was asked today for an easy way for one of our supervisors to check on and help salespeople with screen sharing. Remote Desktop works great, but it is overkill for what this person needed. Timbuktu works, but it can be inelegant from time to time, not to mention that all computers need to have it installed to work.

Here’s where Apple’s built-in Screen Sharing shines. It’s free, easy to use, and is already installed by default (it just needs to be turned on). The only disadvantage is that getting to the computer whose screen you want to share can be tedious.

Here is a solution to that. It is more or less just an exercise in organization.

First of all, Screen Sharing can be invoked with the URL vnc://ip.address.here and as with many protocols, the username and password can be passed in the URL, as shown below. This URL can be used in the “Connect to Server” dialog box or in any browser’s address bar.

Once you verify that URL works, you can drag it from your browser’s address bar to the Bookmark Bar (or a folder in your Bookmarks Bar if you have a lot of links to organize). Here is an example of how I organized mine.

If you prefer to use icons on your desktop, that is an option as well. Just drag the URL from the address bar to your desktop, and you will have a clickable icon for easy access to screen sharing.

Of course, if you have an aversion to storing the username and password in a bookmark, you can leave it out and enter it when needed. You can also use a non-administrator username and password for your Screen Sharing purposes.

I hope you will find this tip useful.

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