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In G+ hangouts, I'm often sharing my desktop. Sometimes when I do this I mute the other participants because I'm giving some kind of lecture, but I will check back to see what they're saying in chat for questions.

When I do this, there's a hhhaaallllll ooofff mmmiiirrrrrrooorrrsss effect where my window is drawn inside itself down into infinity. It's very distracting and it stresses people out. :)

This isn't a problem if I'm sharing just one window, but I often need to share the entire desktop so multiple windows are visible.

Is there any way to prevent this effect, or to get chat messages without returning to the hangout window?

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maybe I'm suggesting somethin stupid, but you could move the window towards the left, so that the video is out of the screen, and only the chat is visible. In this way you'll have the aforementioned hall of mirrors effect only at the beginning of the chat, then you can talk and answer without problems – Daniele B Jan 31 '13 at 20:26
I haven't used a G+ hangout on a multiple monitor display -- can you share just one monitor instead of the entire desktop? – TomG Feb 27 '13 at 2:42
Are you still having those problems? – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Apr 17 '13 at 13:54

I have had this same issue on webinars and the best solution I came up with was to log in with another account on another computer. You could similarly set it up with a second monitor

Another solution I used was if I had someone else online helping me, I had them sit in the hangout and text me the questions (or I would sit in and text it to them). It doesn't directly fix you issue, but that is how I solved it

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You could resize the Google+ window and adjust it so it just shows the chat section. When you don't want to show it, mizimize is, and when you want to show the chat window, open it up and resize any other windows so the chat window is shown.

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