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Ask Techie: How Do I Change My Display Name in Zoom Meetings?


  • How do you change the way your name is displayed in Zoom meetings?
  • How can you use simple automation to save time typing the same terms and phrases over and over?
Ask Techie: How Do I Change My Display Name in Zoom Meetings?
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Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly Q&A column, where a panel of experts answers your questions about using technology in your law practice.

This month we answer readers’ questions about how to change the way your name is displayed in Zoom meetings and how to use simple automation to save time typing the same terms and phrases over and over.

Q: How do I change my display name in Zoom Meetings?

A: Your display name can be updated in your profile on Zoom’s website. When you open the Zoom app, click your profile picture in the top right corner. From the pull-down menu, select “My Profile”; this will open your profile in your Internet browser. Zoom may ask you to log in on the web browser for access. At the top of the page, you will see your profile picture, the name on your account, and your display name underneath. On the right of the screen is the word “Edit”; click that to edit your profile. From there, you can edit the first and last name on the account as well as how you would like the display name to appear. You can also indicate your pronouns, department, manager, job title, and other details you may want associated with your profile. When you are finished updating the information, hit save.

Techie: Ashley Hallene, JD, GPSolo eReport Editor-in-Chief, [email protected].

Q: I’d like to save some time typing the same terms and phrases over and over. What’s a good utility program for that?

A: AutoHotkey is a good, free text-expansion program for Windows. For macOS, there are two built in: Automator and AppleScript. For Linux, AutoKey should be available directly from the package manager.

All these utilities take an abbreviation of your choosing and expand it into a longer word, term, name, or any block of text. Each of these applications is relatively easy to install and use, saving you time and also wear and tear on your typing fingers.

Read on to learn how to install and use the free, open-source Microsoft Windows utility, AutoHotkey.

To install AutoHotkey, follow the Beginner Tutorial or watch the (dated but usable) YouTube video.

Once you have installed AutoHotkey, you create abbreviations. The expansion of the abbreviations happens automatically as you type.

I find it useful to have abbreviations such as:

  • Our company name: smfj (automatically expands to: SecureMyFirm)
  • Our website: smf.j (automatically expands to:
  • My name: whaj (automatically expands to: Wells H. Anderson)

In addition, I’ve created abbreviations for a variety of longer words, organizations, terms, and phrases, for example:

  • abbj (automatically expands to: abbreviation)
  • gpsej (automatically expands to: GPSolo eReport)
  • orgj (automatically expands to: organization)
  • hagw (automatically expands to: Have a good weekend!)

My personal conventions for memorable, unique abbreviations are:

  • For longer words, the first three letters plus j.
  • For names and organizations, their three initials plus j.
  • For phrases, the initial letters of the first few words.

I use the letter j at the end of an abbreviation to make it unique. That prevents the abbreviation from inadvertently expanding when I type a normal word containing the first three letters or three initials I have used for the abbreviation. The letter j is a good choice for this purpose. It rarely appears at the end of a word, and it is directly under my right index finger on the keyboard.

To create abbreviations in AutoHotkey, you edit a script file named AutoHotkeyU64.ahk. It is a plain text file you can edit with Microsoft Word, Windows Notepad, or another text editor.

I store the AutoHotkeyU64.ahk file on a network drive so that the AutoHotkey program can load it on each of our computers.

An abbreviation and its corresponding expanded text look like this in the script file:





:*:iyha::If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them.

These lines look pretty geeky, but it is easy enough to create them. Type:

:*: followed by the abbreviation followed by :: followed by the longer word, term, or phrase.

I have organized the file into groups of related abbreviations with group names in all caps preceded by two semicolons.

In addition, I have a line of code that allows me to make newly added abbreviations immediately effective. After adding to, saving, and closing the script file, I press Ctrl-F5. That reloads the script file used by AutoHotkey.

The following line in the script file enables Ctrl-F5 as the reload hotkey:


These are the AutoHotkey basics. If you are a diehard techie, you can go wild with the more advanced capabilities of AutoHotkey.

Techie: Wells H. Anderson, JD, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor and CEO of SecureMyFirm, 952/922-1120,—we protect small firms from cyber threats with affordable, multiple layers of defense.

What’s YOUR Question?

If you have a technology question, please forward it to Managing Editor Rob Salkin ([email protected]) at your earliest convenience. Our response team selects the questions for response and publication. Our regular response team includes Jeffrey Allen, Wells H. Anderson, Jordan L. Couch, Ashley Hallene, Al Harrison, and Patrick Palace. We publish submitted questions anonymously, just in case you do not want someone else to know you asked the question.

Please send in your questions today!