I made the move to dual monitors awhile ago. I have read about having two monitors many times and my initial reaction was "Yeah so what, it is hard enough to watch one let alone two of them. It wouldn't make a whole lof of sense to have two."
After discovering my video card had two monitor connections I decided to try it out. Boy was my initial assumption wrong.
I am finding so many uses for this setup I can hardly stand the convenience. As shown, if working on this web page I can have the editing program open on the main monitor in front. The graphics are located on the left monitor where I can browse, adjust and then drag & drop as needed.
Need to figure out how to spell a word? Need some internet research? Just open the browser on the left monitor and you don't interrupt the flow while editing your page.
The monitors can be set up several different ways all with what's built in to XP. You can have different programs on each monitor as shown, exactly the same desktop on each, or have something such as a spreadsheet spread across the two.
Two Taskbars - UltraMon
I use a program called UltraMon which puts a taskbar on each monitor. There are numerous options that can be adjusted for your particular situation. You can read about the full features on their web site..
This allows programs to be moved very quickly to either monitor via keyboard or mouse. Extra buttons by the minimize/X at the top right of the normal title bar allow you to spread the program across the two monitors, or have it appear on either one. Very quick action.
The programs minimize to the monitor they are on. You can have the smart taskbars set so the program only shows on the taskbar on the monitor the program is on, or you can mirror it so it shows on both task bars and you can bring the program up by accessing either task bar with the mouse.
There are many other options depending on your requirements. This program certainly makes two monitors much more productive.
Shift From One Monitor to the Other
Easy way to shift programs from one monitor to another.
Win+Shift+Left Arrow - moves the active window to the Left Monitor.
Win+Shift+Right Arrow - moves the active window to the Left Monitor.
Uses For Dual Monitors
- For web page work, have the html editor on the primary screen and your graphics on the other.
- When editing your web page, have the html editor on the primary screen and your browser on the other. You can see right away what the changes will look like.
- Messenger on the secondary screen, your work on the primary screen. One thing I used to hate is working on a project or the web page and just as you get going on something the interupting Messenger box pops up So I used to not run Messenger. With Messenger on the secondary screen you can still read and reply without interfering with your work.
- In most cases XP remembers where the program was, so if you shut down and work on your project again the next day, when you restart the programs they will reappear on the same monitor they were on.
- Or if you close the program and decide to open it again a short time later, it will reappear on the same monitor it was on.
Once you try it, I am sure you will come up with dozens of uses that suits your own purpose.
I have been using two monitors for quite sometime and wouldn't think of doing otherwise now.. You can find out lots about using dual monitors by using your favourite search tool.
In the meantime if you are even thinking of what it would be like to have two monitors on the go at once, go for it. I bet you will never go back to one.