About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

June 26, 2012

Multiple Monitors

I had a question come in from Kelly this week about using more than one monitor on their computer.  So what about more than one monitor on your computer is it possible?

It is very possible starting with Windows XP Microsoft made it fairly simple to have two monitors, IF you have the available ports for monitors on your computer.  There is some hardware out there that I have read about allowing you to add up to 64 monitors but it is costly.  Windows 7 is the same if not better as it has a couple of additional settings.  Once again your computer (mother board and video card) has to be able to handle multiple monitors.

I have three monitors connected to my work system and it has been a huge improvement to many of the things I work on during the day.  Since I am usually working in the least with Microsoft Word Document, using Outlook for my email and at least one other program I am working with, I can have each open on the computer in tandem.  I know that is not such a big deal because anyone can do that.  However, with the three monitors I can see all of them in full screen at the same time, no "alt + tab" is required to move between them. 

Also your system will remember where each program was when it last ran.  That means that if you closed your game program in the left monitor it will there when it next starts.  Also, it knows where it was if you restart your computer, so it is always in the same place.

That last paragraph reminds me of something else.  You don’t have to set up two monitors as left and right, Windows will allow you to set them that way or as a top and bottom monitor.  I have never been, or seen, a situation where you would want to set one over the other, but I am sure somewhere out there someone has.  I have seen people use a 3 x 3 pattern before but that is a little too much for even a geek like me.

You can also drag files from one window to the other without the edges of the monitors getting in the way.  When you drag them from one to the other they just slide on over, no boundaries.  You have to experience it to see just how productive this can be.

For those of you who love gazillions of icons visible on your desktop, you could now double-load them.  Think of it, a gazillion on the right monitor and another gazillion on the left! 

To set them up, shut your computer off, disconnect the power and plug in the new monitor into your video card and the wall.  Then start up the computer and monitors.  Your computer should find both monitors but the first time on only one may work.  You will have to right-click on the desktop and go the display window to get to the settings.  Then play with the settings to finish up the setup.

Try it out if your system will handle the additional monitor I guarantee you will like it.

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