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Dual monitors

I tried this afternoon to set up a second monitor to my laptop (having had the monitor in its box for the last few months). Although it is now set up and switched on, all I can get at the moment is the second screen showing the same window as my laptop screen. I want each monitor to show separate information.

Readers of my previous posts will know that I am not that technically minded when it comes to computers. However, I have got as far as the Display window in Control Panel and tried various things with the display settings; but to no avail.

I have also looked at various past posts (having done a Dual Monitors search) but that doesn't seem to help either.

Any ideas, anyone? My laptop runs Vista (I know, I know, I should upgrade to Windows 7).

Also, one of the past posts referred to UltraMon software for use with multiple monitors. I don't quite understand as I thought that Windows would do what needed to be done so as to display separate pages on each monitor.

Many thanks.

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I'll have a go

I'm no expert either, but I've got two monitors running on my laptop at home. This is XP mind, but I should think vista has similar options. When you go to the Display box and select the Settings tab, what do you see? In the drop-down box under Display you should be able to see two monitors. One of them should give you the option to tick the box "Extend my desktop onto this monitor". At least, that's how it works on mine.

On my old-ish laptop this was straightforward. However, on my pc at work I needed to fit a graphics card to get this to work. Don't know if that's anything to do with it.

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If it's on a laptop there might be a keyboard shortcut using the function (fn) button and one of the F keys. Look for the stuff in blue writing on your keyboard. Alternatively right click the desktop > personalize > display settings gives you some settings to play around with.

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If I live to be a hundred ...

I will never understand why I would want two monitors running simultaneously let alone how it works!

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if you live to be a hundred

Why on earth you wouldn't want two monitors running when on one monitor you may have excel for the accounts prep and on the other monitor you may have the accounts preparation package.

That would save you having to maximise and minimise all the time.

Surely this is enough to have two monitors, save you a fortune in chargeable time!

There are 12 staff in our office and if I said we had to go down to 1 monitor each as opposed to 2 monitors each I would have a riot on my hands!

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Two monitors make certain work much easier

It's like if you're doing a crossword in a newspaper. When you want to look up a word in a dictionary you don't want to fold up the paper, open the dictionary, look up the word, close the dictionary, then reopen the newspaper. Better to have them both open at the same time.

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@Steve

It is quite useful to have two screens displaying the same info when you are demo'ing something and both people are at opposite sides of the desk, but I imagine it doesn't crop up that often ;)

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@ Steve

It is so useful.  You really don't know what you are missing.  I thought it was a gimmick when someone told me I should try it, but I would hate to go back to one screen now.  I regularly have my accounts prep spreadsheet on one screen and my accounts/tax software open on the other, or similar. 

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Dual Monitors

When using multiple monitors you'll see that the toolbar at the bottom of the 'main' screen will show all applications currently open regardless of which monitor you are viewing the application on.  UltraMon gives you a toolbar for each monitor which shows only the applications open on that monitor.  In addition it allows you to move windows between monitors much more efficiently.  Go to www.realtimesoft.com - it'll give you a much clearer idea of what the software does.  It costs $39.95.

@ Steve - don't knock it until you try it!

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saves printing and therefore saves the envirosphere

before dual monitoring, I would print off excel sheets for posting to accounts. with dual monitoring your excel can be open on one screen and your accounts program on tother.

also same applies to all other softwares you use.

 

 

 

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Here's something that seems to have similar functionality to UltraMon, but this one's free. I've been using it for years, it's great.

http://www.snapfiles.com/get/MultiMonTaskbar.html

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A pitfall...

I had my screens set up like this, and couldn't work out how to do a screen dump of just one screen!  (Something I do fairly frequently)   So I gave up, and I'm back to one.  If any knows how?????

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Alt key

sue.hill wrote:

I had my screens set up like this, and couldn't work out how to do a screen dump of just one screen!  (Something I do fairly frequently)   So I gave up, and I'm back to one.  If any knows how?????

 

You can take a screenshot of the active window by pressing Alt+PrtScn

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If you hold down Alt when you press Print Screen, it only copies a screenshot of the active window (not monitor) to the clipboard - which I find is much more useful in most cases regardless of how many monitors I have attached. If you do want one whole monitor printed I don't know any way other than of taking a dump of the entire desktop and then cropping the picture (which is pretty easy with Office 2007 and above using the picture toolbar).

And dual monitors are superbly useful for any number of applications where you are referring to/comparing information you would otherwise print out. I was the first to get them in our office a few years ago at my own expense, and now all staff have them. Many didn't see the point before the event but are now converts. One of the partners has 4 if you include his laptop screen!

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Click on the box you need to copy into another product such as Word, press and hols ALT and then Print Screen

Open other product, right click and paste

 

Easy

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I won't knock it ...

but as I can only read one thing at a time and alt tab switches between views quicker than my neck can  ... I think I'll keep my desk uncluttered.

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Time saving and convenience

Steve Holloway wrote:

but as I can only read one thing at a time and alt tab switches between views quicker than my neck can  ... I think I'll keep my desk uncluttered.

Yes, you can only read one thing at a time, but with 2 screens you can be reading what is on one screen, whilst typing the info into the other screen.

This is the time saving and convenience.

Switching backwards and forwards and trying to remember is too much like hard work, but you may have a photostafic memory so it may not be a problem for you.

 

 

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Darwin once said...

... that it's no accident that dinosaurs became extinct. :)

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Bit unfair ...

George Attazder wrote:

... that it's no accident that dinosaurs became extinct. :)

 

As they got wiped out by a meteorite 65 million year ago ... they wouldn't have seen that coming however many monitors they used!

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graphics icon

in the bottom right of my computer, when hovering, right clicking gives an option list which includes ' extend '.

If you follow that route there is an option for mirror, which I assume you have chosen by default. If you deselect that you will be able to move between screens with different programmes.

To do so you open the application, make it small, and then drag it over onto the screen you want. But you do have to remember to drag it back or next time you switch on and only have one screen on, it will still open there and you won't be able to see it.

The other features available on the menu relate to rotation. I like to have one screen in portrait to use with Excel and Word - they seem clearer that way

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Thanks for all your responses

I finally got it sorted yesterday; although I am not quite sure how! I fiddled around with the display settings, looked at a few YouTube videos and, more by luck than judgement, got it exactly the way I wanted.

I also downloaded a trial version of UltraMon and can see the advantages of that piece of software over using the functions that Windows offers.

I'm a happy bunny now. All that's left is deciding what to open on my 2nd monitor!!!

Thanks again, everyone.

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Sorry to arrive late to the party

...but I thought I would round up some of the existing material we have about dual monitors on AccountingWEB.co.uk.

Simon Hurst and Kevin Salter are both big fans of the two-monitor approach, as Simon explained in his 2005  IT Basicis article Two screens are better than one.

"Once you have dual monitors in place, you will wonder how you ever managed without them!" added Kevin in his paperless pointers article the following year.

I took their advice on board and worked for several years with a laptop/dock arrangement hooked up to an old TV that had a VGA input. I kept my email visible on the smaller laptop screen while I did most of my active work on the bigger screen.

However, I have fallen by the wayside since. When the TV packed up in December, I got a 23in screen - it's so wide I can easily "dock" two application windows side-by-side to achieve a virtual dual screen set up.

The laptop screen is still available if I need, but I haven't missed it since going widescreen. Thanks everyone for contributing to a useful update debate.

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Another variation

I use a a piece of software called desktop rover (neslo software) that allows you to use one mouse and keyboard for multiple computers and monitors - so on my desk I have more than one monitor and I just move the mouse from screen to screen (and the keyboard follows it), but they are actually connected to different PCs.

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Another "final" comment

Since the VERY helpful tip from MissAccounting above, I am back to using two screens, and I am SO happy (doesn't take much!)....  mind you, with a total of 3 screens on my desk, looks more like Houston control now!   

 

Thanks everyone.

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Would never go back!

I was one of the last people to switch to dual a few years back - I can't believe I missed out for so long. We use 3 each now and it is fantastic. More and more people are calling looking for triple - 4 however seems a bit excessive!

Dan

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Dual monitors is

the way to go. They more than pay for themseleves in a few months through increase in productivity.

Based on sound advice from AW members, I went ahead a few months back. My staff also loves them. I have dual monitors seup at home as well.

For this to work the monitors need to be of the same size.

 

 

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Monitors!

To see what is available visit this site - 2, 4 , 6, 8 ......?

http://www.multiplemonitors.co.uk/display-systems/

I never thought a screen would have a "Wow" factor, but just saw one that does have this.... USB, dual displays on the monitor itself, and plug your iphone or ipad into it to put the display on the screen!!!

Available Sping 2012 apparently  - more details as soon as available!

 

 

 

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Me too!

ksalter wrote:

To see what is available visit this site - 2, 4 , 6, 8 ......?

http://www.multiplemonitors.co.uk/display-systems/

I never thought a screen would have a "Wow" factor, but just saw one that does have this.... USB, dual displays on the monitor itself, and plug your iphone or ipad into it to put the display on the screen!!!

Available Sping 2012 apparently  - more details as soon as available!

 

 

 

 

Looks brilliant but I'd need a bigger desk.  And in order to have a bigger desk, I'd need a bigger office.  Then bigger house....  I'll stick with my 2, I think, or it'll be tad expensive overall.

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WOW

Kevin

I like this the best http://www.multiplemonitors.co.uk/products/eight-22-monitors/

That is just fantastic!

Dan

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Multi monitor connection

How do as many as 8 monitors connect to your PC.

I have two monitors connected via VGA and DVI sockets but surely no PC's have as many as 8 of these outputs ?

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Connections

Essex34UK wrote:

How do as many as 8 monitors connect to your PC.

I have two monitors connected via VGA and DVI sockets but surely no PC's have as many as 8 of these outputs ?

As Essex34UK said, I'd be interested in knowing how to connect more than two monitors. My laptop sits on a docking station and I have one monitor connected via the VGA output and the other via the DVI output. How would I add additional monitors when there are no additional outputs? "Splitters"? Is that something I've heard of that relevant?

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Getting more than one or two external monitors connected to a laptop is very difficult. You can use devices called USB to VGA adapters however to be honest they are not that great. Anything that involves fast movement doesn't run too well on them, and you can run into issues using more than one or two of them on the same laptop.

The other option is to use a Matrox DualHead2Go or TripleHead2Go device, these are essentially boxes which connect to your VGA or DVI output, you can then connect 2 or 3 monitors to the other side. They work well but have a few drawbacks. They cost a fair amount and have some limitations on where you can position monitors. They also work by fooling Windows into thinking you have one massive widescreen monitor connected rather than 2 or 3 separate screens which occasionally has some knock on effects when using programs.

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Oh no...

Now I want one of those....

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How many . . . . ?

I recall a report which said Terry Pratchett (the author) was asked why he had six screens on his desk.

His answer was "there isn't enough room for eight!"

Allegedly.

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I couldn't work without my second monitor now (thinking about a third!).  

I hate it when I'm out at clients since it would look a bit odd to turn up with a second monitor - I have however discovered an app for the ipad called Display Link which means you can use your ipad as a second screen over a wireless network. So, problem solved - if the client has a reliable wireless network (just wondering now if I could use one of my old wireless routers to create a wireless network all of my very own - doesn't need internet access!). 

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I would hate to be without our quad monitors

We have had quads for about 5-6 years now and they are all in constant use.

We intended to buy triples, but when we came to buy the graphics cards the quads were actually cheaper than the triples, so we bought quads thinking that they may be useful occasionally. We never thought we would use them fully but I take the 4 x 19" monitors for granted now and really miss them when I work from home.

They fit it with our less-paper procedures extremely well and it is great to be able to look at working papers, accounts, tax, source docs, etc, all at the same time. Corner desks are ideal for multiple monitors.

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Multi v A really big one!

Hi all - have been using dual screens for years the main purpose of which (as Shirley mentioned) was to avoid any paper on the desk.  I'm also sure it's improved my eye strain as I no longer have to look down to focus on paper and then up to focus on the screen.

Anyway, besides the point, what I'm interested in is whether it is actually more or less efficient to have say two 17 inch monitors or a big single one, say 27 inches?  What's spurred me is seeing the quality of the Mac Thunderbolt monitor.

Anyone had a go at comparing this sort of arrangement?

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iMacs with 27 inch screens

Yep, 27inch iMacs they are fantastic, and the display is peerless (OK, I'm a Mac addict!) ... and I don't honestly think I'll ever need an additional screen to go with it. The thunderbolt port is fantastic if you need ultra-fast copying of data to a thunderbolt harddrive, but these thunderbolt ancillaries are a tad expensive right now ... though they are bound to come down in price as their popularity grows. But the speed compared to USB2 or even Firewire800 is phenomenal.

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To add to the mix

2 monitors are very useful.

They don't both NEED to be the same to work together, but if they have similar pixel size the image will remain about the same when dragged between the screens.  I use a 30" (1600 pixels high) and a 22" (1200 pixels high).   The images match in size within 2%.  In Windows Control Panel / Display you can adjust the resolution of either display and drag the icon of one relative to the other to match their real alignment (eg top edges aligned or middles aligned), then the image will arrive on the other screen without a step, or span the 2.

It usually helps if your machine is using the latest video drivers.

If you do need to grab a screen image, and not just a whole screen, "Snagit" from Techsmith.com is very useful (also "Jing" if you need to send someone a video of how to do something in a program eg how to post a General Journal entry).

My £0.02 + VAT

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If you lived to be a hundred
I tried this as a last resort when I was having trouble get information to print from a system at we were using. I would not know how I ever managed without the two monitors. If I work on my laptop without the other monitor everything seems to take twice as long.

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Hi, My name is Darren and I run Multiple Monitors, (the website with the cool 8 screen monitor array mentioned above!).

One of your members emailed me, someone who I have spoken with before, and highlighted this thread and said perhaps I should register.

As many people have mentioned, using multiple monitors is a great way to increase your productivity (I would say that wouldn't I?).

Many types of businesses would benefit from having additional screens to display programs and data on.

We do sell a lot of machines to stock traders who run charts on additional screens allowing them to monitor the market however we are finding more and more people are purchasing for other reasons.

alanhone is correct that the monitors don't need to be the same type although it is sometimes easier to align them if they are, especially when working on things such as a large spreadsheet spanning two or more monitors.

With regards to the question about how we support 8 monitors from one PC, we do this by using motherboards which can support more than one graphics card. In our 8 screen computers we use four graphics cards which can each support 2 monitors giving a total of 8 monitor outputs.

With the right graphics cards we can (and have) supplied 16 monitor capable computers before.

If anyone has any further questions feel free to leave a message or contact us through the website directly.

Thank you, Darren

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Screenshots

Since getting Windows 7, I haven't used Print Screen at all - the snipping tool is fantastic - just highlight the bit of the screen (either screen if you are using two screens) and it snips it into the snipping tool.  From there, you can save it as a jpg, copy it into another package or email it.

I use it to paste copies of CT comps and reports from accounting packages into my excel working papers. 

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Wow - I never noticed it before!

Thanks a lot Cath - it serves me right for not reading the user manual closely enough. (Forgive the blurry image above, I had to reduce it to fit it in this comment).

I'm always copying stuff from screen and this will save a considerable about of time and effort getting the crop I want with existing tools.

I'll make a point of going through some of the other goodies lurking within Windows 7.

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