Multiple monitors

I’ve recently started using multiple monitors when I’m at the office. My laptop screen is my primary screen, and a 19″ Dell widescreen to use as an extended desktop. It’s been pretty nice except that the eternal monitor doesn’t have as nice a resolution as the laptop. 1920 x 1200 vs only 1440 x 900. I’ve found that you can’t seem to get resolutions that match laptop screens, unless you get up into the 24″ monitors. Not sure why that is.

As I begin to rely more and more on the extra screen space, I’ve come up with a few things that could be better. For instance, there’s no toolbar on the extended monitor. I’m used to looking at the bottom of the screen to open up other windows, but I’ve had to look away to the primary monitor to find and restore application windows. Also, I’ve found myself increasingly moving windows between monitors, and needing to resize them. While not difficult to do, these things do tend to slow me down.

I was working at a client site several months ago, and they had a multi-monitor setup for my workstation. It had a neat utility that allow you to easily move windows between monitors, and it even added a toolbar at the bottom of the screen and displayed the programs that were ‘homed’ in on that screen. Pretty neat. At the time, I didn’t need the app, and forgot what it was called. After much searching and hnashing of teeth, I found it. UltraMon :

I installed it today, and it seems pretty cool and very full featured. I set up some hotkeys, to take the active window, and ‘move’ it to the next screen. With 2 monitors, this has the effect of simply moving it back and forth. Hotkey for maximizing also is helpful. There are several more, but I won’t remember any of them if I try to set them all up at once, so I’ll see how I do with these. It also places buttons in the top right of each application next to the minimize, maximize, and close buttons. These buttons are preconfigured and will move the window to the next monitor, or expand the window across all monitors. Will have to try this with a DVD or media clip and see how it handles.

I’ll post a follow-up to this in a few weeks after I get some mileage out of it. Hopefully, it’ll be useful enough to purchase, but if not, there were a few other similar programs I might try.

Until Next time!


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