Seeing Double

Ever thought you’d like a bigger screen? Ever forget how many windows you have open? Ever contemplated using a second screen?

Most desktops these days have graphics cards with two outputs, allowing you to add a second monitor and almost all laptops come with an output for an external monitor. You can set a second monitor up to duplicate your main screen if you want, but normally the most productive option is to “extend” your desktop across both screens. Then you can drag items from one to the other seamlessly allowing you to have two full screen windows open at the same time. A real treat.

Setting up is also very easy. Plug in your second screen and switch it on. In Windows 7, there are two ways to configure it.

The first option is to simply press the ‘Windows’ key followed by the ‘P’ key which will bring up a quick menu of options like this.

dual monitors windows 7

Then tab to the option you want. You can choose between showing only the computer or primary monitor, making the second screen  a duplicate of the first, extending the desktop to the second monitor or turning off the first monitor and activating the second.

The second way is to right-click your mouse on the desktop and choose the screen resolution option from the pop up menu.

multiple monitors windows 7

Now you’ll see the familiar ‘1’ and ‘2’ graphic to distinguish between the screens. Under the Multiple Displays option, you are presented with the same range of choices as when you pressed Win + P.

You know, once you’ve tried working with a second screen, you’ll never want to go back to struggle with just one!