How to Setup Two Monitors on a Computer Desktop?

Jason February 10, 2011 0

You can never have enough screen space, especially when organizing and working on your digital pictures. Instead of buying a larger monitor, You can buy an inexpensive second monitor and connect it to your computer—instantly doubling your desktop space.

Benefits of A Dual Monitor Setup

If you’re still unsure as to why you would need a second monitor in your life, here are some great reasons for taking the leap:

  • Have your reference material for writing an article or email open on one monitor, whilst doing your writing on the other. (I’m doing this right now)
  • Have your financial information open on one monitor whilst creating a spreadsheet on the other.
  • Have photoshop open on one monitor, and your reference material on the other.
  • Have your main photoshop area open on one monitor, and all your layers and tools windows on the other
  • Have two different sets of code open side by side to compare and contrast
  • Run your text editor one monitor and easily access your FTP application on the other
  • Do your daily work on one monitor, and have a live twitter or RSS stream running on the other
  • Keep HighRise or BaseCamp open on your spare monitor to remind you of your to-do list for the day.
  • If you’re feeling lazy, have a film playing on your spare monitor while you do your work on your primary one.
  • Keep your IM’s, Email, and all other things on the spare monitor and out of the way of your main work space.

Set up two monitors on your desktop computer

Many new desktop computers support dual monitors without requiring any additional hardware. To see if you have more than one monitor connection, look at the back of your computer for two Video Graphics Array (VGA) connectors or two Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connectors or one of each.

If you only have a single VGA or DVI connector, you will need to install a video adapter. You can either install a second video adapter or replace your current video adapter with one that has two VGA or DVI connections or find out if your existing card is powerful enough to run 2 monitors with a splitter cable.
Add a monitor to your laptop computer

If you have a laptop computer made in the last several years, you can almost certainly support an external monitor by connecting it to the VGA or DVI connector on the back of your computer. The external monitor can act as a second display to your laptop’s built-in display. Connect your second monitor. You may have to restart your computer so that it detects the new monitor. After you connect your second monitor, you have to adjust your display settings.

1. Right-click the desktop, and then click Properties.
2. In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Settings tab.
3. Click the Display list and select your external monitor. If you do not see multiple monitors listed, your computer hardware may not support Dualview. Contact your computer manufacturer for more information.
4. Select the Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor check box.
5. Click Identify. Windows XP displays large numbers to identify your monitors. Drag and drop the monitor icons to match the physical arrangement of your monitors.
6. Click OK.
With Dualview enabled, you can drag windows between monitors as if the two monitors are connected. When you maximize a window, it will expand to fill the current monitor.

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