Setting up Dual or Multi-Monitor Setup
Having a dual or multi-monitor setup, apart from being utterly cool, enhances your productivity greatly. It’s like having two or more rigs up and running. They can be overtly useful if you are building high-end applications, editing images or doing some research.
Here is a quick guide on how to set-up a dual or multi-monitor display. First, we take a walk-through on to the pre-requisites and the manual configuration of the setup. In the end we list some tools available, which can do the task in a relatively simpler manner.
Understanding Your Hardware Specifications
If you have a desktop to run a multi-monitor set-up, having a graphics card which supports dual monitors is an absolute prerequisite. As shown in the above figure, there are two DVI ports, which would allow two displays to be rendered. It is important to check which port is compatible with the screen. There are many options available, some of them being VGA, DVI, HDMI, etc. However, in recent times, graphics cards (from NVIDIA and AMD) are out in the market, which support four or more displays. In case you own a laptop, you would definitely have an HDMI port embedded into the chassis. However, if you wish to connect more than 1 display (for both PC and Notebook), you can buy a graphics expansion module that can be connected to an external video port on your PC. It would allow extended support for rendering display on two or more monitors simultaneously.
Getting Things Right
Before you buy a graphics card, make sure appropriate driver set is available for the corresponding OS you choose to use. Besides, not every OS supports multi-display features, hence make sure you choose an appropriate OS before getting started.
In case your OS is Ubuntu, here are simple steps to follow:
1) System-> Preference->Display
2) Click on “Detect monitors” and select the monitor
3) Uncheck the mirror option and click “Apply”
There are many freeware available for Ubuntu, which can provide add-on features.
B. Mac OS X
If you own a MacBook, then here are some simple steps to follow:
1) System preferences-> Display
2) Select the display and configure the various options such as add background, menus and more
In case you want to sync an iPad2 display with the screen, you can download some apps from iTunes which would facilitate the virtual screen functionality.
C. Windows If you run a Windows machine, here are some simple steps:
1) Press Win+ P to decide the symmetry of the monitor set-up. You can either duplicate or extend or stick to one display
2) Click on “Apply” and you are done
Switch between the active monitors very easily by using the following hotkey combination: Win+ Shift +Left/Right.
However, in case you need more sophisticated tools for better rendering of multiple displays, here are a couple of tools available for Windows platform:
UltraMon is an apparently a must-have tool for all avid Windows users. It adds smart functionalities like smart taskbar, window adjustments, etc. that would make your job of rendering multiple displays, quite simpler.
Synergy is a tool for people who apart from two displays, want to execute two different OS on both monitors. Thought it was not possible? Synergy defies you. Besides it also allows you to use the same keyboard and mouse across different platforms.