Technology Quick Tips



Technology Quick Tips

July 12, 2011

Using Multiple Monitors Increase Efficiency

Using Multiple MonitorsIt makes sense. Using multiple monitors and having a larger workspace makes us more efficient.

A sheet of paper, 8.5 x 11, is the typical size displayed on a monitor. Word documents and Excel spreadsheets are displayed on this small surface.

Imagine if your desk was only the size of a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. It would be impossible to work. We would have to constantly shuffle through papers. We would have no room to see multiple papers at once.

The same logic can be applied to the size of our monitors. The more screen space the easier it is to complete our daily tasks.

Why It Works

According to research produced by Microsoft, efficiency of those who use 2 or more monitors increased from 9 to 50%.

A larger screen area allows users to move and resize programs across the multiple screens. You are able to work faster with fewer mistakes. The ability to work faster while using multiple monitors is notable with copying or pasting. As well, comparing and editing documents is simpler.

Using multiple monitors is cost-efficient. In today's market, the cost of large monitors has decreased. You can combine two 20" monitors much cheaper than purchasing one 40" monitor.

Setting up two monitors is simple. Just follow the steps below.

Setup Checklist
First, when using multiple monitors you want to make sure you have everything you need. You will need to connect the monitors first and foremost. You must have the correct cables that match your computer.

You can use any type of monitor (including a TV) as long as you have the right cables and ports. If you are using a laptop, you can use the laptop's screen along with an external monitor.

The are different types of connections for your monitors.

bullet Digital Visual Interface (DVI)
bullet Video Graphics Array (VGA)
bullet HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface
bullet S-Video (for using your TV as a monitor)

Match the cables for your monitors and with the ports on the computer. The ports will be located on the video card of the computer. The card is usually located on the back of a desktop computer. For a laptop, it can be found on the side or back of a laptop.

If the cable does not match the port on the video card, use a video adapter to change the connection. Video adapters can be purchased online or at most electronic stores. If you need assistance with identifying the ports and/or locating a video adapter contact our help desk.

Connect the Monitors
When you are ready to connect the second monitor to the computer, turn on the monitor then plug it into the computer. When using multiple monitors, the computer should automatically detect the second monitor. If not, then try to restart the computer.

Configuring Your Displays
The steps to configure your display settings on Windows 7, Vista, and XP are basically the same. However, the steps shown are based on Windows 7.

bulletGo to Control Panel > Personalization > Display (in the lower left corner) > Adjust Resolution (upper left corner).
bulletClick Identify
bulletNumbers 1 & 2 will appears on the monitors. This will allow you to identify monitor 1 and which is monitor 2.

Configuring Your Displays
Multiple Displays Option

When using multiple monitors, you can adjust what appears where. These options are found under multiple displays.

bulletExtend Your Displays: Using multiple monitors on this setting spreads your desktop over both monitors.

This lets you drag items between the two screens. Extend is the most common way to use multiple monitors. It is also the default setting for desktop computers.

bulletDuplicate You Displays: Duplicate is the default setting for a laptop. This setting shows the same desktop on both monitors.

When using multiple monitors, the duplicate setting is most useful when you are giving a presentation with your laptop and a projector. You can see what is being displayed on both monitors simultaneously.

bulletShow your desktop on only one monitor: Using multiple monitors with this setting will make one screen blank while the desktop is shown on only one monitor.

This may sound silly when you are trying to use two monitors, but it is very handy with a laptop. You can turn off your laptop screen completely while viewing your desktop on a larger monitor.

Disconnecting The Second Monitor

Once you disconnect the second monitor, your display will return to the original display settings. As well, any programs, windows, or files you may have open will be move to the primary display.

When you reconnect the second monitor, Windows will automatically detect the display settings used before with multiple monitors.

Simple to setup and easy, using multiple monitors will definitely increase your workday productivity. Have tired multiple monitors? Let us know your experience!

As always, if you would like any assistance with completing any of the tips mentioned, contact our helpdesk directly at 415-449-8900 for a certified technician to assist.


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