Dual monitor software?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Heil68, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Heil68 macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2008
    I am getting my MBP soon and wanted to know if OS X has built in software for multiple monitors? I currently use UltraMon for my Windows machines. With it you can:
    * efficiently move windows and maximize windows across the desktop
    * manage more applications with the Smart Taskbar
    * control application positioning with UltraMon Shortcuts
    * multi-monitor support for desktop wallpapers and screen savers
    * mirror your main monitor to secondary monitors for a presentation

    Its really handy and I haven't been able to locate anything for OS X, which makes me believe it has some built in features like above. If you know of any software that you can recommend, that would be great!
    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    Before I switched, I used Ultramon for probably 7 years.


    I don't necessarily miss it since I make full use of Expose and Spaces... but yeah if you press this topic there's gonna be alot of Mac Fanatics coming here to tell you how you don't need any of that and OSX is way better than XP with Ultramon.

    I mean, its 2008 and we still can't select 1 image to span across 2 screens in OSX without photoshopping it into 2 separate files.
  3. Heil68 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2008
    So by default, what image goes to 2nd monitor?
  4. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    Mac OS X will do this natively.

    when you first plug in the external display it will be in mirror mode with the MacBook Pro's scrren. to go into extended desktop mode press F7.

    now the dock and menu bar will be on the MBP's screen which is the primary display. to change this go to Display preferences, click on the Arrangement tab and drag the little white menu bar from the small screen to the big external screen. then from there you can arrange the MBP's screen however you like by dragging it whether it be to the left, right or above your external screen.

    while in extended desktop mode you can easily drag windows from screen to screen. but the menu bar will always be on the primary screen so if you have a window on the MBP's screen you have to access the menus from the external display. a workaround would be to use OS X's keyboard shortcuts which you will learn over time. the most useful ones are "command-tab", "command-~", "command-Q", "command-W", "command-M", "command-," (preferences).

    the primary function of the zoom button (green button next to close and minimise) is to enlarge the window to the amount of space needed to show all the window's contents. clicking the zoom button again will change back to its original size. but some developers either forget or dont consider including this function (including some of Apple's apps) and use the default function which is zoom to take up the whole screen. so basically with a dual monitor setup you will start to appreciate the zoom button over time and start to take advantage of multiple displays by not enlarging windows to take up the whole screen and not clicking the zoom button on apps that will maximise.

    to manage windows of applications with a multiple display setup use Exposé, command-tab or click the apps icon in the dock. you can also use command-~ to switch between windows of the frontmost application. OS X cant control application positioning on multiple displays. but it will open where you last had it positioned in extended desktop mode. you can use spaces to position applications to a particular space. the whole extended desktop will be counted as one space.

    when you open Display preferences while in extended desktop mode a window will also on the secondary display. from there you can change the resolution of the MBP's display if you wish. a window will also appear on the MBP's when you open Desktop & Screensaver preferences. from there you can choose a different desktop background for the MBP's screen than the external monitor if you wish.

    you can also use clamshell mode is you wish which is what i do. to do this shut the MBP's screen and sleep it. plug in the power and a keyboard and mouse and it will wake up. MBP's are designed to to this and heat is vented out thru the back so it wont overheat or ruin your screen. to go back to extended desktop mode open the MBP and click "Detect Displays" in Displays preferences.

    /end copious amounts of information
  5. Heil68 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2008
    Thanks for the insight Rich. It sounds like OS X has similar features to Windows. UltraMon just has sweet little features that make it a great program. I will use your tips and suggestions in a couple weeks when I get my MBP. I'll continue to scour the internet for OS X programs though :p
  6. keypox macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2008
    Do you happen to know any way to disable one monitor at a time. Because that is the only feature i need and I cannot find it! I would use a third party program if needed...
  7. r0x0r macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    I moved from PC to Mac and I love it.

    However, dual monitors is an issue, as of yet I havnt found a way to extend my display but also have the dock and menu on both screens is this possible?
  8. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    No. You can have an extra menubar on the second screen by using an application called secondbar.
  9. kayut macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2011

    SecondBar is great.

    Many thanks for your hint.

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