Help clear up some confusion--Using a Macbook with a monitor

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by illjazz, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. illjazz macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
    I just got a Micr/Mini DVI to DVI adapter (the Apple one) from Microcenter, along with a male-to-male DVI cable so I could hook up my black Macbook to my 22" Samsung monitor. It works perfectly so far and I checked out the preferences for displays in OS X as well. Now I'm a bit confused..

    So, my Macbook still shows its regular image as I'm used to. The monitor now acts as a second display as far as I can tell. If I follow my mouse cursor on the Macbook and move it to the right edge of the screen, it shows up on the left edge of the monitor. When I move the cursor to the left edge of the monitor and keep going, it shows up on the Macbook again. So far, so good.. but just how does this work? I don't have a dock on the monitor. To access the dock, I need to go back to the Macbook's screen. Same with the menubar.. on the monitor, all I see is program windows but no menubar.

    I tried "mirroring" the displays and it looks like that give sme what I wanted.. (even though this second display idea is pretty cool!), namely to have whatever I see on my Macbook on the monitor, 1 to 1--with a huge caveat: the display resolution, when mirrored, looks like crap on the monitor. It's all muddy.. I assume that's because the Macbook tells the monitor to use the same resolution as the Macbook, the latter of which of course has the lower resolution (hence the term "mirroring".

    Now.. is there a way to have the image on the monitor display at its native resolution, have it looking sharp in other words (like it does right now), WHILE mirroring?

    Any other tips for this kind of setup? Thanks!

    (BTW, it's pretty crazy looking at this comparatively huge monitor running OSX when all I'm used to is the 13" screen of the Macbook )

    Another thing I don't see on the extended monitor: the app switcher (command+TAB). I read Apple's help file on the topic in the meantime, and it looks like mirroring displays requires them to be running at the same resolution. Shame, even though it makes sense.
  2. cambridge1807 macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2006
    If I read your post correctly, you want to run your macbook with your 22" display?

    If so, you need a USB/Bluetooth/wireless mouse & keyboard. Get those connected then close the lid on your Macbook, putting it to sleep. Plug the mini DVI into the Macbook and hit any key on your keyboard. This will wake up your Macbook and run on your 22" external monitor.

    Hopefully this is what you were looking for.
  3. Soto macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2004
    Tropical Paradise
    You can check out this thread for more info:

    Basically, you can use the dock on the external display at its native resolution when using the MacBook in "desktop mode" (connect the external display and a mouse, then close the MacBook to make it sleep, and then click the mouse to wake it up, and you will have your external screen as the primary monitor). After that you can still open the MacBook to use the keyboard, but the screen will remain off.

    Alternatively, most people will just use both screens at the same time (just open an application window on the MacBook and click and slide it over to the external screen).
  4. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    I'm not entirely sure what you're after, but if you want the dock on the 22inch monitor as opposed to the macbook, go into Display Preferences, then goto the Arrangement tab, click and drag the top menu bar onto your 22inch screen on the little image of the monitors. That'll make your 22" your main monitor.
  5. skir0987 macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    I did this with my HDTV I hooked up with a DVI-HDMI, and can confirm it works perfectly. This way, everything you open shows up on the big screen (including full-screen videos and slideshows), and you can also drag windows onto the macbook screen if need be. I would definitely recommend doing this instead of the desktop mode, as it gives you much more desktop space :D


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