How do you work with multiple monitors?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Yumunum, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Yumunum macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2011
    I'm looking to see how other people work with multiple monitors. The pros, the cons, tools you use, ect.

    You really don't need an explanation as lengthy as mine, btw.

    I'll start:
    I've recently got a 1080p 23" Acer monitor, and I plug it into my 13" MacBook Air via HDMI.

    The text on my 23" monitor is blurry because of some sort of issue with OS X. My Windows side is fine. I've been told that if I switched to a DVI cable it would fix this issue. Anyone able to back this up? Ever had this problem? Are there cons to using a DVI cable over my HDMI cable?

    I use an Apple wireless keyboard, and an old wired Dell mouse. I'm hoping to get a wireless mouse though.

    I just downloaded the app Secondbar, which gives me a menu bar both displays. I also use BetterTouchTool (I figure many of you already use this) and BetterSnapTool. All 3 made by the same developer:

    It'd be nice to have a dock on both sides, but that doesn't seem possible.

    As far as what I do with the monitors... well... with the 13" MBA and 23" Acer monitor side by side, it's hard to read things comfortably on the Air. Because of this, I pretty much just put the "extras" on that screen. For example, my music, Finder windows, some extra menus for my 3D modeling.

    Yeah, that's about it. What about you guys?
  2. Gutwrench Contributor


    Jan 2, 2011
    At work I use dual 17 inch Dell monitors. I run six dev sessions on one with email, another dev session and misc utilities on the other.

    No cons for me only pros. I can minimize several sessions and put them in portrait across the screen. I feel having to go back to a single monitor would really negatively impact my productivity.
  3. Navdakilla macrumors 65816

    Feb 3, 2011
    I have a 27 inch iMac. Used to have 2 24 inch dual screen with my pc, although I love the massive display of the 27 inch I miss the dual screens, being able to have documents open and doing something else on the other screen, or iTunes on one screen and my surfing on the other, it was easier to me than doing this virtual desktop thing that lion brought in. I might toss a screen with my imac just for that reason.

    Honestly though,try it out, and you'll wonder what you used to do without it, I certainly did
  4. bwhinnen macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2010
    San Diego
    I run two 23" monitors for work and have the primary desktop and then a secondary one as well.

    Left Monitor (primary monitor so menu bar and dock):
    Desktop 1 - Safari, iTunes, Mail, Office Communicator etc
    Desktop 2 - Virtual machines for coding

    Right Monitor:
    Desktop 1 - Finder, Terminal sessions, RDP session to my work laptop
    Desktop 2 - More virtual machines for testing, and Terminal sessions (same as above)

    I run multiple desktops / full screen apps on my MacBook Air 11" as it is easier that way and can 4-finger swipe between them. Just wish full screen apps worked better in a multi-monitor setup :(
  5. phobox macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Using an old Mac Pro here and Im running two monitors, a 17-inch HP and a 19-inch Acer. They both need replacing truth be told, neither are big enough for my current workflow but for now they do the job.

    The 19-inch is my primary monitor and most of the apps I run are on there. I also swipe between a lot of full screen apps. The 17-inch monitor is used for things like Adium, Twitter, nvAlt and any other miscellaneous things that need to be on screen all the time. Its also used for tool windows for things like Xcode etc.

    I personally wouldnt be able to go back to only using one monitor, it would severely restrict my workflow. Im generally happy with the way OS X handles multiple monitors, it is massively underused by apps that run full screen however. Lion is designed to allow full screen apps to put their windows etc on a second monitor, unfortunately hardly any apps use it and Apple havent done a very good job of presenting a secondary monitor as usable in full screen. Its a shame.
  6. Dubs11 macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2012
    Princeton, NJ
    I use a 27in HP and a 24in Samsung. HP is my main monitor, meaning its on my left and I use it for the main program Im working in. The Samsung is the my secondary monitor, meaning I use it for editing link files.

    Example i open my main Indesign file on the HP and if Photoshop links or Word files need to be open I do it on the secondary monitor (samsung)
  7. DrakkenWar macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2010
    San Antonio,Texas
    Pretty Much

    I have a 24" Hanspree and a 22" Samsung hooked up to my 2011 mini in my home office. Which helps me get most of my work done on a given day, I am starting to feel a bit cramped and cluttered with so many windows/programs open. (Working on Keynote themes means many apps open! :D). I am actually starting to miss my G5 with 3 21" crts if nothing else for the utility I had with them.
    Which also brings me to another rant. Why in the hell did Apple get ride of Spaces? I get the swiping dig. But that is more money I have to shell out for yet another device to be productive. Don't get me wrong. I left windows a long LONG time ago, I still have a few linux boxes in the house that helped with the transition. But I don't want to add needless clutter to my desk. I have kensington trackball that does everything aside from the damed gestures. I want my on-the-fly spaces back!
  8. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2010
    I have dual 23 inch monitors. I love them. So much easier than using one big monitor. One recommendation is to get the same monitor if possible. This may just be a pet peeve of mine but, I can't stand when a monitor is a different hight than the other.

    As for what I do on mine, I usually have the internet and itunes open on one screen and Word/Photoshop/CAD software and steam chat open on the other monitor. I love this setup, might even go for 3 monitors eventually

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