Multiple Monitors

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mrblack927, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. mrblack927 macrumors 6502a

    mrblack927

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    #1
    Hi all,

    A question to those of you who have a dual-monitor setup with their Mac: How is it working with OSX compared to say Windows on a multi-monitor setup?

    I use 2 (sometimes 3) monitors at work running Windows XP and I find that the biggest advantage is the ability to maximize windows in different "spaces" (monitors) and look at them side by side with a clear view. It seems like this would be harder to do on OSX since it's not designed on the same "maximize/minimize" philosophy that Windows uses. It seems like you would spend more time dragging windows around and resizing them to get it laid out exactly how you want, not to mention the fact that the menu bar stays on one monitor even tho the app that it's referencing might be on another.

    I don't know... I've only used a multi-monitor Mac setup a few times but I'm saving my pennies for a Mac Pro and I wanted to get one for myself. I love how easy it is to get things done on my computer at work and I wanted to replicate that at home... but I don't know if the productivity gain will translate properly with OSX. I'm just looking for peoples' opinions from those who have tried it. :eek:
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    Use a third party app called RightZoom to make the maximize button work like Windows.

    Dual screen is really interesting when used with both Spaces and Expose.
     
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    What line of work are you in?

    As an FCP editor, my primary use of a dual-monitor setup is to have the media browser, viewer, effects broswer and other controls on one display while having the canvas and timeline dedicated to another. So in my case, window management is relatively minimal, because I'm primarily staying focused in one application.

    I use a similar approach for After Effects. If I have both FCP and AE open in a session, I simply Cmd-Tab between the two when I want to switch.

    One of my fellow editors uses three monitors - his approach is similar to mine, but he uses his third for miscellaneous junk such as Finder windows, web browsing and email. I'd love to adopt a setup like this, but my desk is not big enough. :(

    I guess I've been using Macs long enough to not be particularly annoyed with how Mac OS treats "in-focus" applications with its single menu bar. But I guess I can see how that can be frustrating for some users.
     
  4. gameface macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
    As an editor I use 3 monitors. One that keeps my timeline, the other that keeps my viewer, canvas, audio mixer and browser. The third LCD TV is dedicated out of my capture card, via HDMI for full screen preview. Like CC said, a command tab is essential. If I am working off script cuts via a pdf or word doc I will use my main 30" for everything normal in FCP, my 23" for my word doc/pdf and my dedicated LCD TV as my viewing monitor like usual.

    It all depends on how you use your system and what you are trying to do. Setting up settings for different situations is essential and you can change between instances in a heartbeat.
     
  5. rmitchell248, Feb 11, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011

    rmitchell248 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Location:
    Liebsthal, Germany
    #5
  6. mrblack927 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mrblack927

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    #6
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    To answer some questions, I'm a web application developer. At any given time I usually have a browser, a code editor, and image editor, a database manager, an FTP client, and an email client open. At home I've gotten used to using Spaces and that has worked out pretty well. But I find I'm a lot more productive at work since it feels like I have two "spaces" open side by side.

    I've heard of SecondBar and I've actually used Better Snap Tool before on my Macbook Pro. Does that work well with two monitors?

    One of my fears is that I won't be able to control the monitors independently like I do at work. For example, most of the time I leave the browser open constantly on the left screen but switch between a few apps on the right screen depending on what I'm currently testing. If I change spaces with 2 monitors, does that affect both screens or only the one I'm working with? And if I do cmd-tab on a screen, does it only show the apps I have chosen for that screen?
     
  7. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #7
    Changing Spaces affects all monitors, but not necessarily all applications. Remember you have application-level control for Spaces.

    So if set your main monitor application to "all spaces" and your secondary monitor applications to either Space 1 or 2, then changing Spaces will only change monitor 2. In this manner it acts like Spaces is only changing monitor 2.
     
  8. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Cmd-Tab essentially acts the same way as its Windows equivalent (Alt-Tab). It's a global toggle between all running applications and doesn't operate on a per-display basis.

    Using Spaces the way ActionableMango outlined would probably be your best bet for what you're trying to do in a Mac environment.
     
  9. mrblack927 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mrblack927

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    #9
    Ah yes, I just tried it out with my mbp and a second monitor and it looks like that will work perfectly.

    Thanks for all the tips and support guys!
     
  10. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #10
    i dont like using spaces, i acknowledge the genius that it is, but i dont like using it, id much, much prefer extra screen real estate from a secondary monitor..
     
  11. gameface macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #11
    Holy smoke! I feel like a blockhead never realizing this before! I completely wrote off spaces before but now I have to rethink some of my work-flows.

    Thanks!
     

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