19 September 2008

Personal Technology: Dual Monitors

Screen real estate. Business has known it for years: productivity goes up with dual monitors. This photo displays my two monitors connected to my desktop computer in my home office. The small one is 15" and the big one is 27" and I can drag browser and application windows across the divide. (A computer must have the right type of video card to support multiple monitors.)

Big text for boomers. The obvious first advantage of all that screen space is that I can increase the size of text and icons to giant if I want to. (Down side of enlargement: sometimes the visual is pixel-y, meaning that jagged edges dominate.)

Spread out spreadsheets. But the real advantage comes in being able to spread out one's work, just as if on a desk in the old days. My pattern is to place my email window in the smaller monitor, and then spread out Excel and Word on the larger monitor. Most of the time, those applications can sit side by side. Occasionally, an Excel spreadsheet runs long (meaning, wide with many columns) and overlap occurs. That's when the "windows" feature of the operating system does what it was built for. Stacked windows are easier to manage on large monitors because you can keep more of each window visible around the workspace edges.

Alt-tab through life. My favorite keyboard command is Alt plus Tab. That keeps you toggling between windows.

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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