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Setup and Use of Dual Monitors

Double desktop space makes work easier. If you are one of those that multi-tasks with your computer, enough screen space is what you need to keep it going for you. You could browse thumbnails on one display and edit pictures on the other. What about working on one display and using the second one to receive email messages as they come in? Better still, you can read a file on display on one monitor and take notes with the second one.

Setting up a dual monitor is a smart way to avoid spending money on two laptops or desktops. All that is required is an extra monitor, preferably a flat LCD monitor, and a video adapter that can handle a 2 monitor setup. First, you have to check, on the back of your pc, to see if your computer supports dual display. Newer computers or those that are just a few years old have Digital visual interface (DVI) or Video Graphics Arrays (VGA) connections. You can check to see if your computer has one of these. Most laptops will not be a problem since you have the LCD laptop screen built in and you should have a way to connect a second monitor easily.

For older computers without such connections, the best thing is to get an additional video adaptor or to replace the old hardware with a video adaptor that has two connections. Take extreme care while replacing this hardware. It is adviced you seek the service of a qualified computer technician if you are not comfortable switching out your video card.

Setup for Vista

  • Connect your LCD monitor to the desktop or laptop and restart your computer for the computer to detect the new hardware.
  • The display dialogue box appears signifying that the computer has detected the new display. Select duplicate my desktop on all displays.
  • Go to start button -> control panel->Appearance and personalization. Here you can adjust your screen resolution.
  • At the display settings dialog box click icon labeled 2 ->select extend the desktop onto this monitor.
  • Click Apply and followed by Ok

Setup for XP

  • Connect the second monitor and restart the computer
  • Click start menu -> Control panel-> Click Appearance and themes Display
  • Under the display properties Click the Settings tab
  • Click on the Icon labeled 2 -> select the extend my windows desktop onto this monitor check box.
  • Click Apply followed by Ok

In the Settings tab, you can also choose which display is the primary display and you can change the resolution to your preference. Another option, that can be done via the settings tab as well, is duplicating what you are seeing onto the 2nd display. This is helpful if you have to give a presentation and you need to connect your laptop to a projector or large screen for a group of people to see.

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