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Using Dual Monitors To Increase Your Productivity
As far as less experienced computer users can tell, it may seem extravagant to see someone using a dual monitor computer setup. Are there real benefits to having an extra screen, or is it just a matter of style? Does the extra screen real estate really help get things done faster?
If you're still asking yourself these questions, you ought to know that depending on the kind of tasks you need to use your computer for, getting an extra screen may indeed help you get things done almost twice as fast.
This article will provide you with some perspective on this matter, and help you decide whether you may benefit from getting an additional screen to plug into your computer.
So you're all about multitasking?
If you tend to use several applications at once and you keep switching between them, there's a good chance you will benefit from installing a secondary screen. With this kind of setup, it's easier to stay focused on two different applications at once, rather than having to switch back and forth as you try to get things done.
For example, if you often do data entry and you need to check information from a computer program and fill in specific forms in another program, you will find yourself bouncing back and forth between applications. Well, not if you have two screens! In that case you will get things done much faster since you can just keep an eye on both applications simultaneously, one for each screen.
The time you will save by using this approach can be quite substantial, and your productivity will soar. It's not just the time you wasted every time the additional screen keeps you from having to switch applications. The simple fact that you can look at two different applications at once can do wonders for your concentration, and that's where you'll really save a lot of time. Also, if you are using an older PC and it has trouble switching applications, a dual monitor setup will help with this as well.
Best practices for using dual monitors right.
Choosing the right dual monitor setup for you depends on the kind of work you'll be doing, as well as your personal preference. However, there are best practices that you should keep in mind, especially if you're planning to buy an additional screen for this purpose (rather than using an old screen you happen to have available).
For example, most users find that working with two screens the exact same size and set to the same resolution is most comfortable. Moreover, both screens should ideally be aligned horizontally and placed side to side next to one another.
If you keep a gap between both screens you will have to keep looking back and forth; that will cause unnecessary strain to your neck and eyes. Likewise, if you stack both screens vertically, it just doesn't feel as convenient; usually, you will find it most comfortable to join both screens together as if they were a single extra-large screen.
How do you install a secondary screen?
Nowadays, it's very simple to install an additional screen. Most modern laptops include a VGA-out connector, so you can just plug in an extra screen directly without needing to get additional parts. If you're using a desktop computer you may need to install an additional video card, unless your current video card already features dual monitor support. You can check easily: just look for an extra video-out plug next to the one connecting to your current screen.
Once you've connected the second screen to your computer, your operating system will usually recognize it instantly, especially if you're using Windows 7. If not, just open "Display Properties" via Control Panel and you'll see a menu where you can easily activate and configure the additional screen. That's all it takes! Try it out, and maybe you'll be surprised to find that it's not extravagant at all to use a double screen setup.
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