Monday, August 17, 2009

Multi-Resolution Multi-Monitor Dev Layout

I have fallen in love with using my Windows Taskbar from the left side of the monitor (instead of the traditional – along the bottom of the monitor). It works really well on my wide screen monitor, as I found that I preferred being able to have more text on my screen as opposed to more real-estate width wise. This works out even better when I am doing development or even browsing the web, as there is more information length wise than width wise.

Having moved my task-bar to the left also allowed me to make better use of my second monitor. A little back-ground: I use a laptop as my main machine. The laptop’s native resolution is 1280x800 (wide-screen). In addition I use a second monitor connected to my laptop. The native resolution of the monitor is 1280x1024 (normal monitor). If I were to use a different set of applications on each monitor – I would not be having a problem. But for some of my work, I just love being able to spread the application across both the screens. Case in point – Visual Studio. I love being able to dedicate a whole screen just for the code and the other screen for the solution explorer, output window, etc. But because I had 2 monitors with different resolutions, this made it very difficult to find a resolution that didnt make the fonts look weird when the screen was stretched across the monitors.

Now that I had moved the taskbar to the left side of the laptop screen, it meant that I had more vertical screen area on that monitor. I was then able to set my other monitor to a resolution of 1280x960 which allowed me to stretch windows across the 2 monitors and the result didnt look to bad (though, because I am not running the second monitor at native resolution, fonts still look a little blurred).

Here is how I have Visual Studio configured across the 2 screens:


The red vertical line represents the divide between the 2 screens.
The blue box on the left is the task-bar.
The blue box on the right (bottom) is the task-bar for the second monitor (curtsey of the awesome application UltraMon).
The red box on the right (top) are 2 additional icons that UltraMon provides making it easy for me to stretch the window across the 2 screens.
The yellow filled box on the left, is the space difference because of the 2 different resolutions that the monitors are running at (800 vs. 960)

That was a long post just to describe my monitor layouts!

But needless to say I wish I had tried the vertical taskbar out a long time ago and it is a very cool way to setup your wide-screen computer.

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