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Thread: How to use dual monitors?

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    Ausphotography Regular bobt's Avatar
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    How to use dual monitors?

    I have just acquired a second LCD monitor, and it poses a couple of problems.

    Firstly, the new monitor is the currently in vogue 16:9 shape which I don't really like - and it shows photos incorrectly as it stretches them to fit. Great to make my wife look longer and slimmer, but not really accurate as a square becomes a rectangle. This would be useless for processing images.

    The second issue is using them both at once. I can either have both monitors as mirror images (not all that useful) or I have a continued screen which I don't seem to be able to control. Can I have an image on one screen and the processing tools on the other? That's what I'd like - but is it possible?

    My original LCD monitor is the older, squarer ratio screen, so maybe both screens need to be the same shape? Any clues welcome as I don't have one at the moment.

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    Member mwkh's Avatar
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    how do you connect your LCDs? using Y splitter cable or your graphic card has 2 output?
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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    The wide monitor shouldn't alter the image shape, if it does, you haven't got it set up correctly. You should be able to set both up as an extended desktop, however if the resolutions are different you may encounter some minor issues moving the cursor from one screen to the other if the vertical res of the second screen is less than the main. Check to see that you have both screens set to their "Native" resolution, i.e. that your videocard is outputting at the same resolution as the monitor. Your graphics card may not even have sufficient resolution and may need to be raplaced. If you're not sure what the native resolution of you monitors are check the handbooks or do a search online.
    Phil

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwkh View Post
    how do you connect your LCDs? using Y splitter cable or your graphic card has 2 output?
    The graphics card has two outputs - One is that newer digital sort of plug (HDMI?) and the other is VGA as per normal.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Mostly if you want to have something different on each screen you need a Graphics card with two outputs, one for each monitor.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    What operating system?

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    This will give you an idea, the main monitor is set at 1920x1080, the native res of the monitor, the second at 1024x764 which is the native resolution of the second monitor. Both will then display any images with the correct aspect ratio. With this setup the tops of both screens are identical, the botton of the second screen is around 1/3 of the way up the main screen. You can't move the mouse directly from the bottom of tha main screen to the second, you must first move the mouse up the screen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phild View Post
    This will give you an idea, the main monitor is set at 1920x1080, the native res of the monitor, the second at 1024x764 which is the native resolution of the second monitor. Both will then display any images with the correct aspect ratio. With this setup the tops of both screens are identical, the botton of the second screen is around 1/3 of the way up the main screen. You can't move the mouse directly from the bottom of tha main screen to the second, you must first move the mouse up the screen.

    That's happening now actually after fiddling. I'm running XP (although toying with moving to Windows 7).

    However, I've just discovered that although both monitors are working - only one of them is listed in the device manager, so I think I'll need to hunt down the driver and re-install that so that it shows up in "device manager" (I automatically assumed that seeing that it was working it would be listed).

    I've heard that some graphic designers use one screen to place their images and another for the controls - but it doesn't seem possible to control exactly what appears on each screen anyway. 8*(

    Thanks guys for your help ... I'll go and do a bit of driver work and see what happens!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobt View Post
    The second issue is using them both at once. I can either have both monitors as mirror images (not all that useful) or I have a continued screen which I don't seem to be able to control. Can I have an image on one screen and the processing tools on the other? That's what I'd like - but is it possible?
    Can't help with the first issue but you can certainly use 2 monitors as an extended desk top. just move what you want from one monitor to the other using the mouse. just click and hold the top bar of what you want to move with the mouse and move. I've found you can't move a program while it is maximised though so you need to un maximise it. Also helps to have your monitors physically in the right order too.

    jj

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    It's normal to have different apps on each screen. I'm not running XP at home but there's an option on the second screen "extend my desktop", the screenshots are from an XP system running dual monitors, note that "extend my desktop onto this monitor" is ticked.

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    Well ... thanks for all your comments - I seem to have got the screens both working and at the right resolutions .... BUT ... I can't really see any advantage to the whole thing so I probably won't be using it for any real benefit. I was sort of hoping I could somehow have my editor loaded with the image filling up one screen and the controls on the other for editing my photographs. Doesn't look like that's really possible so it's back to one screen again. Might just get rid of a CRT screen I have on another PC and be done with it.

    Probably the only way I'll achieve my objective is to buy a really big monitor!!!

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Bob, what editing software are you using?
    both Nikon View NX and Nikon Capture NX2 will remember which monitor to open on and display the working image on one screen and the editing tools on the other running on xp home.
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Bob, what editing software are you using?
    both Nikon View NX and Nikon Capture NX2 will remember which monitor to open on and display the working image on one screen and the editing tools on the other running on xp home.
    That's a whole new can of worms. I use ACDSee Pro but have been dabbling with Lightroom, CaptureOne and Elements. I'm still trying to find the program which is both easy and effective and suits my workflow. I'd also prefer a program that didn't create new directories all over the place as several seem to do!

    I didn't realise some had the capacity to control the two screen setup, so I'll re-visit that aspect of the above software and see if they do too - thanks for the info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Nikon View NX and Nikon Capture NX2 will remember which monitor to open on and display the working image on one screen and the editing tools on the other running on xp home.
    Whoo hoo! So does CaptureOne, so I can really use just one monitor for the image and have all the tools on the main monitor. looks really professional ..... wish the photos did!

    Thanks for that - it looks like a goer after all. It might be the factor which makes me choose Capture One as my preferred processing software.

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