How many Mac users out there using dual monitors?

How many Mac users out there using dual monitors?

Summary: I've got a question for mac users out there - how many of you are using dual monitors?

TOPICS: Apple, Hardware

I've got a question for mac users out there - how many of you are using dual monitors?

I ask because while I see a lot of PCs with two or more screens attached, I rarely see a Mac system hooked up to a secondary monitor.

[poll id="491"]

So, anyone out there running a dual-screen Mac, lemme know!

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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  • projectors

    I don't think this is what you are asking, but I have 60+ teachers working with me using digital projectors in either extended or mirrored desktop.
  • Everyday - I use a dual view

    monitor setup. I can't imagine using my MacBook Pro in my office in any other way. The second monitor is used to full screen the virtual boot of the Bootcamp Windows partition.
    • I thought bootcamp

      was a dual-boot scheme and that you would need
      something like parallels desktop for using both
      OSes simultaneous?
      • Yes, but VMWare and Parallels can virtualize the Boot Camp partition. [nt]

        • Such a cool feature!

          I've always loved that I can use Boot Camp to make my MacBook Pro a
          very fast Windows notebook, or in OS X I can use VMWare to access any
          of my PC apps and data from my Windows volume.
          • You should also get NTFS-3G...

            You should also get NTFS-3G, it's an open source implementation of the
            NTFS file system. Coupled with MacFUSE from Google, it enables full
            read & write access to an NTFS partition.

            It's invaluable if you have a Mac and also have Windows, that way you
            have full access to your Windows volume even while on OS X; that way
            you don't have to boot up the VM if you just need to grab or copy a file.

  • I used to use dual view, it's easy to do.

    Now I have a 24" iMac with plenty of screen real estate.
    • The Apple menu bar

      On dual screens - or even a large screen. Doesn't
      it cause a lot of mouse movements to use it?
      • Apple Menu bar - only on the primary monitor

        I have my second monitor placed above my primary screen.

        The Apple Menu bar only lives in one place: at the top edge of the primary monitor.

        The problem: these two elements "break" Apple's UI decision. Instead of always looking up for menu items, I have to look down from the second monitor. This is one reason why I prefer my menu bars to be attached to their document windows.
        • I don't know if you were aware...

          I don't know if you were aware, but you can move the menu bar to
          different screens. From inside the Displays Preference Pane in the
          Arrangement secion, you can click on the white strip (the representation
          of the menu bar) and drag it to the other monitors.

          Also, there's a nifty program called DejaMenu that might be helpful for
          you. It adds the menu bar as a contextual menu so you can access it
          from anywhere.
          • I was not aware

            I will check out the Display Preferences. Hopefully it will be smart enough to detect whether or not the second monitor is attached.

            I cannot use additional software due to corporate computer guidelines. But I'll pass the word on DejaMenu to some buddies.

            Thanks for the info!
          • Yes, it should automatically detect any additional screens...

            Yes, it should automatically detect any additional screens by default.
            However, on occasion it may not if you're using an adapter. I've found
            this the case with a select few video projectors. All you have to do is
            click the "Detect Displays" button, and the computer will cycle available
            video inputs (including USB and S-Video.)
      • Keyboard shortcuts are numerous and great

        You have to do some learning, but my trips to the
        menu bar are far fewer in OSX.
        • Shortcuts

          I am a hotkey guy by preference. This brings up one of my gripes about the Mac interface: some of the symbols used in the menus to indicate hotkey combinations are not printed anywhere on the keyboard!

          Here's a screen grab that illustrates the hotkey indicators:

          And a picture of a recent Mac keyboard:

          Some, like the "up arrow" meaning the "shift" key are easy to guess. Perhaps it's because I regularly see that symbol on non-Mac keyboards?
          • OS X keyboard shortcuts and their symbols


            To answer your question in a nutshell, the symbols in that screen-shot
            correspond to (from l-r): Shift, Option, Control, (no clue), Delete,
            Forward Delete (extended KB only)

            Hope that helps.
          • Escape key

            That circular symbol with the arrow pointing out at the 10 o'clock
            position, is the Escape key symbol. So, the symbols you asked about are
            again from l-r: Shift, Option, Control, Escape, Delete, Forward Delete.
      • @honeymonster

        One of the nice things about having the menu bar attached to the top on the screen is that you can "throw" your mouse pointer to the top and never miss it, unlike menu bars that are attached to the window which takes more time to acquire and more time to acquire motor memory.
        My display is set at 1920x1600 and I don't need to move my hand more than an inch.
        Something else that is missing in Windows is the Macs mouse has a threshold. Another words the slower you move the mouse the slower the mouse pointer moves for pin-point accuracy. The faster you move the mouse the faster the pointer moves. So when you "throw" the pointer to the top, you don't have to move your hand much at all.
        • Mouse Pointer Precision

          Windows does have a similar feature (and has for many years). Under WindowsXP, you can find it under Control Panel - Mouse - Pointer Options - Enhance Pointer Precision. This option turns on/off movement scaling of the on-screen mouse cursor depending on how fast the mouse is physically moving.

          I'm sure the item's location will be similar in WinVista and Win7. (I have a WinXP machine nearby, so used that for getting the specifics.)

          And I didn't mention Windows in my original comment - the last thing the world needs is another Windows vs Mac post. But while Windows is an easy example of attaching the menu to the document window, it is also part of GNOME, KDE, Haiku (formerly BeOS), and numerous other GUI's.
          • Yep.

            That's because Apple holds copyright on the menu at the top of the
            screen. Apple put it there after doing a fair amount of research.

            Believe it or not, making the menu bar global has a profound effect on
            how you use the operating system. If you get an opportunity some
            time, quietly observe how a long-time Mac user (not a switcher) and a
            Windows user use their machines.

            You will find the Mac user tends to multi-task a lot more. He has his
            windows generally smaller and laid out across his screen with partial
            overlaps. He tends to switch between them regularly as part of his
            workflow and makes extensive use of drag and drop.

            The Windows user on the other hand generally focuses on one task at
            a time with a window that is running full screen. He switches to a new
            task as a discrete act, setting aside the first task completely. He
            makes very little use of drag and drop because his interface
            discourages it.


            Because of the menu bar tied to the window instead of the screen.
  • Are you asking for hardware or software reasons?

    I can never tell when people talk about "Mac", if they [b]actually[/b] mean "OS X".

    I use an external monitor on my MBP but only ever use Windows. It works great. OS X dual display support, however, is very weak.