Dual Screen Hitch

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I've been working for years now with two screens connected to my computer (though so far haven't made the change at home as there are other drains on my money). It makes coding easier as you don't need to switch back and forth between applications. I'm not the only one who agrees with this, my friend OJ wrote a good post about dual screen development back in 2006.

However, I've recently hit on a minor annoyance with using more than one screen, which became apparent to me when I upgraded one of my monitors in work for a higher resolution one. I'm running with one monitor at 1920x1200 and the other at 1280x1024. The problem comes from the difference in height between these resolutions as it creates a "step" at the bottom of the desktop where the two screens meet. If I move the mouse from the bigger monitor to the small one along the bottom, it gets stuck on this edge, where I would prefer Windows to simply move the mouse up a bit to compensate and still allow it to move across to the smaller screen.

I could remove this problem by setting my bigger monitor to a resolution with a height of 1024, but that would lose me some valuable desktop space and also would result in fuzziness due to running an LCD monitor at a non-native resolution. This really isn't a solution.

I know I can drag the monitors around in the display properties dialog, but this would just move the step to the top of the screen, or cause a smaller steps at both the top and bottom. This isn't a solution either.

I don't know whether Windows Vista/7 or Linux would handle this case differently as I don't have it installed here and don't have enough monitors to test at home. Does anyone know of a nice workaround for this in Windows XP?

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4 Comments

I have to agree -- this issue is a pain in the arse.

I have to admit that when I went about buying my second monitor I made sure it had the same resolution and screen size as the one I already owned. This completely prevented this issue from appearing at home.

The only time this has proved to be an issue for me was when I had mixed aspect ratios. All other times I've had dual monitors they've both supported the same resolution natively.

I currently run my monitors upstairs at 1600x1200 each.

As far as I know, there isn't a way round this issue. Given it's hardware related, you may find that you have to take a hit on the resolution for one, or just deal with the annoyance :(

Even with that issue, dual monitors rock :) Cheers for the link!

I'm just dealing with it for now. The only 1024 high resolution the bigger monitor supports is 1280x1024, which would result in distorto-vision on a 16:9 panel.

Hey! I just noticed that your name is now being displayed correctly!

I noticed that this is my 100th post to my blog. Woo!

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This page contains a single entry by KeefJudge published on January 30, 2009 11:16 AM.

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