For a long time I made fun of my husband for keeping several extra computer monitors around. He had given away or junked several older computers but he wouldn’t part with the monitors. I thought it was just the little bit of hoarder in him coming to the surface. But when we got settled in our new apartment and got our desks organized, he set up one of the extra monitors for me.
I really like it.
Here are five ways I’ve been using my second screen within the past few weeks:
1. Watching Photoshop tutorials (or any teaching videos) while working in Photoshop (or any design program) on the main screen. Before I had the second screen, I had to switch back and forth between YouTube and Photoshop, or creativeLIVE and Dreamweaver, and I would get behind.
2. Expanding the media pane of Adobe Premiere Pro so that I can see all the clips I’m working with at one time without covering up my other panes.
3. Putting on an episode of “Bob el Constructor” for my daughter while I get some work done on the main screen.
4. Displaying the current version of a website while I work on the new design on my main screen. That way I can compare the two versions easily and make sure that I design a space for all the necessary content.
5. Keeping chords and lyrics visible while I experiment in GarageBand and Adobe Audition.
I’m sure I’ll be finding more ways to use my second screen in the coming weeks– it is a lot handier than I realized it would be. One of the reasons I was hesitant to use it is that I knew the Wacom tablet would need to include both screens within it’s limited drawing space. I thought that this would make pen strokes much less accurate and make it more difficult to predict where the mouse would end up on the screen, but I guess my brain made the adjustment because I hardly noticed a difference. It still seemed intuitive. Maybe for detailed illustration I would unplug the second screen, but so far it hasn’t been a problem.
How have you used a second monitor in your line of work?