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Wide-Monitor Tips

Bigger monitors present a problem in the context of Fitts' law and reading comprehension. These are measurable productivity drains. (Here's an interesting article from the Microsoft Office developers regarding the application of Fitts' law.)

This page provides tips to help increase the benefit of having a wide monitor.

Sub Monitors

If you use an nVidia graphics card, then you can split your monitor into multiple sections into which you can maximize windows as if you had multiple monitors.

  1. Open the nView Desktop Manager from display driver's advanced properties.
  2. Select “User Interface”
  3. Select the “Edit Gridlines…” button in the General category.
  4. After configuring your gridlines, you can maximize to the submonitors by holding Alt when maximizing your windows.

Even if you don't have the nVidia card, there are alternative ways to sub-monitor maximize your windows.

Tab Groups in Visual Studio

Visual Studio .NET (2003) doesn't seem to honor the above gridlines, though. The next best thing is to use two vertical tab groups. (Window→New Vertical Tab Group).

I've updated a version of my ToggleFile Add-In to open the files into alternating tab groups. Now, hitting Ctrl+T opens the corresponding header or source file into the other pane. It's very convenient.

The add-in exposes two commands:

Command Function
ToggleFile.Connect.ToggleFile Toggles between definition and declaration files in the same tab group. This is generally recommended for monitors of width 1024 or less.
ToggleFile.Connect.ToggleFileTabGroup Toggles between definition and declaration files in alternating tab groups. This is recommended for wider monitors.

ToggleFile.Connect.ToggleFileTabGroup is the one that alternates tab groups when opening the corresponding file, and is recommended for wide monitors.

The Add-In is available at Google Code.

Website Design

We can only hope that IE7 will support max-width.

general/wide-monitor-tips.txt · Last modified: 2021/05/21 00:04 (external edit)