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Using two monitors on your computer

Any lawyer that wants to run a "paperless" law firm will want to invest in a second monitor for their computer.  This way, you can view a document, in full, on one monitor, and "type" on another monitor.  Froe example, you might have a page of some medical records open on one monitor while you compose a demand package to an insurance company on your word processor on the other monitor.
Most computers have a video chip that is already set up to support two monitors.  I use two monitors, one of which is my laptop.  If you use a lap top, all you have to do is plug the other monitor into your laptop and then go to "start", "control panel" and then select either "display" or the icon that represents your "video graphics card".  Mine says "Intel Extreme Video Card" but everyone's is diffrent.  You then will look for "extended desktop" and there will be a picture of two squares, with the numbers 1 and 2 in them.  You then drag and drop the displays into the configuration you want, i.e. which display is your "main" monitor and which is your "side" monitor.
I've been told that most vieo cards support this set up. 
If you have a desktop computer, you should have two plugs in the back for monitors.

The best way to check is to look and see if there is a slot that looks like the female version of your male monitor plug.  This is also the same plug that you would use to plug in a video projector.  If you have an extra one, plug in an extra  monitor from your office and see if your operating system "sees" the monitor and tells you there is "new hardware" installed.  If it recognizes the extra monitor, just follow the onscreen directions and you should be done.  If your computer does not immediately recognize the new monitor, try pressing <Function> and <F8> at the same time.  That key shortcut is supposed to detect new monitors and also serves to "toggle" back and forth between different monitors.

If you don't have an extra monitor plug,  go to your local computer supply place (not Walmart) and see what they have an adapter that will allow you add another monitor.  Staples and Office Depot are sometimes helpful too.  I also like TigerDirect for ordering supplies.
You don't want "duel monitors" or "cloned monitors" because that means that both monitors display the same thing (for training, "cash registers", etc)
Worst case scenario, you might have to get an upgraded video card and install a plug on the back of the computer to support the extra monitor.  You could probably do that yourself, or have a computer person do it.  Most "newer" syatems should be set up for this.  My laptop is circa 2003.
Hope this is a good start.
Here is some more info off the web:

Multi-monitor modes
Windows supports a single multi-monitor mode, usually referred to as standard or extended desktop mode, also DualView or independent displays mode.

In this mode, all monitors connected to the installed video cards form a single desktop, you can move the mouse and applications to any monitor. Each monitor can use different settings (resolution, color depth and refresh rate).

Most multi-monitor video cards (video cards which can drive 2 or more monitors) support additional, video card-specific modes.

Very common is clone mode: in this mode, the same image is shown on 2 or more monitors. Clone mode is usually limited to the monitors connected to a single video card, for example you couldn't clone monitor 1 (on video card 1) on monitor 3 (on video card 2) if you have two dualhead cards installed.

Span mode (also called stretched mode): in this mode, all the monitors connected to a single video card form a single large monitor. Windows thinks that you are using a single monitor instead of 2 or more, and each monitor needs to use the same resolution and color depth settings, and usually also the same refresh rate.
This mode is mainly useful for forcing applications which have no native multi-monitor support to use all available monitors. For example most games will only run on the primary monitor, and in span mode all monitors form a single large primary monitor.
When using span mode, Display Properties will usually show the primary monitor running at a widescreen resolution, for example 2048x768 (2 monitors at 1024x768 each), with the secondary monitor disabled.

To enable video card-specific multi-monitor modes, you usually need to disable the secondary monitor(s) connected to the video card, then open advanced display properties for the primary monitor, select the video card manufacturer's custom settings tab and select the multi-monitor mode you want to use.

For more on the multi-monitor modes supported by the various video card manufacturers, take a look at one of the following reviews: ATI review, Matrox review, Nvidia review.

Chris Nichols 1.800.906.5984


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