No more squinting – go with multiple monitors

If you use a computer of any kind, you probably strain your eyes trying to make sense of the images and text on display.

Some of us are so masochistic, we will gawk for hours on a six-inch screen. That’s really not productive, and a better way to gaze is available.

A desktop computer can support multiple, huge monitors – so big you might believe you’re actually in the scene. Even a laptop computer can have a better screen to ogle.

You don’t need to be tied down to a tiny screen. It just takes one simple trick to go big.

The key to better viewing on your computer, laptop or tablet is adding an external monitor to your existing display. The additional monitor will allow you to view the world in a whole new light.

Most computers allow dual monitors without much trouble. Laptops have function keys just above the letters and numbers on the keyboard. Plug in your new monitor, push and hold the “FN” key located (usually) next to the “CTRL” key in the lower left of your keyboard and toggle your monitor icon (which looks like a monitor screen).

No more squinting – go with multiple monitorsWindows desktops automatically detect the monitor for you under plug-and-play. You can choose how to utilize the monitor, for example, set it as a duplicate or arrange it as a wide screen display. This means you can use the additional monitor to duplicate and enlarge whatever is on the first monitor. Or you can create a very wide monitor, where the mouse moves diagonally across both monitors as if they were one giant, widescreen display.

Monitors come in all shapes and sizes these days, so find the one you like and dive in. Prices are way down. For example, a premium 27-inch curved screen is less than $250, and a standard flat screen is about $100 less.

However you decide to use your additional monitor, it will be way better on your eyes, provide a lot more room to open applications and un-cramp the desktop.

One caveat: Know the difference between SVGA, D-DVI and HDMI input/outputs of your monitor. Call a pro for details.

Oh wait, one more tip: If you want more than two monitors, call a pro before you attempt this.

William Claney is an independent tech writer and former owner of Computers USA in the Clayton Station. Email questions or comments to