Many of us have been working with two monitors for some time. It’s something you don’t really appreciate until you try, but the routine of working with two screens can also be improved. The next level is called a panoramic monitor, and here we will explain some tricks to take advantage of it.
Widescreen or ultra-wide monitors are just that, really exaggerated horizontal-length displays. Some have an aspect ratio of 21: 9, but there are even 32: 9 or 32:10. The Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW 38-inch, Samsung C49RG9 49, or Lenovo Legion Y44w-10 43.4 are just three examples.
These are usually curved monitors, which makes sense so you don’t have to turn your head too much. Wearing one may be a little strange at first. You feel surrounded by a sea of pixels. However, once you adjust the workspace you discover that the difference with a normal monitor is abysmal.
First, let’s talk about the applications that work especially well on these monitors. The first is indispensable of many people who work in the media or social networks: TweetDeck. In one of these monitors, you can have up to 12 columns updating at the same time, which is almost more information than we can process.
Video editors like Adobe Premiere Pro also usually shine with their own light in this type of monitors because they allow us to better visualize the video timeline and, above all, they allow us to have all the tools insight: preview, filters, effects, file navigator … The same goes for Photoshop-like image editors where floating windows abound.
Ultra-wide monitors also often delight gamers. Not all games are optimized to run at these weird resolutions, but when they do, the immersive experience is surprising. Some of the games compatible with these screens are Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Forza Horizon 4, No Man’s Sky, or Sea of Thieves.
Not everything works so well on these screens. Web pages do not benefit from having more horizontal space at all, while most TV shows and series will show black bands on the sides of the screen when you see them full screen. Movies work best as most now have an aspect ratio close to 21: 9.
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In addition to the games and apps we’ve mentioned, the main benefit of an ultra-widescreen is the same as for a dual monitor setup: increased productivity. You can open three or more windows at the same time, which means fewer jumps between applications and browser tabs. In other words: you spend more time doing something useful.
If you use Windows, there is a ‘snapshot’ feature that you can take advantage of on an ultra-widescreen (or even on any screen): drag the title bar of a window to the left or right of the monitor, and it will automatically dock to the side or another on the screen, occupying exactly half the available space. You can also use the arrow keys: hold down the Windows key and then press Left or Right to snap the current window to that side.
Those of you who use Mac can take advantage of a very similar function called Split View. To activate it, just hold down the green button of a window and drag it to the side where you want to leave it. It only works to leave windows in one half or the other.
The option to work in split-screen is fantastic, but on an ultra-wide monitor you probably want more, and that something else is to work with applications forming columns. The PowerToys for Windows 10 include a tool called FancyZones that separates the monitor in areas that adjust the window size to those proportions.
If you are using Mac or looking for additional functions in Windows, the application you need is called Magnet. It costs around two dollars, but it is well worth it. It allows us to select a window and automatically give it dimensions and position just by choosing the one we need from a menu from the toolbar.
It is worth mentioning that sometimes these applications are not even necessary because the manufacturers of these monitors have their own software with very similar functions. Some screens even allow you to have windows with different video sources working at the same time. Yes, it is possible to have the Xbox running on one half and the PC on the other.
At the end of the day, it is about having more flexibility when working by adding space to the screen. The downside, of course, is that these monitors are not cheap at all and it also takes relatively powerful equipment to be able to move so many pixels without jerking. In reality, most of today’s PCs can do it. If your budget allows you to buy one of these, think about it. Almost no one regrets the investment.