Open up a few browser windows: Spotify, Excel, Steam, Explorer, and PhotoShop. Does this sound like a familiar disorder when you’re using a computer? Powerful, modern PCs have brought with them the inevitable challenge of managing a gaggle of open tasks and windows. Our screens have become as cluttered as our junk drawers. These days, it’s not so fun trying to find what you need when you need it!
If you deal with images or graphic design, you know how important it is to have two or more monitors configured for extended desktop space. The same can be said for gamers, where having two screens increases the interaction and comfort of the player. Different games allow players to enlarge elements on screen by resizing, something very practical for table games.
Fortunately, third-party multi-screen and windows management tools are available to rescue us from the chaos. Here’s a look at a few of the best free tools for optimizing multiple displays and application windows on your Windows PC.
Dual Monitor Tools (DMT) takes a modular approach to multi-screen management by offering a range of stand-alone solutions. This means you can install only the features you want to use and avoid the software bloat of unnecessary programs.
You’ll need to install DMT’s main tool to access and control the suite from your desktop’s notification area. From there, load the DMT General module to configure dual monitor display. DMT offers additional modules targeting program launch, cursor behavior, hotkey support, and wallpaper application. DMT is a product of the Adams group.
From Binary Fortress Software comes DisplayFusion, one of the most recognized names in multi-screen management software for Windows, thanks to a jam-packed feature set. In addition to configuring your displays, you can completely customize your visual computing experience by spanning screensavers across monitors, creating your own lock screen graphics, saving desktop icon layouts, and setting separate wallpapers for each VDU.
DisplayFusion Pro retails for $29 and unlocks even more robust taskbar and screensaver features than its free counterpart.
An oldie but a goodie, free utility MultiMon Taskbar places an intuitive taskbar on each monitor in your configuration. You can easily manage open windows on a single display by taking action on the applications residing on that display. This is an improvement over the native Windows taskbar, which opens on the primary display and shows applications for all displays.
MultiMon Taskbar is super lightweight with a 500 kB footprint and effective 0% CPU consumption. Published by Mediachance, MultiMon Taskbar is also available in a feature-rich pro version for $35.
AquaSnap is a versatile windows manager, not unlike Aero Snap that ships with Windows 10, but with more features. It allows you to customize the tiling of open windows; align, snap, and stretch windows to your specification; and move groups of windows at once.
You can even program this tools’ functions to your mouse buttons and access features via keyboard shortcuts. Boasting customization using up to 15 clickable areas or 5 mouse buttons, AquaSnap is free for personal use.
Divvy helps you make the most of your display real estate with a unique grid approach. Launch the windows manager, and your screen is transformed into a grid of boxes, the configuration of which is a default 6 by 6. You can then resize and position set windows by grid box to fit your preference.
Divvy supports setting windows of various sizes for the same application, which is handy when running multiple browser windows. The number of grid boxes presented by this flexible manager is expandable up to 20 by 20, depending on your monitor size. Divvy is published by software developer Mizage.
As tech geeks, we use more simultaneous applications and windows than ever. Setting up customizable multi-screen and windows management tools will greatly declutter your desktop and restore organized harmony to your computing experience.
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