Windows

Manage multiple displays in Windows with Actual Multiple Monitors

Actual Multiple Monitors from ActualTools gives you several multiple-display options beyond the basic operating system that make life with more than one display much more pleasant.
This review was originally published in August 2009. With Greg Shultz's recent review of DisplayFusion, I thought it would be a good time to revisit Actual Multiple Monitors. The current version of Actual Multiple Monitors is 3.3.

For many, a multiple-monitor display has become a normal mode of operation. There are also numerous tools beyond the basic operating system available to help multiple-monitor users manage their displays. One such tool is Actual Multiple Monitors from AcutalTools.

Specifications

Who is it for?

The Actual Multiple Monitors tool is designed for anyone using multiple displays and looking for ways to enhance and simplify the experience.

What problem does it solve?

The basic multiple display configuration tools found at the operating system level are notoriously inconsistent and often overly cumbersome to use. Actual Multiple Monitors simplifies the configuration, management, and day-to-day use of multiple monitors.

Features

  • Taskbar: Actual Multiple Monitors emulates the standard Windows taskbar across each monitor in the display. The taskbar reflects the applications being displayed on that monitor so that they are easily accessible and visible at all times.
  • Title Bar button: One of the most innovative and time-saving features of Actual Multiple Monitors is the additional Title Bar button it adds to each application. With this extra button you can move your application to a different monitor with just one click.
  • Background and screensaver: For many users, it is important to have the proper background and screensaver running in their display. With Actual Multiple Monitors users can have different screensavers and backgrounds for each monitor in their multiple-monitor display.
  • Desktop saves: Once a user, or a network administrator for that matter, has the multiple-monitor display desktop they want, it can be saved as a profile and copied to another computer. This makes for easy replication across a department, division, or even an entire enterprise -- if you are running Actual Multiple Monitors system wide.

What's wrong?

  • Toolbar: For Microsoft Windows XP, I am a big fan of the across-the-top toolbar full of shortcuts to frequently used applications. If that toolbar could be extended to other monitors it would be a great feature. But as of this writing, Actual Multiple Monitors does not support that for the XP toolbar. Of course, this doesn't apply to Windows Vista or Windows 7, which does not use the toolbar, so for many the point is not relevant.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

Multiple-monitor displays are commonplace for many users in the enterprise, and, therefore, they must be supported by IT departments. With the ability to save and then share desktop configurations, Actual Multiple Monitors can save these support professionals time and reduce frustration for all involved.

User rating

Have you encountered or used Actual Multiple Monitors? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

5 comments
Mr_Tech
Mr_Tech

I used the trial version for 30 days and I have to say it's a great piece of software. Multiple taskbar support is awesome. $39.95 however for me is a bit pricey. I settled with a freeware ZBar - it does the job for me.

Genry
Genry

Sorry, Mark, but you wrote some shit...

regula999
regula999

Hey Guys you forgot to mention Synery - Excellent cross monitor keyboard and mouse sharing up to 4 computers and their monitors hooked up....also its freeware....can't beat it.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I have been using two monitors at TechRepublic for several years now - it would be difficult to go back to a single monitor now. Have you tried a multiple monitor setup?

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