Multiple Monitors for Editing Efficiency
A 30-foot-wide screen and two 50-inch monitors can kind of spoil an editor. That’s what I got to use when presenting a session at the Editors' Association of Canada Conference this weekend (pictured). At home the office, I only have two 27” monitors.
Are you still struggling with a single monitor? You may not even be aware of the struggle. It’s worth the outlay.
"A second/third/fourth monitor is very cheap related to the increase in productivity it can bring," is what Sheila McLain McPhee was told by her IT department when she asked for a third monitor.
Why does it save time?
Because you’re not flipping back and forth between documents, searching for the right window.
The computer thinks these multiple monitors are a single large screen. The mouse moves seamlessly across the physical boundaries.
Just plug in a second (or third, or fourth) monitor is how easy it can be. Mac and Windows computers often have this ability built right into the system preferences now so there’s rarely need for additional graphics cards (though Windows may need drivers installed).
My advice is do not buy any monitor less than the size of a double-page spread. Then, at least, you can see two pages at “real size.”
- laptop + monitor
- laptop + TV
- two horizontal monitors
- two vertical monitors
- three or more monitors building on above
- additional “virtual” desktops (for Mac)
Arranging monitors vertically lets you see a full page in its native, portrait layout. Look for a screen with a swivel back, or one that mounts on the wall or arm (that has a swivel function).
Nomadic Editor Rachel Stuckey carries an HDMI cable with her as she travels the globe and plugs her Macbook Air right into the hotel room’s TV.
Many editors report using their iPads and smart phones for resources such as dictionaries, style guides, and anything else available online. They're not seamless with the computer's monitors, but they are extra real estate.
What do you use all these screens for?
- present document
- style sheet & browser for fact checking/dictionary
- reference documents
- email & social media
What's your setup?