How Computer Monitors Work

Dual Monitors

One way to expand your computer's display is to add a second monitor. Using dual monitors can make you more productive and add a lot to your computing experience.

With two monitors, you can:

  • View large spreadsheets
  • Make changes to a web page's code on one monitor and view the results on the second
  • Open two different applications, such as a Word document on one monitor and your web browser on the second

­ Besides two displays and two sets of the appropriate video cables, the only other thing you need is a video adapter with two display connections. The connections can be analog or digital; they need only to match the type of connections on the monitors. It does not matter what type of monitor you use; two LCDs, two CRTs, or one of each works fine as long as the video adapter has compatible connections.

If you don't have a video adapter with two connections, you can purchase one and replace your current adapter. This generally works better than simply installing another video card with a single connection. Combination cards also come with more features, such as a TV-out port.

In addition to verifying your hardware, you should also double-check your computer's operating system to be sure it supports the use of dual monitors. For example, Windows 98 SE, Me, 2000, and XP support multiple monitors.

If you really want to increase your screen real estate, especially for applications such as financial trading or 3-D design, you can even implement three or more monitors.