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I have the following dual-screen set up on my Windows 7 PC: [2][1], that means my secondary monitor is on the left side of my primary monitor.

Now I have a dual-screen wallpaper that should stretch across the monitors. I have set it to "Tile" mode.

Problem: The wallpaper invariably starts at [1] (left edge of the image being on the left edge of [1]), and then continues on [2]. It basically splits the wrong way, producing a rather awkward look.

How can I make the wallpaper appear correctly (i.e. left edge of the image being on the left edge of [2])?


P.S.: I am aware that software like UltraMon could work around this by creating tailored wallpapers with flipped halves or whatnot. I consider this a sucky solution. I basically want Windows to get it right by itself. I've actually told it my screen alignment in the Control panel, so it can't be that difficult, can it?

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I have the exact same problem and would love to see a good answer to this. DisplayFusion is a great piece of software, but using it seems like total overkill for this one single feature. –  Brant Bobby Aug 26 '10 at 15:26
    
Are both monitors running the same resolution? It could be due to awkward resolutions. For instance, I have one monitor at 1600x1200 and the other at 1280x1024 and I don't think a simple tile would work. –  Dillie-O Aug 26 '10 at 22:26
    
You could set your second monitor to the primary monitor and extend to the first one. Is having the start menu on the left screen an option? –  Default Aug 27 '10 at 8:48
    
Heres another application that can fix it: howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/… –  Default Aug 27 '10 at 8:52

6 Answers 6

up vote 9 down vote accepted
+50

As a triple screen monitor user, with a [3][1][2] configuration, I've hit this same problem. Unfortunately, windows actually is that stupid. It defines the left edge of the wallpaper as the left edge of the primary monitor, regardless of how you tell Windows how the monitors are positioned. That screen is only useful for determining how the mouse travels between screens.

I personally use DisplayFusion to correct this unfortunate flaw in the OS.

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Yeah… I guess there is no way denying it. Multi-screen support in Windows 7 sucks. BTW, have you ever tried arranging windows side-by-side with "Aero Snap" in a multi-screen configuration? This is broken as well. –  Tomalak Aug 31 '10 at 11:25
    
So I guess I will accept this answer, because DisplayFusion (free version) is the tool I ended up using. It's a fool-proof, light-weight and no-bullshit software that does exactly what I need. –  Tomalak Aug 31 '10 at 12:08
    
My main problem with DisplayFusion (which is in all honesty a great bit of software) is that the slideshow feature is only available in the Pro version. Windows 7 has this built-in and I love it. Except for the fact that it doesn't know how to place the wallpaper properly, anyway...*sigh*. Also, DisplayFusion has a ton of other features which I just don't need at all. –  Brant Bobby Aug 31 '10 at 17:00
    
Yes, I've been looking into the aero snap thing, but have yet to come up with an answer for it. If you want the slide show feature, you might be able to make a tool that slices and rearranges the wallpaper for you, so you can use the native features. Should be able to do it with a photoshop macro, or a little bit of scripting. –  Ryan Gooler Aug 31 '10 at 17:56
    
@Brant: I don't need a wallpaper slideshow - I don't see my wallpaper that often anyway… So, I merely use it to do the math and the image manipulation for me when I decide to change the wallpaper. After that I quit the software, because I don't care for the keyboard shortcuts and the other features. –  Tomalak Sep 1 '10 at 10:16

You can use a few windows screen managers and wallpaper managers that add extra functionality to dual screen setups.

DisplayFusion is a good free option.

For a few ££ Ultramon is far better; I think there is a shareware version.

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See my P.S. I somehow can't believe Windows is so dumb that it needs extra software make a goddam wallpaper align correctly. –  Tomalak May 7 '10 at 10:00
4  
-1: Please don't promote pirating software. –  SnOrfus May 7 '10 at 15:20

By stating you want Windows to get it right itself you dismiss both a) custom software and b) the option of taking the 20 seconds to swap the halves of the image in a basic image editor.

I guess your only option left is to hope and wait for Windows 8. There is a reason there's custom software for this problem.

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Since the two monitors are of different resolution, "swapping the image in 20 seconds" will not work. Some rather cumbersome (for the purpose) math and some lengthy image editor work will be required to make it look right. It's not complicated to do the math, it just plain sucks. –  Tomalak Aug 31 '10 at 10:26
    
OK, but that information is not part of your original question. I answered it the only possible way: stating the "sucky" solutions (different resolutions make manual editing only suckier) you dismiss are the only ones you have available. –  Daniel Beck Aug 31 '10 at 11:32
    
I deliberately tried to prevent quick "why, just use 3rd party software X"-answers, because I hoped for a "switch hidden registry setting X" answer. Obviously there is no such setting (which I anticipated to some extend, but well…). Anyway, You are right, I should have stated the different resolutions as part of the problem. –  Tomalak Aug 31 '10 at 12:12
    
I'd appreciate it if the person downvoting would be so kind to state the reason. If there's just no solution within the given boundaries, an answer stating exactly that is, in fact, an answer. –  Daniel Beck Nov 8 '11 at 9:55
    
(It wasn't me, in case you suspect that) –  Tomalak Nov 8 '11 at 10:33

Your only solution is to edit the wallpaper. See this article:

Using Dual Monitor Wallpapers on Windows XP & Vista

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I think the problem begins with your setup and understanding of how Windows works with multiple monitors. I'm not saying it's right or wrong (or that you are), it's just the way it is.

First, Windows needs for your primary monitor to be on the left. Obviously you can switch this around (I've even seen them in the above/below configuration).

Second, based on the first, Windows will only flow left to right.

Now, on to fixing your particular problem.

What you will need to do is take your current dual-screen wallpaper and cut it exactly in half. Then you need to join those two halves BACKWARDS, ie... the left is what you would normally expect on the right, & vice versa.

Now, when you tile, they will show what you have, but since your monitors are set up "backwards" (according to Windows), the wallpaper will appear properly.

If you don't have a program to do your editing with, may I recommend irfanview.com. Or use any of the online offerings. Irfanview is free, easy to use, and a great program. It also has an option to create a Panorama, which makes this all a bit easier, since it will join your two halves back into a whole.

Good luck, God bless, and have fun "being backwards!"

SaxManEric

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My primary monitor has a different resolution than my secondary one. Simply cutting the image in halves and flipping them will not produce visually appealing results. –  Tomalak Aug 31 '10 at 10:28

I don't have two monitors but i know a friend that use Dual Monitor Tools. Is a suite of individual apps, you load only the ones you need. The suite currently includes four applications Swap Screen, Dual Wallpaper, DisMon, and Dual Swap. I'm not sure if it is what you need but is free.

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Thanks, I'll give these a try, too. –  Tomalak Aug 31 '10 at 11:26
    
Regarding custom wallpaper configuration, the Dual Monitor Tools (I've tested release 1.4) are inferior to DisplayFusion (tested: version 3.1.10 free). –  Tomalak Aug 31 '10 at 12:04
    
Using this tool now. It's indeed inferiour to UltraMon and DisplayFusion, but those are trialware nowadays. –  Jan_V Jun 23 '12 at 14:16

protected by nhinkle Nov 7 '11 at 22:46

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