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I'm a big fan of good monitor usage, but only currently use a few utilities to help me attain display nirvana across several systems and monitors. Part of this is due to not knowing what's available.

Please list one monitor utility that you use and what it does for you per answer, and avoid duplicates - comment on and vote up the existing answers rather than adding a duplicate.

Also, if there are existing questions that delve more specifically into one area of monitor utilities link that in a separate answer.

-Adam

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11 Answers

UltraMon

Among other things:

  • Handles monitor configuration (primary, secondary, etc.).
  • Key-mapping for moving windows between monitors (this is my favorite).
  • Saves window locations.
  • Gives you taskbars on all monitors.
  • Screensaver, background, & desktop icon management

Its license allows you to use it on any computer(s) you own (work, home, etc.). It's decently priced as well. Well worth the money.

I have found that it's a bit quirky sometimes with Vista+Aero. I usually disable Aero and switch back to the Classic theme, so I don't notice this as much.

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I've already recommended DisplayFusion today.

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Does many things UltraMon does, but a little cheaper. Also has some neat features UltraMon doesn't. At least worth considering. –  tj111 Jul 15 '09 at 15:15
    
I'm happy with the free version ;) –  ChrisF Jul 15 '09 at 15:17
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I've found DisplayFusion to be noticeably slower in noticing that I've moved a window to another monitor and updating the task bar - UltraMon is instant! I like instant :) –  Josh Comley Sep 21 '09 at 11:38
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I use the Nvidia Control Panel that comes with the Nvidia drivers. It does everything I need to control my 2-monitor setup. I don't really see any reason to have anything more running.

In addition to setting up additional monitors, you can also 'clone' a monitor so you can have two monitors showing the same desktop.

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Just wait until you upgrade to a non-nVidia card, then you'll see the reason :-) –  Chris W. Rea Jul 16 '09 at 2:51
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For situations that involve multiple systems (rather than monitors):

Synergy

Synergy lets you use your mouse, keyboard, and clipboard across multiple systems. You can configure which edges of your screens go to other systems.

I've found it can be occasionally flaky over wireless if you've got a poor wireless network. Otherwise, it's awesome.

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Have you tried Synergy+? –  nbolton Aug 19 '09 at 2:49
    
Input Director for Windows is awesome, and more stable than Synergy. very configurable also... –  studiohack Mar 10 '10 at 17:01
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Multi Monitor Taskbar

Basically does what UltraMon does, and it's freeware.

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I use slimKEYS. First, it lets me configure hotkeys to move or resize windows exactly how I like (or use the many default hotkeys).

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Second, it allows me to dim out non-active windows, when I need to concentrate on a single window, or when I do many task switching and loose site of which window has the focus.

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Third, it's free, and fourth, I made it! ;)

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It's great, but I prefer having separate apps for different functionality, not bundling everything in one. –  dbkk101 May 17 '10 at 17:23
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Winsplit Revolution

It's not strictly a multi-monitor tool, and it performs some of the same functions as UltraMon (like moving windows between monitors), but it also provides the ability to resize/rearrange windows on a single monitor. This is useful if you have a lot of screen real estate (e.g. a couple of widescreen monitors).

For example, using Ctrl+Alt+Numpad 4 will move the window to the left half of the screen. Pressing it again will resize it to fill the left 1/3 of the screen, and pressing it a third time will resize it to the left 2/3.

It has its drawbacks - it doesn't yet work well with PuTTY windows since they're sized with "columns" and "rows" (this is a known issue), but for almost everything else it's pretty useful.

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VirtuaWin

Multiple desktops on windows, even for multi-monitor setups. Allows me to use the mouse to push on the edge of the screen to switch to the next desktop, and easily set up multiple tasks so I don't have to clutter my work area with a lot of unrelated windows when I'm working on multiple things at once.

Exceptional for situations with single monitors, or low resolution multi-monitor setups.

-Adam

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I love Dexpot. It is a virtual desktop application that is free has hot key associations and other great tools (like window rollups and minimize to tray) built in.

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UltraMon is the one and only utility I have added since getting multiple monitors. It doesn't do many things, but what it does, it does well.

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