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I have two monitors. One rotated 90 degrees. The other at standard station. I've adjusted the two monitors to heights that are comfortable for me.

Allow me to attempt some ASCII art to demonstrate:

              XXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXX X         X
X           X X         X
X           X X         X
X  Mon1     X X         X
X           X X         X
X           X X  Mon 2  X 
XXXXXXXXXXXXX X         X
              XXXXXXXXXXX

The annoying thing is when a window goes across two monitors the Y dimension isn't lined up, again more ASCII Art. W below is a window moving across the two monitors

              XXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXX X         X
X           X XWWWW     X
X        WWWX X   W     X
X  Mon1  W  X XWWWW     X
X        WWWX X         X
X           X X  Mon 2  X 
XXXXXXXXXXXXX X         X
              XXXXXXXXXXX

Notice how when W moves from Mon1 to Mon2 the Y dimension of Mon2 is not aligned with Mon1, so the window gets pretty cock-eyed when occupying two monitors.

Is there any way to get this:

              XXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXX X         X
X           X X         X
X        WWWX XWWWW     X
X  Mon1  W  X X   W     X
X        WWWX XWWWW     X
X           X X  Mon 2  X 
XXXXXXXXXXXXX X         X
              XXXXXXXXXXX

It seems like if I align the top of the rotated monitor (Mon2) to line up with the top of the standard monitor (Mon1) I can achieve this. However the arrangement is very awkward and not a comfortable viewing position for me. I'd prefer the ability to calibrate this based on the monitor heights that are comfortable for me.

And not just for windows, but I'd like my mouse cursor to understand this as well.

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2  
Have you seen this (superuser.com/questions/281176/…) question? –  CajunLuke Sep 9 '11 at 15:26
13  
I love the ASCII art - great illustration of your issue :-) –  Stuart McLaughlin Sep 9 '11 at 15:30
1  
I'm not sure I agree with this being a duplicate - while the ANSWER is the same, the PROBLEM is worded differently enough that somebody searching in one manner might not find the other. This is a totally different question ("I can't move my mouse" vs. "My windows don't line up correctly"). Only somebody who already knows the answer would equate these two. –  Shinrai Sep 10 '11 at 14:39

4 Answers 4

up vote 46 down vote accepted

In Display Properties, you can drag the thumbnails of the monitors around (this is how you tell Windows exactly the monitors physical relationship to one another if it doesn't guess them right by dumb luck). The alignment you make with those thumbnails EXACTLY reflects the overlap between the monitors (just like in your ASCII-art, basically), so you just need to play around with it until you get exactly what you want. (It sounds like you probably have the tops aligned currently - it will attempt to snap to common edges.)

Note that unless the pixel pitch is identical on these monitors, you'll probably never get perfect alignment across the entire length of the screen.

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2  
holy crap I never realized that! wow thanks. –  Doug T. Sep 9 '11 at 15:26
    
Even with perfect pixel pitch and all that, there are a limited number of adjustment options. The screens in the dialog align to a grid that does not allow incredibly fine control. Unless you are very fortunate, it can be impossible to get an EXACT alignment between the screens if they are different sizes or resolutions or orientations. –  music2myear Sep 9 '11 at 15:35
1  
@music2myear, true, but I got it close enough that I could nudge one monitor up or down slightly to get exact alignment. –  Doug T. Sep 9 '11 at 15:36
    
@music2myear - That's true, actually managing to align them can be difficult. You might have better luck with a third party monitor management app (UltraMon, DisplayFusion, or something like that) if it's really that difficult because they can possibly give you better control. Generally you can get close enough, though. –  Shinrai Sep 9 '11 at 15:37
    
I've used multiple malaligned monitors a few times and I've always been able to align windows perfectly. It's not that hard. –  configurator Sep 9 '11 at 17:46

You can adjust the monitor alignment in Display Properties

Display Properties

Just drag the monitor icons up and down as required...

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You can use a book or stack of papers to make one of the monitors sit higher, thats how I do the fine adjustment when I am getting my monitors setup.

Before:
              XXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXX X         X
X           X XWWWW     X
X        WWWX X   W     X
X  Mon1  W  X XWWWW     X
X        WWWX X         X
X           X X  Mon 2  X 
XXXXXXXXXXXXX X         X
              XXXXXXXXXXX

After

XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX
X           X X         X
X        WWWX XWWWW     X
X  Mon1  W  X X   W     X
X        WWWX XWWWW     X
X           X X  Mon 2  X 
XXXXXXXXXXXXX X         X
BOOKBOOKBOOK  X         X
BOOKBOOKBOOK  XXXXXXXXXXX
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2  
In my question I state that I don't want to change the height of either monitor because they are at comfortable viewing levels. –  Doug T. Sep 9 '11 at 20:25
    
+1 for mentioning a book! haha –  user913233 Sep 11 '11 at 13:44
1  
+1 made me laugh. Not a "good" answer since it doesn't answer the real question, but still a good answer... If that makes sense. –  WernerCD Sep 11 '11 at 16:03
1  
+1 for BOOKBOOKBOOK :P :D –  Confused Nov 2 '11 at 8:25

You didn't say what operating system you were using, unless I missed it.

The answer for Linux is to use the program xrandr, which dynamically changes your video settings. The option for adjusting is --pos.

If you have 2 monitors of 1280x1024 and 600x800, for example, on the second monitor you would use: --pos 1280x0 for the upper left corner of the second monitor to align at the top, or a --pos 1280x100 for the second monitor's top to be 100 pixels down from the top of the first one. Since xrandr does not require you to restart X-windows, you can run the command repeatedly and view the results immediately.

Once satisfied, the command you used can be put into a script and put in wherever you linux distribution wants user scripts to be on startup of X-windows. It varies a little but is easily googled to find out the exact location for your flavor of Linux.

If the reason the second monitor need adjusted is because it is rotated 90 degrees, you use the --rotate option with either left, right or invert on the same command line for the second monitor.

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4  
it is tagged Windows XP, but thanks for the linux info. It could prove useful to someone else. –  Doug T. Sep 15 '11 at 14:45

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