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I recently found a post on switching between different sound cards with one key stroke (the answer I ended up using is Default Audio Changer). I am looking for similar functionality for switching between monitors. Win+P is not good enough, as it loops between four choices: Computer | Duplicate | Extend | Projector, and I want to toggle only between two monitors. It also takes at least four key strokes to toggle.

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6 Answers 6

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I'd solve this problem with a combination of Nirsoft's MultiMonitorTool and Chris Mallet's AutoHotkey. The former can accept command-line options to specify which monitor(s) to enable and disable; the latter offers a scripting language in which you can bind arbitrary actions, such as calling an executable with a given set of command-line options, to arbitrary keystrokes. (It's not what I would call a good scripting language, but when the alternative interface to the functionality involves writing Visual Basic script that's even hairier...)

Both are free, and neither is heavyweight; the only overhead involved is in keeping an AutoHotkey script running to catch the keystrokes you've bound to change monitor settings, but that lives in the system tray and idles any time it's not dealing with the specific keystrokes it knows about. Add it to Start Menu\Programs\Startup so it runs when you log in, and that should be all you need.

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There isn't a windows built-in for this as far as I know, but if you have multiple monitors, I strongly recommend that you install UltraMon. It has support for (among many other things) creating custom profiles for display configurations (enable/disable monitors, setup resolutions, refresh rates, layouts and such), and then you can hotkey those profiles or make shortcut icons to click or whatever other method you like for invoking them.

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I am trying to save 3 key strokes. I will not pay a dime for it. It's like, if you get a bazooka you'll be able to kill flies, too. –  user443854 Feb 25 '12 at 15:56

Depending on the Video card and driver you should be able to do this with your Graphics UI; I know for example you can with nVidea you can set/save profiles; monitors and settings along with hotkeys.

You will want to check first that you have the latest driver installed with nVidea you open up 'nview properties' or the 'nvidia control panel' but I prefer the properties UI for most functions; if you save a profile with the settings you wish then: "Enable nView option in the Windows desktop right-click menu" option which is found in the General section under User Interface tab.

This will allow you to right click your active desktop and select your profile from that menu making switching back and forth literally as easy as the click of a button... or your mouse in this case!

Please note these 'instructions' are based on my software version and experience you may have to tweak yours to have it function according to your needs; also nVidia has a tab aptly named "Hot Keys" which you should benefit from.

Not much help for Radeon but their menues/options are similar goodluck hope that helps.

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This doesn't fit the bill. Need to toggle with between two monitors with one key, without making any assumptions about the video card type. If this cannot be done generically in W7, then a script or simple utility program would do. –  user443854 Feb 25 '12 at 15:08

I wish I could tell you how to do it, because I frequently seem to turn something on that does this for me when I don't want it. if I hit the #1 key, it turns it on and then when I hit the #2 key, the active window goes from 1 to 2. Or if I'm on the 2nd display, hitting the #1 key moves it over. I want to turn this off as it is driving me crazy. My window has changed every time I typed either of those numbers in this post. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciate! I'm on windows 7 with an nvidia card. I just found out that hitting the @ sign also moved the window. So does hitting the ! key.

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I was having the same problem as the person above. I found that the way to make it go away was to hit the control button once and it stopped. As to the primary question. At least on my system (w7) I have a thing on the hidden icons box called super utility - this allows one to set up simple hot keys to swap active windows. Hope this helps.

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Windows key + Shift + Left key (or right key) if you only have 2 monitors it won't matter thou. If you have 3 or 4, then it will move the active window to the left (or right window)

Alternatively, you can try running the following from the RUN menu (Windows + R)

DisplaySwitch.exe

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