The More the Merrier? Multiple Monitors with Magnification

April 2013
By Naomi Namekata, Assistive Technology (AT) Specialist

In today’s workplace using more than one monitor is commonplace. The reason is pretty clear; being able to see two or more applications at the same time is helpful! This is especially true for tasks like copying and pasting or inputting data from one program to another. There is now support from a couple of the mainstream magnification software programs so low vision users can take advantage of multiple monitors, too.

There are a few different views that are available for a multiple-monitor display when using a magnification product. What you need to accomplish and what your vision is like will determine which mode you’ll want to use. Let’s take a look at them now.

Independent View

This is your traditional multi-monitor view, but with magnification. You can see as many applications as you have monitors. This is great if you have to view info from two or more applications at the same time. For example, if you’re creating a grocery list for a meal you’re making, you can have your list in notepad up on one screen and a recipe from the internet on the other. One thing to consider with this view is that if an individual has smaller visual fields it may be overwhelming to try and see so much information at once.

Multi-monitor independent view


Span View

This view basically takes one application and spans it across both monitors resulting in one huge monitor. With 2x magnification, you get to see the entire application horizontally. That means there is no need to pan from left to right. If you need less than 2x magnification, however, this may not be the best view for you because part of the second monitor ends up unused.

Multi-monitor span view










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In this mode both monitors display the same program but one is magnified and the other is not. This can be useful for you if you have enough vision to navigate the screen but need magnification to read detail. In this mode you can navigate with one and read with the other. It can also be useful for a presentation. You can view a PowerPoint with magnification on your laptop screen and the view from the projector that your audience sees won’t be magnified.

Multi-monitor "overview" view

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If you want to try multiple monitors with magnification software, free trials are available for these products:

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