Comparison of multi-monitor software

PC setups with multiple monitors become more and more popular not only among professionals but also for home users (especially the simplest and most reasonable dual-monitor configuration). However, even modern versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, provides the very basic support for multi-monitor desktops.

The following table compares the software utilities which extend the multi-monitor abilities of the Windows operating system.

Features

\ Product
\
Feature \
Actual Multiple Monitors DisplayFusion Dual Monitor Tools MultiMon Taskbar UltraMon ZBar
Homepage Homepage Homepage Homepage Homepage Homepage Homepage
Price $29.95 USD[1] $24.95 USD[1] Free $28 USD[1] $39.95 USD Free
Version 3.4.1 Pro 3.4 Pro 1.4 3.0 Pro 3.1.0 0.81
Release 11.11.2011 02.10.2011 01.06.2010 Unknown 20.12.2010 13.12.2010
Supported OS Windows 8[2] / 7 / Server / Vista / 2008 / XP / 2003 / 2000 (x86 / x64) Windows 8[2] / 7 / Server / Vista / 2008 / XP / 2003 / 2000 (x86 / x64) Windows 7 / Vista / XP Windows 7 / Vista / 2000 / XP Windows 7 / Vista / 2000 / XP (x86 / x64) Windows 7 / Vista / XP
Multi-monitor Taskbar (emulation of the main Windows Taskbar on secondary monitors)
Individual mode[3] Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Mirror mode[4] Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Support of Windows native visual themes[5] Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Support of custom visual themes[6] Yes Yes No No Yes No
Start button[7] Yes Yes No No No No
Notification area[8] Yes No No No No No
Clock Yes Yes No No No Yes
Toolbars (Quick Launch, Desktop, Windows Media Player, etc.) Yes No No No Yes No
Semi-transparency Yes Yes No No No Yes
Thumbnail previews Yes Yes No No No Yes
Auto-hide Yes Yes No No No No
Change taskbar buttons' alignment[9] No Yes No No No No
Grouping similar buttons Yes Yes No No No No
Multi-preview for group buttons Yes Yes No No No No
Reordering taskbar buttons Yes Yes No No No Yes
Reordering icons in the notification area Yes No No No No No
Minimize all windows Yes Yes Yes[10] No Yes[11] No
Custom taskbar settings per-taskbar[12] Yes Yes No No No No
Advanced Windows 7 features
Pin buttons to taskbar Yes Partial[13] No No No No
State icons on buttons[14] Yes Yes No No No No
Progress indicators on buttons[15] Yes Yes No No No No
Aero Peek Yes Yes No No Yes No
Control buttons in thumbnail previews[16] Yes No No No No No
Show Desktop button Yes Yes No No No No
Aero Shake Yes No No No Yes No
Jump Lists Yes No No No No No
Context menus for Jump List items Yes No No No No No
Show hidden notification area icons in the special fly-out window Yes No No No No No
\ Product
\
Feature \
Actual Multiple Monitors DisplayFusion Dual Monitor Tools MultiMon Taskbar UltraMon ZBar
Multi-monitor Window Management
Fit to the monitor Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Group window operations Yes Yes No No Yes No
Change specific window's position at startup Yes Yes No No Yes[17] No
Specific settings for any application Yes Yes No No Yes[17] No
Display window size and location when moving/resizing Yes Yes No No No No
Move windows between monitors
Via additional title bar button Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Via additional command in each window's system menu Yes No No No Yes No
Via hotkeys Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Via middle-click on window's title bar Yes Yes No No Partial[18] No
Maximize windows to entire desktop
Via additional title bar button Yes Yes No No Yes No
Via additional command in each window's system menu Yes No No No Yes No
Via hotkeys Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Maximize windows just to selected monitors
Via additional title bar button Yes Yes No No No No
Via hotkeys Yes Yes No No No No
Snap windows
To desktop boundaries Yes Yes No No No No
To each other (from outside) Yes Yes No No No No
To each other (from inside) Yes Yes No No No No
To a customizable virtual grid Yes No No No No No
Aero Snap on edges between monitors Yes No No No Partial No
Aero Snap emulation in XP/Vista Yes No No No No No
Moving maximized windows
Via additional title bar button Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Via hotkeys Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Via mouse dragging Yes[19] Yes No Yes Yes No
\ Product
\
Feature \
Actual Multiple Monitors DisplayFusion Dual Monitor Tools MultiMon Taskbar UltraMon ZBar
Multi-monitor Background Wallpaper Management
Custom multi-monitor background[20] Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Custom profiles Yes Yes No No Yes No
Slideshow mode Yes Yes No No No No
Auto-downloading wallpaper pictures from online media library No Yes[21] No No No No
Custom image sizing modes[22] Yes Yes No No No No
Custom color modes[23] No Yes No No No No
Custom image position adjustments per-monitor[24] No Yes No No No No
Custom image scaling per-monitor[25] No Yes No No No No
Customizable text displayed on the desktop No Yes No No No No
Multi-monitor Screen Saver Management
Custom multi-monitor screen saver[26] Yes Yes No No Yes No
Multi-monitor Display Management
Desktop profiles[27] Yes Yes No No Yes No
Custom display settings for certain applications No Yes No No Yes[17] No
Toggle any secondary monitor Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Assign wallpaper profile to desktop profile Yes Yes No No No No
Switch desktop profiles via hotkeys Yes Yes No No No No
Switch desktop profiles via title bar buttons No Yes No No No No
Switch desktop profiles via Windows Desktop's context menu Yes No No No No No
Activate desktop profile at program's startup Yes No No No Yes No
Multi-monitor Mouse Features
Move mouse to next/previous/primary monitor via hotkeys Yes No No No Yes No
Lock mouse within active window Yes Yes No No Yes No
Lock mouse within current monitor (hard[28]) Yes Yes No No Yes No
Lock mouse within current monitor (soft[29]) Yes No No No No No
Shrink mouse locking area by custom size No Yes No No No No
Custom actions in response to clicks on standard window parts Yes No No No No No
Edgeless desktop[30] Yes No No No No No
Other Options
Copy of the Alt-Tab Task Switcher on each monitor Yes No No No No No
Exclusions for certain applications Yes Yes No No Yes No
Title bar buttons management Yes Yes No No Yes No
Save/Restore position of desktop icons Yes No No No Yes No
Ignore any secondary monitor No Yes Yes No Yes No
Customize Windows Logon background image No Yes No No No No
Hotkeys management
Customize key combinations Yes Yes No No Yes No
Add custom hotkeys Yes Yes No No No No
Mirroring
Entire monitor on two or more other displays Yes No No No Yes No
Single window Yes No No No Yes No
Selected part of desktop Yes No No No Yes No
Area around the mouse pointer Yes No No No Yes No

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Product has a freeware edition with limited functionality and some licensing restrictions.
  2. ^ a b Developer Preview build (Build 8102).
  3. ^ Each taskbar displays only applications running on its host monitor.
  4. ^ All taskbars display all applications.
  5. ^ Emulated taskbars look the same as the main taskbar with any native visual theme applied.
  6. ^ Emulated taskbars look the same as the main taskbar with any custom visual theme applied.
  7. ^ Secondary taskbars can display the Start button providing a quick access to the Start menu from any monitor.
  8. ^ Secondary taskbars can display a copy of the notification area providing a quick access from any monitor to applications running in background.
  9. ^ Option to align buttons to the left/right side of the taskbar.
  10. ^ Via hotkey only.
  11. ^ Via taskbar's context menu only.
  12. ^ Each taskbar can have its own settings (including visibility on a specific monitor).
  13. ^ Adding shortcut buttons to additional taskbars via special configuration window (essentially, it is an analog of Windows Quick Launch toolbar).
  14. ^ Like Online/Away status for Windows Live Messenger.
  15. ^ Like IE/Firefox/Chrome download indicators
  16. ^ Like Previous/Play/Pause/Next buttons for Windows Media Player.
  17. ^ a b c Via application's desktop shortcut.
  18. ^ Requires to download an add-on.
  19. ^ With the Aero Snap emulation enabled.
  20. ^ Ability to stretch a single picture over entire composite desktop or set an individual picture on each monitor.
  21. ^ Supports two media libraries: Flickr.com, Vladstudio.com.
  22. ^ Set one of the available mode for each wallpaper (center, stretch, etc.).
  23. ^ Overlaying the custom visual effect (Grayscale, Sepia Tone, Inverted, etc.) on the picture.
  24. ^ Setting the offset for each wallpaper to the left/right/up/down (relative to the center, in pixels).
  25. ^ Zooming of a wallpaper for each monitor.
  26. ^ Ability to stretch a single screen saver over entire composite desktop or run an individual screen saver on each monitor.
  27. ^ Ability to store various desktop configurations as named profiles and switch between them.
  28. ^ Hard lock keeps the mouse pointer within current monitor unconditionally, until the lock is turned off.
  29. ^ Soft lock holds the mouse pointer on the boundaries between monitors automatically for a specified time; if user continues dragging the mouse to another monitor longer than this time - the mouse crosses the boundary.
  30. ^ Tool that automatically warps the mouse pointer to the opposite edge of desktop when user tries to drag the mouse beyond desktop limits.

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