Windows 8: Better Alternative to a Native Multi-Monitor Taskbar
- Windows 8 Multi-Monitor Features
Microsoft plans to release Windows 8 at the end of next year. Appreciable difference of new operating system will be additional taskbars when working with multiple monitors. However, secondary taskbar of Windows 8 will have a terribly low number of features unlike the primary taskbar, while Actual Multiple Monitors secondary taskbar contains all features of primary Windows taskbar.
Secondary taskbar is very important feature for most users working with two or more monitors. Using the Windows 8 secondary taskbar, users will get only additional space for running tasks in fact.
Windows 8 native multi-monitor taskbar works in three modes:
- Mirror mode - windows appear duplicated on all taskbars.
- Individual Secondary mode - windows appear unique to each taskbar and on main taskbar as well.
- Individual mode - windows appear unique on each taskbar.
In addition, Windows 8 secondary taskbars have no Start button (user can only move the primary Start button between taskbars), no notification area, no toolbars, no clock and no Show Desktop button. Also, Pin to taskbar generally does not work.
On the contrary, Actual Multiple Monitors offers a fully functional taskbar for each monitor - with all the features and controls that are absent in Windows 8 native multi-monitor taskbar:
- Start button – there is no need to return to the primary taskbar each time to access the Start menu because the Start button is available on each taskbar.
- Notification area and clock – users have access to system tray and clock (including calendar) on each taskbar.
- Show Desktop button - available on the right of each Actual Multiple Monitors taskbar.
- Toolbars - it is possible to set up toolbars familiar for many users on each taskbar individually.
- Pin to taskbar - implemented in Windows 8 only for the primary taskbar. However, the users of Actual Multiple Monitors can use Pin individually on each secondary taskbar (with the native Jump Lists support).
|Feature||Windows 7||Windows 8||Actual Multiple Monitors|
|Mirror mode (duplicated on all taskbars)||no||yes||yes|
|Individual mode (unique to each taskbar)||no||yes||yes|
|Individual secondary mode (unique to each taskbar and on main taskbar)||no||yes||yes|
|Grouping of similar buttons||no||yes||yes|
|Multi-preview for group buttons||no||yes||yes|
|Show Desktop button||no||no||yes|
|Pin buttons to taskbar||no||no||yes|
|Control buttons in thumbnail previews||no||yes||yes|
Back to top
In contrast to Windows 8, Actual Multiple Monitors offers a number of additional features, which help users solve their problems when working with dual, triple or more monitors.
Actual Multiple Monitors adds new buttons to each window's title bar for easier control. ‘Move to monitor’ button allows quick moving of any window (even maximized) to any monitor. ‘Maximize to desktop’ button allows maximizing any window to entire visible desktop area or just to selected displays (e.g. two of three).
Moreover, users can assign a hotkey for any action in Actual Multiple Monitors and create specific rules for any window to run this window on a specific monitor.
Feature Windows 7 Windows 8 Actual Multiple Monitors Multi-Monitor Window Management Change specific window's position at startup no no yes Move windows to any monitor via title button no no yes Move windows to any monitor via hotkey yes yes yes Maximize windows to desktop via title button no no yes Maximize windows to desktop via hotkey no no yes
Desktop Mirroring is not a standard Windows feature but it can be useful for many users. This feature allows creating mirrors of various objects (the area around the mouse pointer, a part of desktop, specified window / application / monitor) in a separate window. Mirroring is described more detailed in the article Desktop Mirroring.
Although Windows 8 has the ability to manage wallpapers on all displays, Actual Multiple Monitors offers more simple and convenient interface for managing the desktop background on multiple monitors.
Feature Windows 7 Windows 8 Actual Multiple Monitors Multi-Monitor Background Wallpaper Management Single picture over entire desktop yes yes yes Individual picture on each monitor yes yes yes Slideshow mode yes yes yes
Users can set different screen savers on each monitor with the help of this tool.
Feature Windows 7 Windows 8 Actual Multiple Monitors Multi-Monitor Screen Saver Management Single screen saver over entire desktop yes yes yes Individual screen saver on each monitor no no yes
Users can create desktop profiles for quick switching between different display configurations.
Feature Windows 7 Windows 8 Actual Multiple Monitors Multi-Monitor Desktop Profiles Saved desktop profiles yes yes yes Background settings yes yes yes Screen saver settings yes yes yes Display settings (resolution, orientation, etc.) no no yes Switch between profiles via hotkeys no no yes
Back to top
Despite the fact that Microsoft has implemented native multi-monitor taskbar in Windows 8, it still does not solve all problems of users who use multiple monitors. Many important features, which users appreciate in the main taskbar, has not been implemented for secondary taskbars. However, all these features are available in Actual Multiple Monitors.
Back to top
Learn how to split the desktop (either single- or multi-monitor) into multiple non-intersecting areas for better windows allocation.
If you have decorative wallpaper, or attractive desktop colors, Actual Transparent Window lets them through to keep your desktop work area beautiful!
New features for improving Windows 8 Metro Start Menu already in Actual Multiple Monitors.
If you usually switch to another application and work with it, while the offline browser is doing its job, it may be very convenient to minimize the program to the system tray or to any place of your screen and save taskbar space.
Learn how to apply advanced Actual Tools features to skinned Windows Media Player window that has no title bar (and, thus, there are no extra Actual Tools buttons).
Minimizing programs to system tray lets you save space in the taskbar while providing easy access to running applications (via the tray icon). The Minimize Alternatively option can be useful for email clients, text editors and so on.
If you often use such folders as My Computer, My Documents, My Network Places etc. and want to open them where you indicate - our Actual Window Manager program is made for you!
Do you still turn off unused monitors manually? Use the new feature of Actual Multiple Monitors to run screensavers on unused displays automatically or by the hotkey combination.
The Stay Always-on-Top feature brings the window to the top of the desktop and doesn't allow other windows to hide it.
Microsoft Outlook is the most famous e-mail client all over the world and millions of people use it every day at home and in their offices. But despite of these facts we can improve our Microsoft Outlook!