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Topic: «Home vs Office with Multiple Monitors » on forum: Technical Support   Views: 1903
 
Robert Hall
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Posts: 14
Joined: 09.02.2022
Posted: 09.02.2022 21:42:27
 
 
I work fr om home and my office back and forth 2-3 times per week. At my office, with more desk space, I have room to run a 36" monitor, a 20" monitor and my laptop screen. AT home I have less desk space, so I run two 24" monitors side by side and don't utilize my laptop screen. It drives me crazy that I have to spend 10 to 15 minutes each time I switch locations to rearrange all the application windows to the proper locations for my 2 different set ups. I purchased AWM  in hopes that it would help my application windows 'remember' wh ere to open based on which monitors it detected. However, I have yet to figure out how to do this - and so I'm still spending 10 to 15 minutes each day rearranging application windows. Is this a problem that AWM can solve? Or, am I doomed to an eternal torture of window rearranging each morning?

Thank you in advance for any help or advice you can offer.

Currently running Actual Windows Manager 8.14.6.1 on Windows 10, 64 bit

RH
 
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Alex Fadeyev
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Moderator
 
Posts: 1398
Joined: 30.09.2005
Posted: 10.02.2022 22:12:07
 
 
Robert,

Thank you for your request.

We have a tool developed exactly for the solution of your problem - automatic window layout keeper.

Did you try to enable the Bind the layout to the desktop geometry option mentioned in the article by the link above?
 
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Robert Hall
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Posts: 14
Joined: 09.02.2022
Posted: 11.02.2022 00:24:01
 
 
Alex,
Thank you for your response. To answer your question, Yes, I've had the window binding enabled since I purchased the software. Attached in the photo are the boxes I have checked (all of them). Does this feature only work when switching between layouts while the computer is on? I turn the computer off between switching locations - is having the computer off in between the monitor changes keeping the software from 'remembering' the positions of my windows? Or, is there another setting that I've inadvertently activated that is keeping the geometry binding from working? What other settings should I check?

 
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Robert Hall
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Posts: 14
Joined: 09.02.2022
Posted: 15.02.2022 20:34:02
 
 
Alex,
Any thoughts or comments on my post from last week?
 
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Bogdan Polishchuk
Administrator
 
Posts: 3787
Joined: 04.04.2012
Posted: 16.02.2022 01:51:44
 
 
Hello, Robert

Quote
is having the computer off in between the monitor changes keeping the software from 'remembering' the positions of my windows?
Unfortunately, yes. The feature doesn't have the ability to remember windows placement between sessions. Also, it only can save and restore the positions for the windows that stay open. So if you close an application and open it again the feature won't restore the application's previous placement in any of your desktop configurations, as the feature considers the application as a new window.

Is leaving the computer on not an option for you?

Could you tell how exactly you open the applications each time you switch locations? In what exactly manner they are placed initially? Is it like they keep their relative placement on monitors but the monitors are mixed up? Or do they all open in one monitor?
 
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Robert Hall
Registered user
 
Posts: 14
Joined: 09.02.2022
Posted: 16.02.2022 02:19:15
 
 
Quote
Unfortunately, yes. The feature doesn't have the ability to remember windows placement between sessions. Also, it only can save and restore the positions for the windows that stay open. So if you close an application and open it again the feature won't restore the application's previous placement in any of your desktop configurations, as the feature considers the application as a new window.
This makes sense, then, why the windows layout tool isn't working. Bummer.

Quote
Is leaving the computer on not an option for you?
Not really. I need to close down my machine while I'm traveling between home and the office.

I mean, I guess I can leave my computer on, and remove it fr om the docking station (which will force all the apps to move to one screen), and then put the computer to sleep while I travel home. I can then plug it in to the docking station at the house and wake up the computer. But I don't think that by reconnecting to my home docking station that all the windows will move to the correct places after waking up the computer again.

Quote
Could you tell how exactly you open the applications each time you switch locations? In what exactly manner they are placed initially? Is it like they keep their relative placement on monitors but the monitors are mixed up? Or do they all open in one monitor?
It's like your first description, they don't open all on one monitor. It's like all the windows try to open up as best they can based on the last layout they were in, but the monitors have changed and the software doesn't recognize the change so they open up too far away from where they are supposed to be; or they open between screens, or off screen (but then the software pulls them back in).

I'm not sure if this information helps, but hopefully it gets us closer to wh ere we need to be. Are there other options to explore? Please let me know what you think, thanks!
 
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Robert Hall
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Posts: 14
Joined: 09.02.2022
Posted: 25.02.2022 06:01:46
 
 
Hello again,
I've been trying different things and I've come up with a pretty good solution for my plight. However, it has now created a new issue; but I hope this one is easier to solve. I would appreciate any help  you can offer.

First off, I created two separate specific settings for each application I use, and I've labeled each one as for 'home' or for 'office' accordingly. It took some trouble shooting as some applications behaved better with out the 'restrict placement' feature activated. But I finally got it all to work. Now, each application opens exactly where I'd like them to with one exception: the child windows inside of Outlook. Specifically, the windows that open when opening an email (1), replying to an email (2), or creating a meeting (3). I've found no way to set up separate specific settings for these child windows in Outlook.

The best I've been able to do is enable the 'save position on exit' option. But that means that the first time I open one of the 3 child windows I have to move them to the correct places. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on how to set up separate settings for these child windows? Please let me know, thanks!

RH
 
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Bogdan Polishchuk
Administrator
 
Posts: 3787
Joined: 04.04.2012
Posted: 12.03.2022 06:27:54
 
 
Hello, Robert

Sorry for the delay in replying to you.

Quote
I guess I can leave my computer on, and remove it fr om the docking station (which will force all the apps to move to one screen), and then put the computer to sleep while I travel home. I can then plug it in to the docking station at the house and wake up the computer. But I don't think that by reconnecting to my home docking station that all the windows will move to the correct places after waking up the computer again.
You can try this once. It may work. But in order for the windows placement to be restored for example at your home setup, you need first to get the placement "remembered" at your home setup, then take the laptop to work, then again connect it to your home setup.

Quote
First off, I created two separate specific settings for each application I use, and I've labeled each one as for 'home' or for 'office' accordingly.
Could you clarify how you manage to make the right settings to be applied depending on what setup the laptop is connected to?

Quote
Specifically, the windows that open when opening an email (1), replying to an email (2), or creating a meeting (3). I've found no way to set up separate specific settings for these child windows in Outlook.
Could you clarify what problems you have with creating specific settings for these Outlook child windows? You can use the "Window caption" parameter in the Target Window section of specific settings for each type of these windows so that the settings are applied specifically to these windows. For example you can type "Meeting" (without quotes) into the "Window Caption" field and select the "Substring match" option for this parameter.
The fact is some of the MS Office child windows are not really closed when you close them, but they're hidden instead. The Message windows for example work like this. So specific settings are applied only once to them. And if you move such windows after the settings were applied then the next time the window opens where you closed it and is not moved in accordance with specific settings, as they're not re-applied this time. But I think in your case it should be enough to apply the settings just once.

The best solution for your situation I can think of is to create separate different Actual Window Manager configurations for home setup and work setup, with their own specific settings for the applications you use. Save these configurations using the "Backup" tool (AWM configuration module > Tools > Configuration > Backup). And then create two batch files (for example .cmd) which start Actual Window Manager and automatically load the configuration for your home setup or work setup. You need to use the “Restore” command. You may want to look at the full list of the program command line parameters.

The batch files commands should be like this:

Code
PUSHD "C:\Program Files (x86)\Actual Window Manager"

START /WAIT ActualWindowManagerCenter.exe restore <backup_file_name.zip>

START ActualWindowManagerCenter.exe

POPD


Where the first command navigates to the installation folder and <backup_file_name.zip> is the full path and name of the .zip file with respective configuration.

For automatic window placement you basically need to use the options of the Position section of the settings - "Move at startup to monitor" and "Align". They're also available in the Startup section of the settings.

But it seems you'll have to start AWM manually each time via these batch files. Is it acceptable for you?
 
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Robert Hall
Registered user
 
Posts: 14
Joined: 09.02.2022
Posted: 12.03.2022 22:54:37
 
 
Bogdan,
Thank you for your reply.
First off - I tried the 'leave computer on between home and office' and it was a complete disaster. Not an option for now.

2nd - the attached file is how I've broken out my settings between home and office. Basically, each one has rules for placement and position designed for either my home or office setups. Each morning, I'll just check and uncheck the appropriate boxes next to each program depending on where I'm at. This has worked really well, except for Outlook which I've mentioned before.

That brings me to number 3
Quote
Could you clarify what problems you have with creating specific settings for these Outlook child windows? You can use the "Window caption" parameter in the Target Window section of specific settings for each type of these windows so that the settings are applied specifically to these windows. For example you can type "Meeting" (without quotes) into the "Window Caption" field and select the "Substring match" option for this parameter.
The fact is some of the MS Office child windows are not really closed when you close them, but they're hidden instead. The Message windows for example work like this. So specific settings are applied only once to them. And if you move such windows after the settings were applied then the next time the window opens where you closed it and is not moved in accordance with specific settings, as they're not re-applied this time. But I think in your case it should be enough to apply the settings just once.
This appears to be the answer I was looking for! I will test this 'window caption' option to see if I can get it to apply to all child window options for Outlook. I will need some time to test this between home an office. My plan is to, for example, when I'm replying to a message, I will choose the option 'Substring Match' and use the text "Message" and make a placement rule for all Outlook windows that contain "Message". I'll do the same for meetings and so on. I think I can get away with only 3 or 4 of these 'sub-rules' for Outlook. But I think this will work. Thanks! And I'll keep you posted on if this works or not.

4th - Regarding the batch files and restore options. The double specific settings for home and office seems to be working for me now. So I stick with that and keep this option as a back up. Thanks again!
 
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Bogdan Polishchuk
Administrator
 
Posts: 3787
Joined: 04.04.2012
Posted: 31.03.2022 08:03:33
 
 
Hello, Robert

Have you managed to create specific settings for the Outlook sub-windows which work successfully?

For your information, I've corrected the script for the batch file a little - its previous version only restored the configuration and didn't start the program.
 
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