Working with multiple monitors is a must when doing any serious coding work. Code on one side, output on the other. No more swapping applications from the foreground to background.
Mac OS X make working with multiple monitors a snap: plugin in the secondary monitor, open System Preferences, click on Displays, click on the Arrangement tab and arrange the displays by dragging and dropping. That’s it. In the figure below the larger box is the secondary monitor (larger view area) and the smaller is my laptop.
There is one default setting that I want to mention here that hopefully will save you some time. When you set up an additional monitor the menu bar stays on the original display. Depending on your arrangement, this may be no worry. In my case I wanted the secondary monitor to be the primary display. When working on an application in what is now my primary display, it’s anything but intuitive to move the mouse back over to the laptop display to click a menu item.
I spent some time searching for a tip, trick or hack to fix this little problem, to no avail. I went back into the system settings any number of times looking for a preference setting. I even did a search for a Mac Defaults option to specify where the menu should land. Again, no luck.
Here’s the punch line, the fix was so obvious, it wasn’t obvious. If you look closely at the figure above, notice the second line in the description area…”To relocate the menu bar, drag it to a different display.” Heh, was that there the whole time…??
So here’s the tip: to move the menu bar simply drag-n-drop as you prefer.
Okay, so here’s where I have a question for you. I recently upgraded to Leopard (10.5), and I’m curious if this feature existed on Tiger (10.4)? Essentially I’m looking for an excuse as to why I didn’t see the obvious solution to my question, right in front of me. Maybe you can help me out here :)