Tried Actual Multiple Monitors version 4.0
on Windows XP with sp3
Nowadays we usually have a laptop and an external monitor, or may be a desktop with two monitors. The default windows OS does not provide any utility to manage more than 1 monitors. In this case we have a great tool to our aid- Actual Multiple Monitors (AMM).
AMM comes in two versions: free and PRO. Free is ofcourse free for personal use only with reduced features, while the PRO version costs 29.95 USD with free minor updates.
You could check the link below for detailed Free Version vs. Pro Version Feature Comparison Chart:
The installation was very smooth and took less than 60 seconds. It supports 16 languages as of now.
There is a forum to get any help/support on the product. Link below:
The most important feature in my view is the taskbar- which is available for each monitor. Each of the secondary taskbar has crucial components such as start button, system tray, clock and quick launch toolbar. Moreover, you could also re-arrange the tray icons and taskbar buttons by a mere mouse drag. Viola!!
Another very useful feature is “Move to Monitor” title button. AMM adds some buttons to title bar. One of them is move monitor using which you could move the windows from one monitor to another. Additionally, you could set rules for applications, such that each time they are opened- their windows will show in your specified monitor.
For Wallpaper lovers (excluding me) now you could have a diffferent wallpaper on eacah of your monitors. AMM supports all wallpaper picture positioning such as center, tile, stretch, proportional stretch, and crop to fit. Same goes for Screen Savers.
Another feature which is of great interest to me is Mirroring. Now using AMM you could mirror any window on all/selected monitors. This come svery handy in situations such as presentations and online-tutoring/web-based trainings wherein we have to read from the presentation of the material being shown/shared to the audience. Also you could choose to mirror the entire monitor or just a part of the desktop.
For some users who frequently switch monitors having different resolution, AMM’s Desktop Icons Manager feature again helps them by maintaining the desktop layout by saving the icons order from “Save desktop icons order item” option.
I have just touch upon a few features and capabilities of AMM, but there is a lot more to use and explore.
Following are the positives of AMM:
1. It helps enhance productivity and use of resources.
2. Ability to configure separate profiles based on user choice/selection
3. Ability to provide a separate taskbar for multi-monitors that too along with various options like start, clock, pinning option,
4. Ability to set different desktop background & screen saver for each multi monitor
5. Ability to send my configuration file to a friend is just very innovative function. Hats off
6. Ability to set different programs for each multi-monitor. Actually this is what I had been looking in for long, but never found in any other product. It helps segregate the program clutter in a single monitor and efficiently use multi monitor.
7. Different desktop Profiles which includes display properties like screen resolution help better use of monitor screens which are not of the same size. Example my laptop default monitor and external screen could not be set to different resolutions, which is very useful.
8. Ability to move any application to another monitor.
9. Uncluttered tabbed interface and a well integrated help file.
10. Verified maximize, minimize, move options. Works perfectly.
11. Ability to add user wanted Hot-key combinations.
12. Ability to save/backup, load my current configuration/settings.
13. A log to track all the window events relevant to Actual Tools program.
I did not find any shortcoming in the software, but the help file. For instance, the FAQ of help file answers “Important note! If you bought the license for the version 5.4, i.e. after July 9, 2009 – you are eligible to get the free upgrade to version 6.0.”. It is ambiguous because the latest version of Actual Multiple Monitors is 4.0, so how come the FAQ says version 6.0? I could make it out that the FAQ question was answer in general to Actual tools products, but for a novice user it could only cause confusion.
Also the help file shows “Last modified: July 21, 2011″. Hence, there is some good work required to update the help file.
The current FAQ is common to all the products developed by Actual tools. In my view this is not a good practice. The help file should be specific to the product installed. Also their online user manual (link http://www.actualtools.com/windowmanager/help) is for only Actual Window Manager – creating confusion.
To summarize, AMM is a must for all those who work with multi-monitors as it increases your productivity, without having to look out for working windows.
A 30-day full trial could be downloaded from the link below:
Reviewed by Grr