How to Appear to Have Dual Monitors - Split Screen

Jan 9, 2010 -

As a ‘financial statement’ auditor, I use prior year’s workpapers as a basis for which I perform current year’s procedures. That means having two similar looking excel documents open on my laptop screen at one time. It’s a huge hassle to have to alt-tab between excel documents trying to compare and contrast. Quite frankly, after ten hours of viewing two of the same yet different documents, it can become unclear as to which document is which! This is especially the case when you have to multi-task and perform multiple procedures at once. In which case, you could have more than two sets of similar looking documents open at once.

The easy solution would be to get a second monitor and link it to my laptop for dual monitors. Because auditors are constantly traveling, we rely heavily on our laptops to perform our work. It wouldn’t make sense for us to carry around PC monitors.

Well, they must make secondary laptop monitors right?

I came across two secondary laptop monitors; the Samsung Lapfit LD200G (22”) and LD190N (19”), both of which did not fit in my laptop bag. In addition they were about eight pounds each. You can imagine how ridiculous it might look to see someone carry around a laptop and a huge monitor in the other arm.

Are there smaller inch displays?

Yes, Nanovision offers 7” USB displays, but they retail around $200. For that amount I could get a much larger PC monitor.

Then it spawned on me, what if I “split” the actual laptop monitor itself. It would appear as if I had dual monitors. Yes, it would mean I would have two “smaller” monitors, but I would not need to alt-tab between files to simply compare or contrast and copy and paste. N
ow you might be thinking why not resize files you have open and have each of the files side by side. While that may be a short-term solution, when you are on a time crunch, resizing documents can be an inconvenience. There is a program called “SplitView”, which simulates dual monitor properties within a single monitor. That means I wouldn’t need to resize the windows that I’ve opened. It does so when I open the window as if I had dual monitors. Below are the different ways the program allows me to split the screen.

Ultimately, I ended up going with the “SplitView” program. It doesn’t make sense to drop two bills to carry around a huge monitor or any monitor for that matter - everywhere I go. The fact that the “firm” would probably not reimburse me for my ingenious idea of using split screens suggests that I go with the program even more so.


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