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Last week Matt Elliot covered how to organize your Mac's desktop using Spaces. Spaces offers a virtual method of adding more desktops without multiple monitors. While Spaces is a productivity haven for Mac users, sometimes using an extra monitor is the only way to get things done. I've been using a secondary monitor for nearly two years now, and I couldn't imagine a better setup for what I need.
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Connecting a second or third display to a Mac is something you can do with very little tech-savviness, and only a little time to actually set it up save for the time it takes you to actually pick out a monitor. It's important to note, some Mac's are limited to powering only one external monitor the MacBook Air, for example , while others can support two or more.
The easiest way to find out how many monitors your can connect to your Mac is to visit the Apple Specifications page for your respective Mac. Visit this page , find and select your Mac, then look under Graphics and Video support for number of external monitors supported. When you shop for a monitor, pay attention to the type of connector that comes bundled with the monitor. As Geoffrey Morrison explained here , if it's at all possible, avoid VGA as it doesn't offer pixel-perfect image quality.
Since Apple abandoned both connection types long ago, you'll need to purchase the corresponding Mini DisplayPort adapter i.
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The adapter converts the signal coming from the monitor, making it compatible with your Mac. Don't sweat if you own a newer Mac with a Thunderbolt port -- it doubles as a Mini DisplayPort as well. The adapter isn't terribly expensive if you get it from online stores like Amazon or Monoprice. For those who prefer to get accessories direct from the source, you can also find them in the Apple Store. Some users report that the official adapters are more reliable, but I've had success with the third-party variety.
Once you've acquired all the necessary parts, set up your monitor, power it on and plug it into your Mac's Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort.
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At this point, make sure you're logged into your computer and have both screens powered up. After connecting everything, your Mac will begin mirroring its display to the new monitor automatically.
In the configuration window, you'll see both displays stacked to indicate mirroring mode. To disable mirroring, uncheck the box just below the display preview window located next to the "Mirror Displays" text. Both screens will go black for a brief moment. When they come back you'll have two different desktops, with the menu bar and dock being restricted to only appearing on one. Gather Windows moves all open Display preferences windows to the display showing this button.
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This button appears only if more than one display is connected to your computer. Consult with the Tech Training Center for more information. Follow Setting up the classroom projector to mirror the display of your computer is common and fairly simple to do. Connect the displays to your computer.
Uncheck Mirror Displays. Have more questions? Submit a request.