1 2 3 First Previous 101 Replies Latest reply on Dec 14, 2018 1:45 PM by Walter Fetsch

    What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?

    Jim Wilkinson
      Hi All,

      If you saw me on stage at SolidWorks World, you'll note that one of the things I mentioned that we are looking into for the future is better support for multiple monitors (especially two, side by side, since it is most common) and widescreen monitors. Support for dual monitors later came out as the #1 enhancement request at SolidWorks World in the voting this year.
      We have many ideas of what this means and we are working on some things for SolidWorks 2009 and beyond, but I wanted to start a discussion here as one data point to see what kinds of things you would like us to do to satisfy this need. I understand different users will likely want different things and flexibility may be the key, so please throw your ideas out or play off of others ideas.

      When replying back to the thread, please respond with what kind of monitor setup you are using (or would like to use) so I get a better understanding of what range of setups we should be targeting.
        • 1. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
          Rich Osterreicher
          Hi Jim,
          Currently (2) 19"'s
          Getting Widescreens's soon..

          Movable Command Manager.
          So, users can move it to the side. If they want to..
          Screens are getting wider.. Not taller..

          Or, ability to move the command manager and feature tree on second screen..
          • 2. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
            David Heinemeyer
            Presently I'm using a Soyo 24" 1920X1200 for left monitor and a Samsung 19" 1280X1024 for right monitor. I keep SolidWorks full screen on the 24" and any other running apps on the 19". It could be usefull to be able to dock Toolbars, the Feature Manager and or the Task Pane on the left edge of the 19".
            • 3. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
              Matt Lombard
              I've got a 17" widescreen laptop next to a 24" widescreen lcd. The laptop has to be the primary monitor, there is no way to set another monitor to the primary. The laptop is to the left and the 24" is to the right.

              I run SW on the 24".

              One common problem is that when I start a second session of SW, it issues the
              can't start the journal file warning, but it does it behind all of the applications, so when the second session of SW doesn't start, you have to go looking behind every open app, dismiss the warning, and then the second session starts.

              I also have another computer with a KVM that uses the 24" as the primary monitor and a 20" normal aspect as a secondary. In this arrangement , the 24 is on the left. and 20 on the right, and SW goes again on the 24.

              • 4. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                John Nemeth
                I use a Dell 24" Wide Screen on 1900x1200 resolution on the left hand side and a 15" (Yes, 15" for this time being) on the right hand side for running Outlook, Web Browser and Excel if needed for DT and stuff.
                I'd like to use the secondary monitor (will be most likely a 19", 4x3) on the right hand side for the Feature Tree, Managers and Task Pane. I'm happy with the CM in SW 2008 and I would keep it on the top of the 24" monitor, as it is now.
                • 5. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                  Jim Wilkinson

                  matt lombard wrote:


                  ...when I start a second session of SW...

                  Hi Matt,

                  So you prefer to run one session of SolidWorks per monitor at times? Is this to maximize the use of the two monitors or are you running different versions or something? If it is to maximize use of the space, would it be preferable that SolidWorks worked like Word (SDI - Single document interface - the UI is duplicated for every document when you tile windows, etc.) or do you like the current interface (MDI - Multiple document interface - all documents within one application window so there is only one instance of all the UI elements). The problem with running two copies of SolidWorks is the resources required where a true SDI architecture is really only running one session and duplicating the UI visually. Theoretically, there could be a hybrid approach too where we don't do a true SDI but do what I'll call a MDIPM (Multi Document Interface Per Monitor) approach...meaning we would have what looked like a separate copy of SolidWorks running on each monitor but it is really one session with multiple copies of the UI (one per monitor) and then documents could be moved back and forth between the monitors (between the UI windows) without problems. The problem with multiple sessions is that I am sure that there are many things you can't do between the sessions which we could potentially enable with a different approach to multiple monitor support.

                  Anyway, what I was just talking about is truly theoretical at this point and would be a substantial amount of work (I am not sure any application has done it before). I am just mostly curious why you run the multiple sessions and if this type of environment but improved further would be advantageous to you or others.
                  • 6. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                    Devon Sowell
                    Hello Jim-

                    RE:"What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?"

                    I've never used dual monitors and I have no interest in using dual monitors. To me, another piece of hardware (another monitor) just seems silly to me. However, I am interested in a larger monitor, say a widescreen > 22" or so. As soon as I can budget for the purchase, I'll get one.

                    Thanks for asking.
                    • 7. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                      Matt Lombard

                      I run multiple versions usually to check for regressions, or sometimes I have to work on customer parts in 2007 while doing book related stuff in 2008.

                      Sometimes I bring up multiple 2007s to open the same part twice to visualize a previous state of a changed but unsaved part.

                      Usually the first situation will use the big monitor and the second situation will use both monitors.
                      • 8. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                        Jeff Mowry
                        I use a single 21" widescreen (Gateway LCD), and don't have the practical need for multiple monitors (yet). However, it would be cool when doing animation set-up or even renderings to use multiple monitors if we could break the UI into specific chunks--for each monitor. So if I had my interface for material/lighting/scene selection (PhotoWorks) large where I could better see things--separate from my viewport (other monitor), that could make things work much better. Plus, then, I could more easily resize my viewport smaller for quick rendering checks without losing my UI for EVERYTHING when doing so.

                        • 9. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                          Steve Calvert
                          Jim, I currently use a Dell 24" wide screen and will be upgrading that to a Dell 27" as soon as it gets here.

                          I'm with Devon in this one, I'm not sure dual monitor support means anything to me.

                          • 10. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                            Paul Hickman
                            I'm using two 19" Samsung LCDs at the moment and use the Left screen as my Primary with mail and internet and gadgets on the Right screen.

                            To me it's not so much about increasing work space but being about to use the two monitors to compare stuff. Having a big gap down the middle just doesn't make a big window practical.

                            I really like the idea of the Word style SDI or MDIPM. When comparing AutoCAD drawings I have to open a new session so I can put one drawing on each monitor. If SolidWorks did this without opening new sessions, it would be a real plus. Alternatively, the ability to dedock the FM and CM toolbars would be handy, giving me a whole screen of model space.
                            • 11. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                              Mark Main
                              I have 2 19" Dell LCD monitors

                              I agree with alot of what everyone is saying, especially the opportunity to run dual sessions of solidworks.

                              What I would love to see is when you open a model on the left screen, the drawing opens on the right (or vice versa, Im not picky). then you could easily go between the two without having to hide one behind the other
                              • 12. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                                Dale Dunn
                                2x 21" CRT @ 2048x1536. SW on #1, everything else on #2

                                Myself, I have only rarely wanted to display SW on more than one monitor. In cases when that has happened, I needed to compare two versions of the model, one in memory, and one as saved. On other occasions, I tried things like opening an assembly on one monitor and individual components on the other. I found little benefit in that, especially since I had to give up my view of other applications on the other monitor, and one monitor or the other always showed out of date geometry after editing in the other.

                                Most discussion I have seen in the forums seem to revolve around being able to detach elements of the UI to move to another monitor. This doesn't seem to require multiple monitors, but may have been branded with the name "multi-monitor support" because so many people who want this want use a second monitor for these UI elements. Specifically, the feature manager, property manager, command manager (and other toolbars) and the task pane could all theoretically be datached from the main window and docked elsewhere. I for one would love to be able to open a large feature manager (wider? multi-column? true history version?) outside of SW and get rid of the split pane on the left. Even at 2048x1536, the vertical space on the left is far too crowded.

                                This leads into other issues. For example, why does each open document need it's own feature manager, property manager, etc.? These burn up a lot of pixels when more than one document is visible. Couldn't the contents of the various managers change when document focus changes?

                                Regarding the branch of this thread with Matt: SDI, MDI and MDIPM concepts all have pros and cons. I'd hate to be forced to choose between them, since each has a situation it is best suited for. Would it be possible to allow us to select which we want on the fly or some other blending of these concepts? For example, having one monitor in full-screen mode, while the other has toolbars, etc. visible might be useful for presentations, or making edits while others watch. Firefox allows opening documents in new tabs or new windows. I use both, as required. With more granular control over the UI elements than simple MDI, we will be more able to adapt SW to what we need to do.
                                • 13. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                                  Mark Matthews
                                  Dell 24 on the left 1920x1200; Dell 21 on the right 1600x1200. Right monitor holds the main graphics screen and tools, TaskPane is on the right as well as all floating pallets that PW can show. Ideally I want the old school One interface with independent windows for documents. PhotoShop on Mac used to be this way as well as Pro-E on Unix. This way any toolbar, feature manager, Properties manager, Appearance folder, Configuration window can be open at all times or no times on any monitor you want. Workspaces (arangement of pallets and windows) should be saveable and invoked during a session ( look at Rhino and PhotoShop).

                                  The thing for me is that pixels are precious, and the more I have to show what I'm acutually working on the better. So for me this means the model in the big display and all the tools on the other display laid out as much as possible so I don't have to go digging in menus and tabs for what I need.

                                  For fixing broken features incorporate what Pro-E does and open a second verison of an already open document that is called "open a backup (or open previous version)". This could open the last saved version of a part and temporarily give it another name in session. You could then query it for how a feature was made, and have the choice which version of the part you would like to save down when your done.
                                  • 14. What does support for Dual Monitors mean to you?
                                    Chris Serran
                                    I use 2 Dell 19" widescreens side by side.

                                    I use the right monitor for SW and stretch it about 1/3 of the way into the left monitor. In that 1/3 I keep the FM tree, the other 2/3 of the left monitor are used for outlook, internet, acad, etc. The ability to move the task pane would be nice.

                                    I like the idea of the tabbed UI and also use it often in Firefox. If tabs aren't possible, maybe a permant ctrl+tab view that shows the current open documents. One click would switch to that document.
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