Date: 2007-05-14 18:51:00
macbook with desktop monitor
Dear MacLazyweb,

I just picked up a mini-DVI to VGA adapter so I can use my 17" desktop LCD display with my MacBook. The idea was to set my laptop in front of my monitor where a keyboard would normally be, so I can use both the keyboard and the screen at a comfortable height. My desktop screen is high enough that it clears the laptop screen.

What I expected to be able to do was direct the laptop screen output to the desktop monitor, complete with menu bar and desktop icons and all my open windows, and turn off the laptop screen so it's just black. In reality, there appear to be two choices: mirrored, or additional desktop. The mirrored mode just sends the same 1280x800 output to the desktop monitor, using only 78% of its 1280x1024 available area. Or, I can use the desktop monitor as additional desktop area at its full 1280x1024, but then I don't get the menu bar or my desktop icons or the ⌘-Tab icon display, or any other stuff that I don't specifically drag up to the desktop monitor.

Is there a way to ... never mind, I just found it. If I drag the menu bar in the display arrangement preferences panel to the top display, then all the desktop icons and dashboard stuff and whatnot goes with it (except the dock, apparently). The desktop display becomes the primary display. If I go mobile and unplug the desktop monitor, everything migrates back to the laptop display. This will work.

Clearly, I made the rational choice.
If you hook up a mouse and external keyboard, you can hit the power key and close the laptop and it'll do exactly what you're asking as well.
Oh, I hadn't thought of connecting an external keyboard, that's possibly an option. I don't think I have a USB keyboard at home though, and this seems to be working well enough.
The dock doesn't go with it? I thought there was a way to do that too, but I haven't used dual displays in a while on my powerbook.
Oh, it probably does if you glue the dock to the left or right. Mine is glued to the bottom, so it's doing pretty much exactly what it's told. I don't use the dock much anyway, if I'm going to launch something I tend to use spotlight and type the first few characters of the program name.
Greg Hewgill <>