Living the Ultrawide Monitor Life

My primary desktop monitor is an ultrawide monitor. My desk is 50″ wide and my monitor is 49″ wide. I have wall-to-wall screen real estate. It’s awesome, but it comes with some challenges.

Ultrawide Monitor Setup with Solheimafjara Beach in Iceland as Background

My wife got me the ultrawide monitor as a holiday gift. It was a complete surprise. She noticed my 3 monitor setup and my love of clean aesthetics at my workstation and decided to get me one. It is a thing of beauty and it leads you down path. You start living the ultrawide monitor life. You carry yourself differently. Your friends all notice the difference. You join new online communities. And, you try to over come some of the challenges that you may face going in this direction. Here I will share my journey. Maybe this will help you decide to go down this path or help you. Let me know if you have any tips and tricks that you have learned.

PowerPoint

I am going to start with the worst part of owning a single ultrawide monitor. PowerPoint has no idea how to use the screen. You are either forced to go full screen or to use windowed mode. If you share a presentation on a Microsoft Teams or Zoom meeting, you can’t just share the whole screen. Your screen will look really strange to all of the normal width dunces out there. Your best bet is to present in windowed mode. You lose the ability to see your presentation notes, but at least the presentation works for online meetings.

PowerPoint Window Show Type

Join an Online Community

Join r/ultrawidemasterrace on Reddit. This is a community of users who get it. We are better than normal width monitor users. But, really, this online community is about sharing tips and tricks, issues, wallpapers, photos of our setups, memes, and cryptocurrency advice. Some people take this stuff seriously. Not me. I don’t have a problem. I can stop anytime.

Wallpapers

Desktop backgrounds and screensavers just don’t look right all stretched out. The only solution is to look for ultrawide wallpapers. I like to browser r/WidescreenWallpaper and Google Image Search. Find a wallpaper that fits your screen resolution. It will just look a lot better.

Games

You are going to love gaming on an ultrawide monitor. Some games take full advantage of the extra pixels on the side. The game will feel immersive as more of your peripheral vision has something to process. Not all games support ultrawide monitors. There is a Steam community that tracks ultrawide support. Research the game you want to play first to make sure you can take advantage of your ultrawide screen. You deserve it now that you are living the ultrawide monitor life. My favorite game so far for my ultrawide is The Outer Worlds.

Ultrawide The Outer Worlds Game

Window Management

The last advice that I have for you on your ultrawide journey is around window management on a Windows PC. When you have a multimonitor setup, you don’t have to think to much about this. The separate monitors help you manage the windows. With one monitor giant monitor, you have to plan out how you are going to use the real estate. I use some paid software called DisplayFusion. There is a trial to see if works for you, but I get a lot of value out of this utility. I use DisplayFusion to split my monitor into three areas. Windows now snap into their place without always wanting to go full width. The windows will remember where they were placed so you can get reliable window management. I also use DisplayFusion to create some virtual Windows taskbars. I think that it is ridiculous to have a 49″ long taskbar running at the bottom of the monitor. I snap mine to the right side. Then, I use DisplayFusion to put a second taskbar on the left. These virtual taskbars will show the apps that are in those virtual monitor areas so you don’t have to chase down where your apps are anchored on the taskbar.

Tips for Ultrawide Monitors

Godspeed on your journey. Let me know if any of this helps you or if you have anything to share. I am always looking for ways to enhance my already awesome ultrawide lifestyle.

6 comments

  1. too funny. I have an 44″ monitor at the office that has been unused for the better part of 18 months – covid and travel. Is there a way to share just one section of your screen online so you can have your slides and apps for a meeting in one area, then email or whatever in another? Without the people you are sharing with seeing anything but the portion of the screen you want to share? Thanks, Hans.

    1. I use DisplayFusion just for that purpose. You can present PowerPoint in a window and snap the other apps to virtual areas on the screen. And, when you share you screen, share the app. Let me know if that helps. We can also connect on Teams on day.

      1. I use a separate monitor for presenting (technically, it’s my wacom intuos tablet which sits under my ultrawide). I share the entire monitor #2 which makes it easy to bring windows in and out, cast the powerpoint slide show while still seeing viewer notes. I wish powerpoint would let me size the window for presenter view though.

        1. That’s a good idea. PowerPoint should make both the presentation and the notes separate windows.

  2. Wow to 49″ monitor! That is amazing. With DisplayFusion, is one area active at a time? You should test the community apps in that ultra-wide screen and provide usability feedback πŸ™‚

    1. πŸ™‚ And, DisplayFusion just breaks up the screen into zones. A Window can either fill a zone or go full screen. Good to hear from you!

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