Multi Monitor Madness What would a perfect world look like where your using Visual Studio with two or three (or more) monitors?  One of the new Visual Studio 10 (Visual Studio 2008 = VS9) I'd like to nail is darn good multi monitor support, but I've got a lot more investigation to do to know what this would really look like.

Some of my favorite techie/VS bloggers are huge multi-monitor fans, like Scott Hanselman and Jeff Atwood.  I just got off the phone w/ Jeff and he mentioned a some good points (here are just a few).  Thanks Jeff

  • Live the Lifestyle, everyone should be using VS multimonitor on the team
  • Drag a tab to create a new floating window.  This would allow you to take some code or other document and move it wherever you'd like, onto another monitor for instance.
  • Nail the defaults.  Make the out-of-the-box default window layout experience rock.  Users frequently mess up their window layout.  If the defaults rocked, there would be less need for customization.

Some of the ideas we (our VS designers, myself, and architects) are thinking about are:

  • A Canvas. Being able to view many 'open files' zoomed out as if they were papers spread on your desktop that you could just click to zoom in and edit.  Search results would highlight code across the entire canvas of files.
  • Special Memory.  Ways to group similar files/dialogs/info/etc instead of just docking to the sides of the IDE.
  • Drag Zones.  Like many of the multi-monitor apps out there, how could this be applied to the VS IDE?
  • Tons of other little VS UI enhancements.

Personally, I haven't been bit the multi-monitor bug yet.  I love having one PC for everything (my laptop) which I dock and use a single external monitor.  I'm a big Alt-Tab & Win-M fan and like viewing simplicity, seeing just what I'm focusing on in view.  So my first task is to start trying a multi-monitor setup myself.

The reason for this post is to collect your feedback.  Now, early in the product cycle, before our plans are baked.  What would make Visual Studio rock on multiple monitors?