This is really a repost from 3 (and even 4) years ago when Tip of the Day was just a weekly series. I’m really glad to hear that Visual Studio 2010 will have multi-monitor support. Really, really glad, as you can tell from the original blog post. Of course, there’s a story behind this which should be told at another time…

Here are some ideas for optimizing Visual Studio (non-2010 versions). Ironically, I don’t use multi-monitors anymore (neck strain) so hopefully I haven’t forgotten to find someone’s machine to take some screenshots.

  1. Stretching the VS across dual monitors

    Put Visual Studio into a restore state, where you can resize it. Then stretch VS across both monitors.

    One of the benefits of doing this is to be able to view code in each monitor.  You can do a vertical split (Window – New Vertical Tab Group) down the center of the dual monitors.  Now you can have code windows on each monitor.

    You can also customize the toolbars to place them on which ever monitor you prefer as your primary.  Just grab the grip control for the toolbars and drag them over to whichever monitor.

  2. Viewing Debugging Tool Windows on secondary monitor

    Whenever I’m debugging, I prefer to have tool windows like the Watch Window and Output Window on the secondary monitor, with VS occupying the primary monitor.  These tool windows have to be either dockable or floating (floating is what you probably want).  Resize these windows to occupy half of the screen.  Remember, you can use Tools – Import / Export Settings to save your favorite window layouts.  And since these windows only appear during debugging, you don’t have to worry about them occupying your secondary monitor when not in use.

  3. Place External Help on secondary monitor

    Put DExplore (Documentation Explorer) on the second monitor, but most of you probably already do this instinctively.

For more ideas, or to read the original blog post, go to