Using Multiple Displays

The processes of transcription, markup and proofreading that are central to the work of coloniaLab are generally easier when working with multiple displays. This page assumes most students will be working on a laptop as their primary computer.

The most basic and portable approach is to view images on your phone/tablet and oXygen on your laptop.

A more comfortable arrangement is to connect your laptop to an external monitor. This can be a computer monitor or a television. You’ll need to do two things:

  • Connect the two devices. Most newer monitors and televisions will have an HDMI port. If your laptop has an HDMI port also, all you need is a HDMI cable. Older monitors may have only VGA or DVI connections. Many recent laptops, and Macs especially, will have a MiniDisplay port. You’ll need to figure out a combination of cables and adaptors that will let you connect. Dr. McCarl can help you with this–send him photos of the connectors on your laptop and external display.

    Alternatively, if you have a way to project your laptop onto an external screen, such as your TV, without using a physical cable, that may be a better approach.
  • Adjust display settings. On Mac, go to System Preferences in the Apple Menu (in the upper left-hand corner), select Displays, and then click on the Arrangement tab. On a PC, this is in Control Panel, Displays.

    You should see two boxes there, representing your laptop screen and the external display. You can arrange them to match the physical setup of your two screens — this will make it psychologically much easier to move your cursor from one to the other.

Once you have everything set up, the external monitor should function as an extension of the laptop monitor, and you should be able to drag windows from one to the other.

Another option is to work with two computers. In some circumstances, this may be the most productive. If one of those machines is a desktop with multiple video ports (which is usually the case), you can connect two monitors to that machine, and use your laptop as a third. This setup is especially useful for proofing, as you can use the desktop screens to display 1) an image, and 2) the current version of the corresponding XML file as displayed in a browser, and edit the XML file in oXygen on your laptop.