Smart & Connected Life Working From Home Use Dual Displays When Working With Microsoft Office Multiple monitors can be a productivity game-changer by Cindy Grigg Writer Cindy Grigg is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire and a productivity writer who teaches Microsoft Office software to students and pros. our editorial process Cindy Grigg Updated on June 18, 2020 Working From Home The Ultimate Guide to Shopping Online The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home The Ultimate Guide to Skype Tweet Share Email Operating in a single pane of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or other Microsoft Office programs works well. Office has a good user interface that even offers specialty panes and views. But adding another window to compare two documents can make your workspace feel crowded and confusing. Some Microsoft Office users add an additional screen to boost monitor real estate. Here are some guidelines for setting up dual monitors and working with Microsoft Office programs on multiple screens. We'll look at dual-monitor setups in Windows 10, Windows 7, and Mac computers, as well as optimizing Office programs for a dual-monitor setup. How to Connect Two Monitors to a Windows 10 Computer This process involves getting your PC to recognize more than one monitor. Connect the two monitors to your computer or device, and turn the power on for each. Make sure all necessary cables are connected to the monitors and the computer, including connecting power and video signals using VGA, DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort cables. Select Start > Settings > System > Display. Your computer should detect both monitors automatically and show your desktop. If you don't see the monitors, select Detect. In the Multiple Displays section, select an option from the list to determine how your desktop will display across your screens. Extend These Displays is recommended for a dual-monitor setup. Duplicate displays shows the same desktop on both displays, and Disconnect This Display turns off the selected monitor. Select Keep Changes. Your dual-monitor setup is ready for action with Microsoft Office programs. How to Connect Two Monitors to a Windows 7 Computer The process is a little different if your PC is running Windows 7. Connect the two monitors to your computer or device, and turn the power on for each. Make sure all necessary cables are connected to the monitors and the computer, including connecting power and video signals using VGA, DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort cables. Press the Windows Key + P. Select Extend to use your second monitor as an extension of the first. An alternative method: Right-click on an empty area of your desktop and select Screen Resolution. From the Multiple displays dropdown list, select Extend these displays. How to Connect Two Monitors to a Mac Setting up dual monitors on a Mac is an easy process. After you connect another monitor, choose to use it as an extended desktop or for video mirroring. For each display, securely connect a video cable (and adapter, if necessary) from a video output port on your Mac to the video input port on the display. Your Mac should detect the connected display. If it doesn't, choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Displays, and then select Displays again. Select Detect Displays. You may need to hold down the Option key when selecting Detect Displays. After your Mac has recognized both displays, go to Apple menu > System Preferences and select Displays > Arrangement. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your display as an extended desktop. Optimize Office Programs for Dual Monitors Once your dual-monitor configuration is set up as an extended display, make sure your Office programs are optimized for your new desktop real estate. In older versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, go to File > Options > Advanced. From there, look for Show All Windows in Taskbar (under the Display section). With this selected, you should be able to see the full Word interface in each window you're running. (In newer versions, this should be automatic.) In PowerPoint, you can run a presentation on two monitors. This gives the presenter additional options for showing content, adding in-presentation markup, or supplementing the core message with additional windows, such as an internet search. This can be tricky, so practice in advance. Work with different Excel workbooks on multiple screens by starting Excel and opening the file as usual. Move this window so it's entirely on one monitor. Then, open Excel again. Open your second Excel file and minimize it so it's not full screen. Then you can move it to the other monitor. Microsoft explains more about running software in multiple displays in Windows 10.