Use Multiple Monitors with Full Screen Apps in Mac OS X Lion
Think Full Screen app mode wastes an external displays screen real estate in Mac OS X Lion? Think again. Despite various reports to the contrary, and even early experience with the Developer Preview, some Full Screen apps in Mac OS X Lion work just fine with multiple monitor Mac setups. In fact, the secondary display can hold toolbars, panels, windows, and other app data directly over the linen covered screen, without incident.
Using Full Screen Apps with Multiple Monitors in Mac OS X 10.7
This is remarkably easy, yet somehow widely overlooked:
- Enter Full Screen mode (set a keyboard shortcut if you haven’t already)
- Click and drag windows and toolbars from the primary display to the secondary display
Yes, it is that simple. This is demonstrated clearly in the included screenshots, showing the latest version of OmniGraffle Pro in Full Screen mode, with a secondary external screen holding all of OmniGraffles tool panels.
The fact that this only works in some apps right now suggests it’s an OS X Lion compatibility issue that has to be implemented by the app developers on a per application basis, much like the use of Versions and full-screen mode in general. So if you find a Lion app that doesn’t play well with multiple monitors, wait for an update, because there’s no reason the apps can’t use the secondary display when in Full Screen.
This should hush the complaints about Lion’s full screen app mode being incompatible with multi-display Mac setups, because it’s not at all. Other than apps needing to adopt compatibility for this feature, it may benefit OS X Lion to have some indicator that this is possible, since currently there is nothing obvious pointing this out.
Thanks for sending this in Michal!