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by JB Burke

Q. When I edit photos, the printed colors don't match what I see on the monitor. I'd like to add a second monitor just for photos. Can I use 2 monitors on my computer?

A. First look at the back of your graphics card on your computer (where the monitor is plugged in). If it has two ports, then you can likely add an additional monitor. The type of port you want is either a DVI or HDMI. You can go here to see what those look like. Your current monitor may be plugged in to one or the other, or perhaps to the VGA port. You don't want to plug a higher end photo editing monitor into VGA. If you don't see two ports, you may need to add a graphics adapter to your computer.

Next, do online searching, using terms like 'best monitor for photo editing'. You'll find many reviews with lists like 'Top 5' or 'Best 2015' photo editing monitors. Review them carefully until you find what best fits your needs and your budget. Be sure your choice has either a DVI or HDMI input. Most likely it will have both. The monitor you choose will probably cost somewhat more than an ordinary computer monitor, but it should excel at displaying photo colors more accurately and vividly than your current monitor. Also, make sure the monitor comes with the cable to attach to your computer. If it doesn't, then you'll need to get that as well.

Next, reorganize your physical desktop. Two monitors may take up twice the space or more, depending on the size you choose. Once you have the monitor in hand, the rest is easy. Plug the monitor into power, connect the cable between the graphics card and the monitor, and turn it on. Windows should immediately recognize that you have two monitors, and it will default to 'Extend these displays'. Your desktop is now spread across two monitors and you can move applications between the two just by dragging them. This is a productive configuration even if you don't edit photos.

Published: Courier 6/27/15 - Page 10A