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How to make your Telework Setup Better

There are a few ways to tweak your home office setup to make it great!  Here’s two

Multiple Monitors

If you have a personal monitor at home, and would like to project your laptop screen to it, the first step is having the right cords.

Cords

If you have a DHS laptop, you will likely have two ports you can use.

  1. On the right-hand hinge side, there is a port that has little holes in it—this is called a VGA port. If you have an existing monitor at home, you might already have a cord that has this plug-in type on the end. It will have a blue head on it.  If so, you can plug your home monitor into your laptop right there!  If you don’t have one, you can use the one from your office (with your office manager/managing attorney’s approval of course!).
  2. On the left-hand side (about even with the Shift key), there is an HDMI port. For this, you would need an HDMI cable.  This is the same as a TV cord, so if you have an old one of these lying around, grab it and use it!

If you are using a DHS laptop and have two monitors, you can actually use both types of cords using these two ports, and then you can use the laptop as a third screen!

Monitor settings

Once you have a second (or third) monitor plugged in, the next step is to update your settings.  This will allow you to have different programs open on different monitors, just like at work.

  1. Determine which screen is your main desktop.  I assume if you are doing this for the first time, it will be your laptop screen, but you are looking for the tool bar at the bottom of the screen, like this:The windows start bar.

     

  2. On that desktop, in a blank area of the screen right-click with your mouse.
  3. Select Screen Resolution. You will get this:Screen Resolution settings in the Control Panel display settings.

     

    There are a few changes to make here. Notice that one of the monitor pics is highlighted. By the way, don’t let my multiple monitor pics distract you- I have two monitors plus my laptop, and I have no idea what that 4th one is—remember I’m not an expert!

  4. For the one that is highlighted, look at the Resolution box.  Make sure it is on the choice that says “recommended”.
  5. Then look at the Multiple Displays drop down box. You want to select Extend Desktop to the Display.
  6. Select APPLY and then OK to save these changes.
  7. Now you will need to make these same changes to any other monitors that you have connected. So again, on that same desktop, in a blank area of the screen, right-click with your mouse.
  8. Select Screen Resolution.
  9. Click on the next monitor pic and follow steps 4-6.
  10. Next decide which monitor you want to use as your main display. This will likely be your extra monitor rather than your laptop (since it will likely be larger).  If so, while you have that monitor selected/highlighted, also check the box that says Make This My Main Display.

Now you will be able to drag anything you are working on from here to there or anywhere.  They will work just like your dual monitors at the office.

Cursor movement

Sometimes when you first set up an additional monitor, when you move your cursor to the monitor to the left, your cursor goes right.  It makes you crazy!  There is an easy fix for this.

Remember in steps 4 and 5, you right clicked on the desktop, chose Screen Resolution and you got the pics of the monitors.  If you are having the left-right cursor problem, you can simply drag your monitors around within that little window to put them in a different order.

If you aren’t sure which is which, you can also use the option to Identify.  This option will put a giant numeral on each screen to tell you which one is which in the pic.  So, if #2 needs to be to the left of #1, just right click on #2 and drag that pic over to the left of pic #1.

Now test your cursor again.  That should take care of that problem!

Personal laptops/desktop computers

For those of you using personal laptops, but wanting to use your DHS monitor, you will have to see what type of ports your computer has available. If your machine has a VGA ports like the DHS computers do, you will be able to use your DHS cords (you will need to grab the power cord and the cord with the blue head).  (See step 1 above)

If your computer is newer, you may have only an HDMI port.  If so, and you have an HDMI cord lying around, just plug it in to the HDMI port on the computer and the HDMI port on the monitor and you are good to go.  (See step 2 above)

There is yet another option that is called a Display Port.  If you have a computer with that, go to HDMI vs. Display Port: Which Should I Use for My PC Monitor? to find out what to do.

So just see what type of port you have, and if you aren’t sure, try looking up your computer model online-that’s what I did for my personal laptop.  I didn’t know what I had until a minute ago—mine is called a mini display port! 😀.  Now I know!

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