three computer screens on a desk

being productive with ultrawide screens

May 6, 2021

written by
Joren Mathews

Since getting an ultrawide screen I’ve had to figure out the best way to utilize the real estate. Using it like a normal monitor where you maximize whatever program you’re currently using doesn’t work very well. For example, here’s what Photoshop and a web browser look like maximized:


It’s not a good reading experience having the content area this wide, and it’s not a good navigating/editing experience having important UI off in your peripheral vision.

There are many software suites that will let you set up virtual subdivisions for large screens, but the solution I found best was to keep it flexible. I use AquaSnap. It provides a lot of functionality for snapping windows to a grid, snapping windows together, and a whole suite of other options. I will subdivide my screen space based on task. If I need to compare and contrast a design to a page, I will keep both moderately large and on screen at the same time. My most common screen layout has my browser/IDE moderately large, with room on both sides for folders, command prompts, etc. My browser has enough room to display the web page at a reasonable width with a healthy amount of space for the developer tools. My IDE has plenty of room to display all but the longest of lines.