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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2013
    External Monitor, two apps - One menu bar
    I connect an external monitor to my MacBook. Want to run one instance of the application on each screen. In MS Windows I off course get one menu bar on each screen, but on Mac I only get menu bar on main Screen. So when I want to fire a command on the external monitor I at first need to move the muse to the primary monitor, the action then happens on the external monitor. Am I doing anything wrong or is this "Works as intended" ???

    I guess this is an unwanted consequence of only having the menu bar visible for one application at the time

  2. #2

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    You can get the menu bar on 2 screens using SecondBar

    Secondbar? BetterTouchTool, BetterSnapTool & SecondBar
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? use the rep system

  3. #3
    I use SecondBar, and although it doesn't duplicate the menu bar from the main screen, it does put up on the second screen the menu bar for whatever app is holding the focus (I.e., whatever window is active). It's not been updated in a while, but it does function OK.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Mar 31, 2013
    Thanks for the hint! I am however a bit hesitant to install this kind of tools, since there is always a risk of unwanted side effects, and that they affect stability. Best would be if it was included in the OS

    I am in the process of migrating from Microsoft Windows to Mac OS X, and I am noting things I think are strange and annoying along the way.
    I file them under "Mac annoyances" on my blog here

    Please comment and correct me if I am wrong!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by nordlp View Post
    Please comment and correct me if I am wrong!
    You are wrong.

    A second menu bar would, at best, merely duplicate the first. Also, we don't generally tend to run "second instances" of programs because its:

    a. wasteful
    b. unneeded
    c. stupid

    If you want Macs to act like Windows, forget it. Go get a Windows machine and be happy. Macs are not Windows (thank heavens) and can't be made to act like them (thank heavens) short of running actual Windows itself.

    The computer and its system don't need adjustment: the user does.

  6. #6
    Chas_m, I think in this instance why nordlp wants is not unreasonable. I, too, have dual monitors and it was becoming a real pain to have to move from the external monitor where the app was running, to the laptop monitor where the menu bar was located. Yes, it's only a mouse move, or a trackpad move, but it was distracting when I was in the middle of some complex Photoshop edit and wanted to save, or change tools for something I was doing. It's not that I want OSX to act like Windows (shudder) it was just that it seemed a omission in OSX that the menu bar was only on one monitor. Yes, I can go to System Preferences and move it to the external monitor, but then the dock moves, too, and I still have the problem of having to move from the laptop screen to the external monitor if the app I am using is on the laptop. Given how well OSX supports multiple displays, it would be mighty handy to have the option to have a menu bar on each.

    For nordlp: SecondBar works well and has only one side effect I have seen. When SB is running and if I have something with a column display up (say iTunes with tracks listed in columns) and I right click on the column header row, the app expands to fill the work area. Not full screen, just full work area. It can be resized, but ti is distracting. I pretty quickly learned NOT to do that, but it's the only side effect I see in Mountain Lion 10.8.3. Also, if you have any apps that add an icon or information to the menu bar (DropBox, for example) it only shows on the main menu bar and not SecondBar. But that's the design of SB, not a bug.

    EDIT: I agree that there is no reason to run two instances of any app. That is, as chase_m said, wasteful and unneeded.

  7. #7
    I've used dual monitors for about 20 years now or so. It has never been an issue to flick the mouse over to the other monitor (to be fair, I might feel differently if I had two 30" monitors).

    Still, in the spirit of trying to be as helpful as I can be, two suggestions:

    1. Increase the speed of your mouse tracking. That's why it does not take me more than a small flick of the wrist to move my mouse from one screen to another.

    2. ISTR a utility that could give you all the salient commands of the menu bar through a right-click selection. I'm sorry I can't recall the name of it since I never felt the need to use it, but that might provide you with an even better option than two menu bars, since it saves you having to move the mouse at all to get to the command you want.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the suggestions. I like my current mouse speed, and it's not the effort to get to the laptop, it's the distraction that a lifetime of looking at the top for the menu now has to be modified to look at a different device. It's annoying when it would be so simple for OSX to support menu bars on any/all monitors.

    It's just different strokes for different folks.

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