ConnectedText window across two monitors

After having seen Brian Lennon’s setup of a ConnectedText window stretched across two monitors, of course I couldn’t rest until coming up with my own ideal two-monitor configuration for my current workflow. I would suggest that any CT window configuration is workflow-specific, i.e. different projects require different arrangements of panes to maintain optimal workflow. (CT allows you to save your desktop configurations, so you can have as many variations as you like and switch between them freely.) See my two examples below, one with the browser pane in the second monitor, the other with the Navigator pane. I’m using CT’s help file, “Welcome to ConnectedText,” as my project example.

The rationale behind my arrangement is the following. My current task requires me to work with topics (rather than the reading displayed in the browser), therefore in Monitor 1 I prefer to focus on information that pertains to the topic at hand (such as its “Table of Contents” or its links in the “Summary” pane). The “Topic list” is there for easy browsing and so that I can drag and drop topics into the body of a topic when I need to create a link between two topics (such as adding a reference to a citation). The “History” pane serves as a quick way to alternate between topics that I’m currently working on.

Monitor 2 contains panes that I would use less frequently, so that I can still switch off this monitor when I need to block them from view, such as when I need to focus on writing in the main topic edit pane in Monitor 1. The “Category” pane lists all categories within the currently opened project (database file). The “Search results” pane shows all topics sorted by relevance that contain the search term I’ve recently searched for. To my great delight CT has recognised my default PDF-XChange Viewer plug-in, which means that I can do searches and add annotations (highlighting, notes) to my PDF files directly in XChange Viewer, without having to leave CT.

The only downside of the two-monitors view is that should you need to use an external application for anything else, you can’t work in both the CT window and the other program at the same time. So either CT needs to be minimised or the CT window needs to be dragged to a smaller size, to allow for screen space for the other application. [Update 14-Dec-12: Just found a solution to this. Install Direct Folders (it’s free and it was already on my Favourite Tools list) and by right-clicking on the “Close” button of the non-CT window that you want to stay on top, it will stay on top of the CT window. Brilliant!] This is where alternative saved CT desktop views may come in handy. [Click here and here for full-size images.]

ConnectedText across two monitors, example 1

ConnectedText across two monitors, example 2

If anyone else is willing to share their CT window configuration, just send me an email with your screenshot at docandus [at] and I’ll be happy to post it on this blog.


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