Can I use PCTeX across multiple monitors?

Some users have their systems configured with two or more monitors in what is called DualView (see below for more on this). In this mode it is possible, for example, to view the tex source on one monitor and the typeset preview on another monitor. PCTeX can be configured to do this, as explained below.

First, you must configure your computer with your Windows desktop extended across multiple displays, called DualView --- see here ( for how to set this up in Windows XP.

Next, you'll need to resize PCTeX to span as much of your desktop as you want to use with PCTeX documents:

  • Make sure PCTeX is not maximized to the current display. A maximized window is locked to the size of one screen and cannot be resized.
    • If PCTeX is not filling the whole screen, then it is not maximized
    • If PCTeX is filling the whole screen, it may or may not be maximized. If you can drag it and resize it, it is not locked even if it happens to be the right size to cover the screen.
    • If the window is locked, you need to unmaximize it: in the upper right hand corner of the PCTeX window, between the _ (minimize) and the X (close) buttons, you should see a button with either a single rectangle or two rectangles. If you see two rectangles then your window is maximized to the current display - click this button once to restore it to an unlocked, resizable window. The main window may or may not change size at this point.
  • Now click and drag on the title bar of PCTeX's main window to move it to the upper left corner of the screen where you want it reside.
  • Click and drag on the resize area in the lower right corner of the main window to extend the gray client area over as much screen real estate as you'd like to be available.
  • You may now arrange the editors and views over this space as you like, even straddling a monitor boundary if desired.

A popular configuration is to place the editor window in the main or left-hand monitor, near the menus and typeset button, and position a typeset preview window in the right-hand monitor.

Why can't I just drag an individual window over to the other monitor outside of PCTeX's main window?

Note that PCTeX is a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) application. This means that all of the child windows, like your editors, DVI previews, etc. need to live inside PCTeX's client area. The client area is the portion of the main window with the gray background. In exchange for the more powerful interaction between child windows and the parent application with this layout, all child windows must reside "inside" the containing client area - and can't be independently pulled outside to another monitor.

Other programs that deal with very simple documents (like Acrobat Reader) use the Single Document Interface (SDI). In this model, every window is a top-level window, and can be moved independently of all others. This simpler, less powerful interface does have the benefit that it interacts nicely with multiple monitors.

Keywords: v5, v6, tip, install, dualview, multiple monitors, multiple displays, MDI, SDI