For the past couple of years, I’ve been using Samsung’s amazing QLED Super Ultrawide display. It’s a massive 49″ in a 32:9 aspect ratio that means you get to replace a dual-widescreen setup with a single monitor.
The reaction online has been incredible, as most people have never seen anything like it. By now, many people are familiar with the typical ultrawide monitor. They have use a 21:9 ratio, which definitely gives you more horizontal real estate than a 16:9 display, but there’s nothing quite like having a monitor that complete envelopes 80-90% of your field of view.
The model I have, runs a resolution of 3840 x 1080, while more recent models feature a crazy 5120 x 1440 which I would absolutely love to upgrade to.
The challenge with a display like this, is running multiple applications. Windows 10 offers the ability to snap applications to the 4 corners of a display. In a dual-screen setup, you then have 8 different corners you can snap applications to, but on a single screen, Windows 10 essentially says you’re on your own.
Thankfully PowerToys has been released and features FancyZones. This enables you to completely customise the layout of your zones and snap applications as you please.
This small little utility, absolutely transforms the usability of this display. I now have multiple configurations defined, based on the set of work, or entertainment tasks I’m working on.
I often have multiple browser windows open, like TweetDeck to monitor social media, another window researching content, another with techAU’s WordPress site while I write articles like this one, and a couple of video windows. These video windows often have a live news channel open, along with a YouTube video that I listen to while writing. Typically these are split horizontal, combining with my 3x vertically split browser windows.
I feel so much more connected to the world, while also being productive. This just isn’t achievable with a simple quad-split to application windows.
To snap an app to a FancyZone, instead of the default Windows 10 zones, you simply hold down the Shift key, while dragging a window, it really couldn’t be simpler.
To switch between layouts, you simply map a shortcut key like WinKey + `. From there, you can either select the new layout, or click edit and customise it. Zones can be altered by dragging the edges of the zone. You can decide if you want to waste some pixels by adding spacing around zones, but my preference is definitely to have them snap next to each other.
After using FancyZones for a while now, I absolutely want Microsoft to integrate this into Windows 10, as the variety of monitors continues to expand.