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Advantages of Portrait and Pivoting Monitors for Desktop Publishing

Sitting for a Portrait Can Improve Your View

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My Multiple Monitors, including Pivoting Portrait Display

My Desktop: Conventional 21" with a Portrait Display at its Side

In 2002 I bought my first flat LCD monitor. It's a great space saver and has a wonderfully clear picture. But the most outstanding feature of this monitor is that it is a portrait monitor. More accurately, it is a pivoting monitor that can provide both the familiar landscape orientation as well as the vertical or portrait orientation. In the time I've had it I've found that I rarely use the landscape mode.

In word processing and desktop publishing, the portrait or full-page monitor has distinct advantages. The bulk of the material - books, newsletters, fliers, etc. - that we produce has a portrait orientation. With these vertical monitors it's easier to see the entire page without scrolling and without zooming out so far that the content is unreadable. They can even enhance your enjoyment of the Web by cutting down on scrolling. More of the page is visible in your Web browser.

Portrait monitors are nothing new. Some early personal computers and word processing systems used the portrait orientation. However, when IBM began mass-producing the PC for the general consumer market, they "established the low-resolution, TV-like landscape monitor as a de facto standard." Meanwhile portrait monitors became something of a novelty for the typical computer user.

"Since only a few types of documents call for landscape orientation, the portrait view makes better use of the desktop space by allowing you to see and work with more of your document without constant scrolling."
Portrait Display, Inc. from a description of their Pivot Software for pivoting monitors

But anyone who spends a great deal of time working with word processing documents or designing portrait-oriented layouts will appreciate a portrait monitor. A pivoting monitor that also provides the "conventional 4:3 aspect ratio of television screens and [standard] computer monitors" is the best of both worlds.

If you're in the market for a new monitor or want to add a second monitor to your system, perhaps you should seriously consider a portrait or pivoting monitor. See more, scroll less.

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