Multiple Monitor Applications on Different Systems

To have your multiple monitoraware application work both on systems with and without multiple monitor support, link your application with Multimon.h. You must also define COMPILE_MULTIMON_STUBS in exactly one C file. If the system does not support multiple monitors, this returns default values from GetSystemMetrics , and the multiple monitor functions act as if there is only one display. On multiple monitor systems, your application will work normally.

Because negative coordinates can happen easily in a multimonitor system, you should retrieve coordinates that are packed in the lParam by using the GET_X_LPARAM and GET_Y_LPARAM macros.

Do not use negative coordinates or coordinates larger than SM_CXSCREEN and SM_CYSCREEN to hide a window. Windows that use these limits to hide may appear on another monitor. Likewise, do not use these limits to keep a window visible because this can cause a window to snap to the primary monitor. It is best to reexamine existing applications for these problems. However, you can minimize problems in existing applications by running the application on the primary monitor or by keeping the primary monitor in the upper-left corner of the virtual screen.

Note that SM_CXMAXTRACK and SM_CYMAXTRACK are defined for the desktop, not just one monitor. Windows using these limits may need to be redefined.

A parent or related window might not be on the same monitor as a child window. To locate the monitor of a window, applications should use the MonitorFromWindow function.

To have a screen saver display on all monitors, link with the latest version of Scrnsave.lib. Otherwise, the screen saver may only appear on the primary monitor and leave the other monitors untouched. Screen savers linked with the latest Scrnsave.lib will work on both single and multiple monitor systems. To have a different screen saver on each monitor, use the multiple monitor functions to handle each monitor separately.

Input devices that deliver coordinates to the system in absolute coordinates, such as tablets, have their cursor input restricted to the primary monitor. To switch tablet input between monitors, see the instructions from the OEM.

To map mouse input that is sent in absolute coordinates to the entire virtual screen, use the INPUT structure with MOUSEEVENTF_ABSOLUTE and MOUSEEVENTF_VIRTUALDESKTOP.

The BitBlt function works well for multiple monitor systems. However, the MaskBlt, PlgBlt, StretchBlt, and TransparentBlt functions will fail if the source and destination device contexts are different.