Who lives in the rarefied air of portrait/vertical monitors?

Hi all,

[I did actually search for this. Despite stumbling across a few mentions here and there, was defeated in my attempts to locate that one thread that dealt with this question specifically. Apologies is this has been necromanced too many times before – please refer me to the post in question, if such exists.]

So, with that out the way…

Took delivery this evening of a new Dell 23.8" widescreen monitor - P2414H, to be precise. It’s a beaut.
Its singularly most impressive characteristic, is how – after almost 3 hours of use, my eyes have yet to start bleeding – something my el-cheapo Samsung 19" monitor used to manage, regularly, in no time at all.

So, me for the win.

Now - the other impressive characteristic of this new monitor, is the ease with which it can be turned through 90deg, into portrait/vertical mode…
The ‘pamphlet’ over at the Dell website, made a big song and dance about this, which had me thinking it would be a tad insulting to their marketing team were I not to try and make use of this amazing, life-changing feature.

So I turned it.

And… 8)

Well, let’s just say - it’s interesting.
Reading pdf’s in Devonthink appears to be a tad easier.
Ditto Bookends.
Scrivener, with a sliver of Binder on the side, and a split-vertically editor, splashes across the screen in a most satisfying manner…

It’s not perfect though. Vertigo sets in if I jump my eyes all the way to the top too quickly. A 23.8" widescreen makes for a looooonnnnnggggg vertical monitor. Or should that be tall?

Regardless, I am intrigued. I’m pretty sure that any discomfiture I am experiencing, is largely down to it being novel [har-har]. Not something I’m used to. I switched to landscape, but it wasn’t long before I jumped back to vertical. It’s where things are at currently…

Which had me pop over here, wondering how many Scrivener users do the same… And if so - what are your thoughts?

As in – did it take long to acclimatise?
Does landscape seem “odd” now?
Does one need to learn something along the lines of “once you go long, you can never go…” [ok - nothing rhymes with where I thought that was going]… you know, to utter to one another at the secret Vertical Monitor meetings.
Do you jump between both – or are specific tasks dedicated to portrait/vertical mode, as opposed to landscape mode.
Are you a recent convert?
Or did you try it, and then gave up - and returned to the side of the wide and plentiful?
Or if none of the above, is this something that has intrigued you – but not enough to actually try it out [or, not enough to bring yourself to writing some utter tosh about it. Or not about it. The lack thereof, of it, or not of it…]?

Would love to hear some thoughts/opinions/interpretive dances.


Here’s my view on monitors portraitness that I included as part of last December’s “10 Gifts For Writers” post.
pigfender.com/index.php/2013 … tmas-2013/

Enjoyed that!

Thanks for your thoughts… At the office today, landscape mode again.
Already looking forward to getting home this evening, and trying things vertically again.

Will pop up some random musings when I’ve spend enough time with it…

One of these is on my end-of-year wish list. I suppose proliferation of horizontal screens was inevitable – we’ve been watching movies that way for so long. Wasn’t until I encountered a vertical screen while visiting one of my sons a couple years ago that I realized how much better I’d like writing on one. Even more to the point, I do a lot of photo work: with landscape format, the iMac is fine, but with portrait format, not so much. Have to keep sliding the image in order to work on details.


On this strength of thread I have just purchased a Dell P2414H monitor, and am highly delighted with the quality. It operated straight out of the box without the need to load the drivers from the CD onto my laptop, I have a Medion Akoya, and its good to have to larger screen to look at now.

I do much of my writing (non-fiction/academic) on a text editor (NoteTab) and transfer it to Libre Office for formatting and tidying up.

I am greatly impressed by Scrivener, in particular the split screen facility. Many years ago I bought a succession of PCs which came bundled with Lotus WordPro, and when I worked as a publisher’s editor from home, this was a boon when shifting paragraphs about.

In the early days of the Mac, there was a beautiful A4 portrait monitor that I reviewed and enjoyed enormously for desktop publishing work.

Apple even had a mockup of a Mac with a built-in portrait monitor:

Thanks! I was searching for that old monitor for this thread, as I remembered those, but I couldn’t remember enough about it do a proper search. I also had it in my head that Apple did at one point have an integrated version of that monitor with the Macintosh, but I guess it never made it out of the design phase.

I used to have a Dell with a rotating mount, as described above. Unfortunately the DVI interface card on it died though, and I replaced it with a monitor that just has a fixed landscape mount. I do miss being able to flip the monitor around while writing, but I didn’t do it as often as I’d have liked, because it was 27" and the vertical difference between the top and bottom was a bit extreme. I felt like I had just finished a day at an art museum after using it for a while. :laughing:

How do you use Scrivener? I know that question sounds awfully vague, but I usually have the app showing two pages at once, and when I tried to roll in portrait mode it felt odd. Having the inspector compounded the feeling of oddness. I’m failing the grasp of the benefit of more up and down as opposed to side to side, but perhaps I’m just “doing it wrong.”

Nothing to do with Scrivenor, but today I am writing a newsletter – single A4 sheet double sided. By using the vertical format of the monitor I can put the pages one over the other and blow up the size for better legibility when correcting the proof.

It really was a lovely thing to use.

Heh - great description. Work it into a book sometime …


Note that you don’t have to sacrifice binder width if you use the slide-in binder option in Full Screen Mode (see Scrivener’s Preferences window). Having a vertical monitor really helps with a busy binder, by the way; You can often see an entire book’s worth of chapter & scene files in one go if your monitor is high enough resolution.

Whether in portrait or landscape orientation, I often use a horizontally split editor to get the benefits of “typewriter mode” without the janky scrolling behavior that occurs when using 150% zoom (which is my sweet-spot for a 12 point font). That kind of setup might help with the vertigo-inducing distance from top to bottom of an editor window.

Very apt description…

Several weeks in, and old-habits appear to be difficult to get rid of. I’m back to mostly using Landscape-mode. The “art-museum phenomena” affected me as well, even with type-writer scroll enabled.

I think the problem lies in what I’m currently doing, rather than the mechanics of portrait mode. I’m not purely writing, but am spending plenty of time reading and machining around in Devonthink and Bookends at the same time, off on my 13" MBP - sitting adjacent. The vertigo becomes more pronounced when jumping between the two. Were I to be merely focused in Scrivener, it would probably be a non-existant problem…

That being said - I would imagine a 27" would be too tall - so must agree with you there.
Secondly, I think the general set-up at one’s writing desk - ergonomics etc., - would need to be pretty spot on. Your height/eyes/head etc. relative to the positioning of the screen, should presumably change when a switch is made between landscape and portrait - since the former has you positioned for that particular height, and when you swop things, then the ‘required/suitable’ height has been changed - thus, so should you!

It remains something I will look at going forward. When the day comes that I upgrade my current laptop, will probably get a 2nd external monitor - and design things around them, with one landscape, and one portrait. Or go full-monty, and copy some designs I have seen, with portrait in the middle, flanked by two smaller landscapes… 8)

If that day comes, will pop something up. My current MBP will not allow daisy-chaining of two externals (only mirroring) - unless I drop some serious cash for an Apple TD [as beautiful as they are - I cannot justify the price of a laptop, on a monitor!!], which won’t be happening soon…

Thanks for the helpful suggestions - the FSM Binder option piqued my interest, although, I seldom go FS.
Tried it out - but had some very strange behaviour exhibited by Scrivener, so left things be…

[With the slide-in enabled - when I moved my cursor to the left of my external, the binder will start appearing, before magically jumping to the left side of my MBP (which is set as Monitor 1), and positioned to the right of my external. When I move my cursor over to catch the newly-position Binder, it disappears as soon as I get there! :laughing: Cheeky bugger! ]

Wow! :astonished:

Glad it worked out - very happy so far with mine, as well. Had to jump through some hoops to get a mDP to DP cable, to connect it to my MBP - but worth it in the end!

They are seriously expensive, but they are also seriously wonderful. :slight_smile:

I do the two extremes - at my desk, I have a MBP 17 connected to an ATD 27, so a huge 2560x1440 screen plus a decent-sized 1920x1200 one. When out & about, I usually use my MBA 11, so a very small 1366x768 display.

I’ve been thinking about the possibilities of this with my brand new Surface Pro 3, which of course flips orientation easily as you turn the screen. Obviously trying to use Scrivener in portrait mode won’t work with the keyboard cover, but exploring the use of Scrivener with the stylus is in my near-term plans.

When using an external keyboard with my phone while writing my first draft last year, I bought and loved the Rabbit Mini Portable stand http://www.amazon.com/Rabbit-Portable-iPhone-Samsung-Smartphones/dp/B0051J1JZA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1408403757&sr=8-2&keywords=rabbit+stand; it worked well for both vertical and horizontal orientation. There is a larger model, but it looks like it’s meant to top out at about a ten inch screen, and the Surface has a 12 inch.

I suggest not posting referral links - can make people suspicious as to motives when recommending a product …

Personally, I like links — even referral links.

If people are referencing something on another thread or site, it makes it easier to have a link to follow.

I’m happy to make up my own mind about the linked item and the person’s reasons for linking in the first place.

I like links too, but when a stranger posts a link that earns them money, there is no way to distinguish a genuine recommendation from an attempt to make money. On Amazon in particular, you have to go one click further than the product to turn it into a referral link, so it’s not something that happens by accident.

The same link without the referral is:
amazon.com/Rabbit-Portable-i … 0051J1JZA/

Completely understood, Ben. Though, personally, I still don’t mind that…especially if I recognise the person as a regular on the boards.

If you linked to a product with a revenue-earning URL, I’d be happy for you to make a commission on the sale because I know your work, your presence on the forum, and I trust you (as a Scrivener-using tech journalist).

With unknown people, I’m still happy for them to earn a commission if I take a look at a product and then decide that it is right for me.

If someone has made the effort to post, then a commission doesn’t seem unreasonable. I might question their motives, but I make the final decision in the end.