19 June, 2012
As pleasant as it is working with multiple big screens, the experience on Windows is often quite simple and most applications are lacking specific dual-screen features. Some get it better than others, most provide no extra support at all. In my case it is the ability to keep any application always on top that is crucial for my setup, as I stretch most apps across both screens, which often prevents me from having windows side-by-side. There are plenty of tiny utilities to keep applications always on top, but most of them are old, unsupported and don’t work with Windows 7.
So that’s where a neat little app from NVidia comes in. It is called NView and it is the best desktop manager software in existence. With NView you can:
- Send any window to any monitor
- Quickly organize windows across displays
- Set any window to always stay on top
- Adjust transparency of any application
The bad news is that a) NView desktop manager is only available for Quadro card owners b) It can only be installed on Windows XP (and Vista if you are lucky). There is a petition on NVidia forums to port it to Windows 7, but as far as I am concerned demand isn’t big enough for developers to spend time on it.
The reality is though, that there is only one major reason why it’s not available on Windows 7 and that is one broken feature concerning desktop grid. If you are happy to live without it then read on.
So in order to get NView working on Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit you will need:
1. A GeForce card. Sorry, we are talking about an NVidia application.
2. Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit.
5. Run downloaded Quadro drivers installer. It will extract and fail (unless you have a Quadro card).
6. Find the folder where drivers have been extracted to and drop NViewActivator.exe there. Your folder should look like this.
7. Run NViewActivator.exe. It will open and close very quickly. This is normal.
8. Run setup.exe again, it should let you proceed as normal. If you have done everything correctly after installation your screen will look similar to this.
9. Enjoy! To access NView features just right click on any window's title.
I couldn't get all features to work, but most do and that is good enough for me. I sincerely hope this was helpful.