What Are Vertical Monitors Used For? | The Benefits and Setup Advice

Although not such a frequently seen setup, a vertical monitor serves a few special purposes like coding, programming, text writing, editing and reading. This is not surprising at all as the vertical screen space orientation makes the tasks I mentioned faster and easier with increased productivity being the end result. So, should you buy the best vertical monitor which meets your needs? Absolutely! However, if it does not suit you, read more about other best programming monitors here.

In addition to making you more productive and your viewing experience more enjoyable, a vertical monitor will significantly improve designing vertical layouts, writing and examining large sections of code, reading your favorite ebook, or simply viewing search engine results and browsing through an online article. Also, if you are buying a cheaper monitor, you must know how to deal with backlight bleed. Let's explore how vertical monitors are used and their advantages and disadvantages in more detail!

Amazing Changes In the Development of PC Monitors Over the Years

Do you remember the first generations of computer monitors? Gray, bulky, square and heavy cathode ray tube (CRT) dinosaurs which you can now see in TV shows and movies from the 1980s? So how did the technology evolve from CRT to LCD, TFT, IPS and TN in terms of display technology and also to vertical monitors you can use efficiently for certain purposes? The tech geek inventors simply looked for better functionality, more beautiful visual experience, true-to-life colors but also more elegant designs and better value for money. The users over the last five decades benefited immensely from all of the above developments. Good for us!

The early computers were used for data processing and TVs were used for entertainment. Today, PCs and laptops are used for both work and entertainment plus they play a huge roll in communication, socializing, and keeping up with the world news as well as with the happy moments in lives of our family members and friends that we don't have the opportunity to see that often in real life. What a tremendous change!

the old monitor
monitor in 21 century

How Did the Vertical Monitor Orientation Come About?

As I said, trends change. At one point, the prevalence of video content on websites (be it YouTube videos, movies on streaming websites or TV shows and movies you can download) directed monitor dimensions and aspect ratio from the standard 4:3 to 16:9 and finally 16:10. The explosion of gaming on PCs also influenced the usual landscape orientation, just like movies and videos had an effect on aspect ratio and the preferred bigger monitor size, including the wide and ultra-wide monitors. Some displays come with speakers as an additional perk to enjoy both gaming and video content in all forms.

What Is a Vertical Monitor Good For?

And yet, as of recently, the code writing and the text writing, processing or reading emerged as niches that benefited from, guess what, vertical monitor orientation which requires less eye movement on a vertical screen. You start to use your eyes less and can work longer without getting them tired.

For starters, this makes absolutely perfect sense: it's much easier to write, read and edit long lines of code using the portrait position of your screen. Think about more productive use of developers' time and more output in terms of coding.

For instance, seeing more code allows for increased productivity. In addition, being able to see more functions results in increased fluidity. Using a vertical screen, you can see three average-sized functions, but using a vertical one, you can see five. This allows for easier editing and provides consistency along with his functions.

Similarly, when reading, writing or editing hundreds of lines of text, my eyes work better and have less strain if I scroll down the text rather than side to side. In practice, when I come to the end of the line of written content, I need to move my eyes to the beginning of the next line. The longer the lines, the more milliseconds I waste and these add up quickly when you are doing the same task day in, day out, for years on end. If you want to scroll up and down and check the headings or the visual elements, it's also more convenient to have the layout similar to a book. More time saved and less neck and eye strain. One more logical point, if you are using a mouse, the wheel scrolls up and down, not left and right. There IS a reason for that.

On most days, I myself proofread 40.000 or more words. And this is just one of my daily tasks. Imagine my relief when I realized I can be more productive with a simple tilt of my monitor. Did I mention that most monitors with portrait positioning actually come with the option to tilt adjust the monitor to be landscape or portrait-oriented? The beauty of it is that you can write hundreds of lines of code in vertical mode, if you are a developer, and then simply switch your monitor setup to landscape mode and watch a video or two in your break. Another perk of a monitor in portrait mode is that you get to see fewer ads in between the content as most ads are still designed to show up on certain spots on web pages which are of horizontal design.

Who Can Benefit From Vertical Monitors and Who Can't?

As I mentioned, vertical monitors are a great option for people who create lines and lines of code as their main job, programmers, software developers and also content writers, proofreaders and content editors. Companies which employ the above mentioned professionals certainly can afford even multiple screen workstation setups as their benefits outweigh the costs significantly.

Who else? Lawyers, ladies and gentlemen! Yes, they read hundreds of pages of case materials and laws. How about professors? Absolutely! They need to read through hundreds of assignments which tend to be in the electronic form today.

Amateur or professional photographers will also find a vertical monitor to be a superior option to landscape when their photographs are... portraits, of course! A photo on a vertical monitor screen gets a lot more allocated space for editing or presenting the photos to the clients. The impression on your clients will have a lot more impact!

If you are Day Trading stocks, Forex or cryptocurrency, you will also benefit from a vertical monitor, especially with a multi-monitor setup: the data on different platforms will be easier to follow and a vertical monitor would enable faster reaction time on multiple setups.

Even pro streamers sometimes use them. Why, well they can have the streaming content in the upper part of their vertical screen and the chatbox with their fans in the lower part. There are even games designed for portrait screen position.

Other benefits of having vertical displays for gamers would be discord or team speak as well as having other web pages that are useful for the game open in the bottom portion of the screen. This makes scrolling unnecessary as all you need to do is take a look below the game screen.

As for specific game types, multiple vertically oriented monitors are pretty good for pinball because of the way that pinballs are designed or in the flight simulator games, because you often have instruments up top. This is perfect, right? Actually, a lot more games that support this mode than I imagined. You can find a large list here.

For regular internet users, sites like Reddit or Quora come to mind as they rely on loads of answers and comments below the original question. This brings us back to the fact that reading text in general works better on vertically-oriented screens.

Some fields like video editing will still continue to make use of traditional monitors with landscape positioning of the screen. This is due to the prevailing aspect ratios of video clips, movies and TV broadcasts.

Vertical monitor applications are expanding continuously and the manufacturers will follow up with better and better vertical monitors. Another advantage of this is that the more models are made, the less the price difference will be when compared to the regular monitors.

How to set up a vertical monitor?

All modern monitors have the orientation setting regardless of the fact of what orientation they are designed for. Naturally, we are looking for a monitor that also has a mechanical option to turn it into a portrait mode, be it by using the mount that came with the monitor or by buying an optional monitor mount or arm to position the monitor exactly where you want it.

Firstly, if you are running a Windows OS, you should right-click the desktop and select 'Display Settings' on Windows 10 or 'Screen Resolution' on Windows 7. This opens a new window with various options. You need to go to 'Display orientation' and choose Landscape or Portrait from the drop-down menu. In our case where we want vertical orientation, you select Portrait and click Apply.

This is the software part. The hardware part is to tilt/swivel the monitor itself on its proprietary mount/stand. Or, if there is an option, mount it on a separate arm extension onto your wall or desk. Easy peasy! In the case of monitors with speakers, repositioning monitors will void the stereo effect of the speakers so you need to use a USB hub or your PC/laptop audio jack to connect external pair of speakers. This will work just fine for all purposes, work or entertainment.

What you can also use a vertical monitor is to combine two of them, or even three into one setup so that you can produce code and simultaneously have additional screens for troubleshooting manuals or live code testing. The use of multiple screen setup depends on your needs, imagination and budget.

What Are the Benefits of Setups With multiple Vertical Monitors?

First of all, if you go too wide with multiple monitor setups in landscape orientation, you will decrease your peripheral vision and you'll have to start turning your head left and right. It is awkward and uncomfortable and in time it will put quite a strain on your neck. Secondly, the vertical monitors in a setup are hugely beneficial to people who are working with code or text - documentation, papers, notes and these tasks, in general, flow much better in portrait mode.  So that's one useful application.

As for coders specifically, the primary advantage of vertical monitors is that it allows them to see more lines of code on the screen at the same time. In terms of readability, lines of code frequently top out at about like eighty to one hundred characters. Similarly, the reason that your newspaper has multiple columns is that as your eyes can scan left to right, and then return to the next line. The length of the lines affects the accuracy of your eye movement, and shorter lines allow your eyes to move quicker and more precisely. Well, the same is true of programming.

Adding additional space to the right isn’t really helpful and the setup which allows you to display a larger number of lines does help because it provides more context for the code you are writing and reading.  Your work becomes easier and faster! Now imagine having 2-3 vertical monitors, how much convenient screen space do you get? I'd say plenty without increasing a single page width on each screen!

This is not to say that you cannot have a combo of horizontal and vertical monitors which you can control using one keyboard and one mouse.

Can You Turn a Horizontal Monitor Into a Vertical One?

Absolutely, presuming that your monitor complies with VESA standards. Numerous models of wall or desk mount arms make it super easy to convert any monitor to vertical, whenever you need it, for work or pleasure and entertainment purposes. Of course, there is a wide selection of monitors that already come with a stand so you can pivot your display based on your needs. You do need to change your monitor screen settings accordingly, as well.

asus normaly standing monitor
asus monitor turns to vertical

Are There More Advantages of a Vertical Monitor Setup?

Well, here's one: vertical videos! These have become extremely and increasingly popular with marketers and video content producers, both amateurs and professionals. Why is that? Well, consumers have changed their video-viewing habits from their laptops and desktop computers as well as TVs to vertical-screened smartphones. Presently, nearly 57% of all worldwide videos are played on cell phones, and, guess what, most cell phone users hold their phones vertical roughly 94% of the time.

So, because of this trend, more and more videos, from Instagram, Pinterest and Goggles latest addition to the market - Web Stories. are made to be watched vertically. So, you will have a better viewing experience if you watch the content on the vertical monitor.

Vertical videos that once were thought of as products from inexperienced cell phone users, who failed to tilt their cell phones to the side while recording, have now become a trend. Who would've thought...

Any Disadvantages of a Vertical Monitor?

The Smells - Coders Know What I mean

The developers who are not accustomed to using a vertical monitor may easily fall into the trap of "code smells". These are the technical cousins of the run-on sentence which create difficulties for engineers and developers. What happens is that the outside developers reviewing longer functions on horizontal screens often hesitate to implement changes. This happens because the functions are so large that changing one element may negatively affect the code which is buried elsewhere. Since a vertical monitor allows more code, coders may be tempted to create longer functions.

The Glare

A vertical screen has more probability to catch glare from light sources around. This is because their adjusting angles are smaller than in horizontal monitors. Why? Well, the up-and-down range of possible motion is less than the left-and-right counterpart so there are fewer adjustments you can make.

The Price

As with all products with specific designs that meet specific purposes, you are looking at a higher price of a vertical monitor compared to a horizontal one. Is the difference worth it? Your call! I myself believe it is.

In Conclusion

A vertical screen in your setup will definitely come in handy if you are a software developer, coder or if you work with a lot of textual content. On top of this, if you appreciate keeping up with video content trends or are a photo editor, you will also find vertically-oriented screens worth every cent and truly enjoyable to use or work with.

Gamers might have huge benefits or none at all, depending on their preferences and traditional mainstream video editors will do much better with a horizontal screen.

All things considered, vertical monitors are a welcomed addition to the market and it will be manufactured and improved for a long time. As for me, when in Rome, do as the Romans do: I got myself one and never regretted the buy!

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