Skip to content

Proof of what is unseen

Flip Your Monitor Vertically

My setup at Faithlife (including standing desk with electric motor!)

Remember that time when someone showed you how to hit Alt+Tab on your keyboard to switch programs? You were either like, “I can do that with a mouse, so why do I need to learn a keyboard shortcut,” or you were like, “WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!”

I was WOW WOW. Where had this tip been all my digital life? It’s so obvious to me now that keyboard shortcuts are the most efficient way to tell a computer what to do. But it never occurred to me before I was shown.

So let me try you on another digital tip that has made me equally WOW WOW, a tip that I wish I had come across years ago but that never occurred to me: flip your widescreen monitor vertical.

I’m serious. Try it. It’s nothing less than twelve WOWs. Everything but video-consumption and graphic design works better on a tall screen. The web. Word-processing. Document-reading. Um… What else are you doing on your computer?

2013-10-18-10.17.22 copy

My daily work setup from a while back

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.


  1. Kerry McGonigal on May 3, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    So the million dollar question is . . . How does one do this? Did you change the settings on your laptop or on the monitor or both?

  2. David on May 3, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    This sounds like a great idea for some people, but when I started thinking about this sentence, I started to realize it wouldn’t work for me: “What else are you doing on your computer?” Let’s see… JIRA Agile, Trello, Eclipse and other IDEs, multiple terminal windows, Outlook, spreadsheets, Amazon Web Services console, etc. When I consider that these are the applications I use most of my work day and that they work better in a horizontal configuration, then I think I better stick with landscape mode.

    I guess this might work if you you’re primarily a writer or researcher, but I imagine it wouldn’t work so well for most people in IT-related fields. I suppose it just reinforces my technology mantra: “Use the toolset that works for you.”

  3. Mark Ward on May 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    It’s true: not every monitor can do it; this monitor has a square slot for the stand, and I switched the stand out for another that allowed the vertical orientation.

    Mac OS X, at least on Mavericks, can handle this no problem. It is my understanding that Windows 8 can do so as well, but I believe that with previous versions of Windows you may need a specific device driver.

    In any case, give it a shot if you can. It works so well for writers that I think it’s worth jury-rigging.

  4. Mark Ward on May 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    You’re right, too, Dave. =)

  5. Duncan Johnson on May 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I started doing this with Windows 7 a few weeks back with no problems. The key is the “Orientation” setting in the screenshot below:

    This was made on my home computer, where the second monitor doesn’t rotate, but I did this at work really easily.

  6. Brian Morgan on May 7, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Well, since my 20″ won’t rotate, now you created a desire that cannot be met on the current budget….thanks Mark! I will rejoice with you, enjoy your vertical orientation. I will keep lower to the earth and continue to grovel in my horizontal perspective!! 🙂

  7. […] for watching videos) works better when you rotate your monitor 90 degrees so that it’s vertical rather than horizontal. (A vertical monitor is ideal for tracing the arguments of Bible […]

Leave a Reply