Whether you got your Mac from the Apple store, customised it online, or found it on the street, for the most part your Mac is the same as pretty much everyone else’s Mac – at least as far as the eye can tell. For some people, that’s okay. But others strive to make each machine their own, to show the world that they are different. You could do something simple like changing the wallpaper on your Mac, perhaps using one of the many wallpapers we’ve rounded up. Or, you could get several monitors to turn your Mac into the perfect workstation. Customizing your wallpaper then, though, can be a rather difficult task if you want a continuous picture across your screens that looks perfect.
This is where Multi Monitor Wallpaper comes into play. No longer are you forced to open photoshop and manually split the wallpaper into parts and attempt to align it perfectly for your display setup, only to find you misses it by a few pixels. With Multi Monitor Wallpaper, you can now get a wallpaper to span across your displays perfectly every time. Read on for our in-depth review of the app.
When you first start the app, you probably won’t be terribly impressed. Its user interface is on the plain side of basic – the only real merit being that’s its pretty straight forward what to do next. Picking the image is done either by browsing your Mac to find a photo or wallpaper that you already have, or by browsing Flickr. This sounds promising and to some extent is very useful. You can search through the public expanse of images or select from your own on the site.
However, there are some limitations with this feature that I’d like to see remedied. For example, you have to actually search through using a keyword. There’s no browsing through categories or popular feeds, and there’s no chance to preview the image in a bigger size before selecting it. None of these are deal-breaking problems, but small issues that would be nice to see fixed in future releases.
The checkbox to hide images smaller than your monitors is handy, though. Depending on the size of your monitors you may have trouble here as this resolution can stretch into several thousand pixels, and not a huge amount of photos on Flickr are that wide – so you may have to settle with some slight resizing for an image to fit your screen, depending on how big your total workspace is.
Fitting your wallpaper
Once you’ve made you selection, its time to make sure your image will display properly on your Mac. You are given a preview of what the image will look like, with the clearer part representing what part of the image will be displayed on your monitors, and the washed out section showing what will be cropped off the image. If you are happy with this, then you may simply go ahead and click Save and Apply and you’re done. If you are not completely happy then jump into Edit and you can fine-tune the wallpaper to get it perfect.
Now, you can make any changes necessary to your wallpaper to suit your needs. You get the same view of your screens and the cropped area, but here you can alter them. You can move either the image or the screens – at the time of writing, with the latest version 1.1, you are unable to zoom apart from arbitrarily squashing the image to fit entirely in your monitors. Once again the user interface is laking somewhat, but for the most part you can make the changes you desire.
You can play with the wallpaper and make ‘gaps’ in the wallpaper to account for physical spaces in-between your monitors, and once you’re ready just click Done to go back to the previous screen awaiting your approval. Apply the changes, and you’ll have a nice multi-monitor wallpaper spanning across your displays. As you can see in the picture above, it actually does get quite nice results, and if you’re willing to deal with the basic interface, it’s a perfectly capable app for making great multi-monitor wallpapers that are perfect for your setup.
Multi Monitor Wallpaper is unlikely to be collecting any Apple Design Awards any time soon – the user interface is about as minimalistic as can be, and there are some user experience issues such as the lack of easy zooming or browsing Flickr. Nonetheless, it’s a simple app with a small price tag of $1.99 and it gets the job done very well. You’ll likely save a fair bit of time every time you want to change you’re wallpaper if you have a multiple monitor setup and for most people, time is money.