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SwitchMon - Rainmeter with multiple skins on more monitors

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r.amse.s
Posts: 21
Joined: October 19th, 2012, 4:11 pm

SwitchMon - Rainmeter with multiple skins on more monitors

r.amse.s » December 30th, 2012, 5:58 pm

SwitchMon - the multi screen tool for Rainmeter

Many of the laptop users that are using Rainmeter could have a multi monitor setup (e.g. in the office an additional bigger monitor and a stand alone setup - only the laptop). I had the problem when i changed the numbers of monitors - i switch in the office (2 monitors) in the standby mode and at home I came back from standby the skins from the additional monitor in the office were displayed on the laptop monitor at a random position.
Rainmeter offers the layout concept to save any skin configuration also using more monitors.At this time the limitation that i found is that Rainmeter cannot manage the saved layouts depending on the active monitors count.
Because I didn't find a way to fix this only using Rainmeter, I decided to write a small app for managing automatically these situations for me.

Purpose of the app: managing in real time the Rainmeter layouts depending on the monitor count.

Most important features:
- no installer needed
- works skin independently and your skins do not need to be modified at all
- any monitor configuration change (e.g. undock from/dock to docking station will be detected immediately and the right layout will be loaded (available when using the resident part of SwitchMon - the launcher)
- very small Launcher size (ca. 50 KB)
- works with the 32 and 64bit version of Rainmeter

How the app works:
The App consists of 3 files SwitchMon.exe, SwitchMon.ini and Launcher.exe.
I assume that the most Rainmeter users will load Rainmeter at Windows start. This will be done by the Rainmeter setup during installation puting a link in the Autorun directory. When you are using SwitchMon, this link will be exchanged with SwitchMon or Launcher depends which monitor detection method you decide to use.

SwitchMon method
The program is also used to manage the entire app configuration. When the SwitchMon is started without parameters the main tab will be visible and the user can configure the app. With the parameter "switch" the app will be started hidden and will be automatically stopped after processing the monitor count and load the right layout for it. In fact SwitchMon will act as a loader for Rainmeter. SwitchMon started with the "switch" parameter will not remain resident in the memory.
This method will allow to load the right layout only at Windows start. Changing of the monitor configuration during Windows usage will be not detected by SwitchMon. For this purpose please use the next method.

Launcher method
Launcher was designed and optimized to remain all the time resident by using a minimal memory space. Using this method you will have always the right layout loaded dependent on the monitor count. The decision which layout should be loaded at which monitor count can be defined in the SwitchMon GUI.

SwitchMon GUI explanation
On the main tab the user can define for each number of monitors which layout should be loaded. The user can add and delete monitors in the list by clicking on plus or minus button. SwitchMon can also detect the actual numbers of monitors and fill up the list.
On the right side there is the list with all defined layouts (they must be defined in Raimeter). The @Backup layout can be filtered out by choosing the option on the options tab.
By selecting the desired monitor count on the left side, SwitchMon will display which (if any) layout is linked with it.
In the status bar there are some informations about the actual detected monitor count and if SwitchMon found the necessary apps on the PC (Rainmeter and Launcher).
On the Options tab the user can decide which method for monitoring the display configuration should be used. For Windows Vista and later the SwitchMon must be executed as administrator in order to be able to change this setting. SwitchMon will store the actual status of Rainmeter (autorun or not at Windows start) and this will be restored if necessary - e.g. the user will not use SwitchMon anymore and wants to go back to the regular usage of Rainmeter.

Usage of SwitchMon
1. Download and unpack the files to a location on your laptop where you have write rights without administrator rights.
2. Define in Rainmeter for each number of monitors a layout (skins and their positions on all available monitors) and save them e.g 1Monitor, 2Monitors, etc.
3. Use the configuration with the maximum number of monitors and press the detect button in SwitchMon, or define your monitor count manually (+ and - button)
4. Select each monitor count and choose the appropriate layout for it
5. Go to the Options tab and choose the monitoring method (don't forget to start as Admin if you are using Vista or later)

Done!

If you have questions or feedback please contact me. Have fun!
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