Quickly enable or disable external monitor on laptop

I often have to quickly move my laptop from the office and go to a meeting or client site where I do not have the luxury of plugging in an external monitor. Unfortunately the laptop doesn’t know this and will continue to send applications to the previous screen it was in. As I typically have Lotus Notes running on the external monitor (as it has a higher resolution) this means I have to manually go in and disable the external display. This is annoying and a little time consuming so I went hunting for an application that would automatically do this.  I had thought of using sendkeys to do it myself but I didn’t really want the dialog boxes to appear on the screen.

Over at donation coder, a post in the forums came up with tv_out by nod5  Download this application, extract to a directory and then double click tv_out. This will then create a shortcut on your desk that you can use to toggle the external display on and off. By editing the ini file you can change the location for the shortcut. As I don’t really want to display the desktop and then toggle the display I have actually changed my location to be in the quick links toolbar that is always displayed.

Another application I have downloaded from donation coder is the excellent screenshot captor. This does really nice screenshots and has some nice tools for creating borders, highlights and annotating the captured image. The only drawback is that I often find it crashes the first time I use it, but after I reopen it, it seems stable.  (Note that I was running an old version (now corrected) so this may be fixed in the new version)

Update I forgot to mention that this application is directly compatible with Live Mesh as LM creates a virtual screen so my extended desktop becomes display 3 but tv_out only toggles display 2.  There are some instructions to change this – that is a future project for me….