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SecondBar puts your menu bar on a second monitor

TJ Luoma, @tjluoma

The menu bar is a quintessential piece of the Mac "experience." On the left, it shows all of the menu items for the currently active application; on the right, it shows icons from various menu bar application programs: the date/time, WiFi status, MobileMe sync status, and many, many more.

The whole idea is to make the menu items easy to find and easy to "hit" with a mouse, by being connected to the top of the screen (Fitts's law and all that). But what if you have two monitors? Suddenly the menu bar might be all the way over on the other side. Yes, I realize that complaining about using a Mac with two monitors might be the quintessential "first-world problem," but the more minor irritants you can remove from life, the better.

SecondBar is an app which will extend your menu bar to a second monitor. I've been using it for a while and it works pretty well for what the author describes as an "alpha" build.

There are a few caveats:

  1. It may crash more than a regular app (although it's been fairly stable for me)
  2. It requires Snow Leopard
  3. It replicates the "left side" of the menu bar (app-specific menus) but not the menu bar "extras" from the right side (there is a clock)
If you click on the SecondBar clock, you will see a few extra commands as well:

+ alt + control + = "Maximize to Left Half" will maximize the current window at half the width of the current monitor, and move it to the left side of the monitor.

+ alt + control + = "Maximize to Right Half" will maximize the current window at half the width of the current monitor, and move it to the right side of the monitor.

+ alt + control + = "Maximize current window" will maximize the current window to fill the entire monitor. Note there is no corresponding command to "un-maximize" the window, which has to be done using the mouse.

Using the Left and Right commands with ⌘+tab switching is an easy way to view two documents side-by-side, and the "fully maximize" feature is something that is often requested, especially by Windows switchers. While it may not be something that you use all the time, I find that it occasionally comes in very handy.

SecondBar is a free download.

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