Multiscreen Blank

Multiscreen Blank is a useful utility that allows you to independently blank out one or more monitors connected to your computer. It supports variable-speed fades as well as custom fade amount. This program is especially useful when running a presentation from a laptop, and will perform equally well for commercial systems with considerably more monitors.

This software started out as a simple program I wrote for personal use while giving a graduation presentation at my school. Over time, as I've done more and more presentations and ran into limitations, I've expanded the program's functionality. It has now been developed to the point that I deem it "release worthy".

DISCONTINUED PRODUCT: A new version of this application is available, and the version on this page has been discontinued. Please see the page for Multiscreen Blank v2 for more information.

Multiscreen Blank screenshot

How to use

Despite the somewhat intimidating cluttered look in the screenshot above, this program is very straightforward and easy to use. The program was designed with an "all options on one screen" approach, in order to prevent frantically searching for a specific option while under pressure to dim one screen and show another.

Fading monitors in and out

Simply click the large numbered button to toggle the monitor associated with it. (The numbers on these buttons correspond to the numbers Windows assigns to your monitors, which can be changed using Display Properties.) When a monitor is blanked, the button will turn red.

Parameters

The "Duration" and "Fade amount" parameters control the way that the monitor is blanked. You can specify the duration, in milliseconds, that the fade takes place; for example, setting duration to 5000 will make the specified monitor smoothly fade from completely blank to completely open in exactly 5 seconds. The fade amount parameter specifies how far the fade goes, with 100 being fully black; this is useful when you want to dim a monitor but not blank it out all the way.

Forcing a blank or visible monitor

There are cases where you must immediately blank or reveal a monitor, i.e. due to mistakes or while switching physical equipment. These buttons will instantly blank or reveal a monitor, without applying any fade effect.

Setting defaults for all monitors

Finally, the toolbar on top allows you to set the duration and fade amounts for all monitors at the same time. This is useful when you have a large amount of monitors.

Limitations

Number of monitors

Although Multiscreen Blank supports a theoretically infinite number of monitors, the monitor on which the Multiscreen Blank window is running must be large enough to fit all monitor controls. Keep in mind that the more monitors you have connected, the longer it will take to initialize Multiscreen Blank.

Features coming in a future release

Version 1.1 of Multiscreen Blank does not support saving settings (i.e. per-monitor duration and fade amount), nor does it support "ghosting" the blanked window (which allows you to click through a black monitor and access windows open on it). The mouse cursor also will be visible on blanked-out screens, which can be useful at times but is often an annoyance. These features will be added in a future release if time allows.

Windows 9x support

Multiscreen Blank relies on the WS_EX_LAYERED window style, which is only supported on Windows 2000 and above. Thus, although you will be able to run Multiscreen Blank on Windows 98 and ME (with the .NET Framework 2.0 installed), you will NOT be able to fade monitors in and out.

License

You are allowed to use Multiscreen Blank with virtually no restrictions, i.e. you may use it for both private and commercial settings free of charge. However, you may NOT use this software as part of your own projects or compilations without permission from the developer.

Download

Go to download page

Comments (22)

Annectus D.Mukajanga
Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 11:39 AM
no comment
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Gregory Weltin
Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 10:46 AM
re: Multiscreen-blank: Are there command line options? I would like to create a shortcut "button" on the desktop to blank/unblank one monitor only.
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Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 8:30 PM
@Gregory Weltin No command-line options yet, but thanks for the suggestion! I will post an updated version eventually.
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mawi
Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:52 PM
maybee a tray icon would be a great feature to start the programm in systemtray.and with eventghost it is already possible to blank out just one screen with a shortcut :-)
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mawi
Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM
a got a mistake, it's not possible. a save option would be great to :-)
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mawi
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 5:54 AM
after a few tries, it´s possible with eventghost :-) to blank just one screen! thanks
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johan
Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 8:25 AM
Could you add the functionality to create keyboard shortcuts to toggle the different monitors? This would be great as you could simply have this tool running in background and blank the monitor out with one keystroke.
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Gram
Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 1:07 AM
A minimize to tray upon close and macro buttons would be appreciated.
Thank you so much for this program!
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Norbert
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 1:52 PM
Hi,
for Multiscreen Blank... are there command line options available???

would be very helpful
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Norbert
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 2:09 PM
Hi,

This little utility is very great - but I would like to use the command line options.

Greetings
Norbert
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guy
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM
I love this software

few feature requests -
ability to have monitor blanked until mouse over, then when the mouse leaves the monitor to blank it again
minimize to tray
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Sparehead 3
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 3:44 AM
I've been looking for something like this when I watch DVDs on one of my four connected monitors... but there needs to be a limiter of some sort- like not being able to blank the screen that the program's window is in, or a pop-up saying "Caution- you're about to blank the sreen the program is running in and won't be able to see the button to reveal it- are you sure you want to do this?"
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM
@Sparehead 3 Good idea, something like this will make it into the new version when I get around to it. For now, double-clicking on a blanked monitor will reveal it.
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Stephan
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 1:52 PM
great program.
one thing would make ik that much userfriendlier.
make the order of screens displayed in the program changeable.
i am running 6 screens and windows display has them numbered randomly.
now your program has them lined up 1 to 6 but i keep on pressing the wrong one to blank.
now ive started to blank all , then doubleclick the ones id like to unblank.
imagine peole with morescreens.

a possibility to assign screens to a position in your program would complete it.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 10:11 PM
@Stephan The numbers correspond to the ones in the display control panel. A future version of the program will display the screens in a similar fashion, mirroring their physical layout.
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Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 12:20 PM
nice software. I hope to run on a
computer / laptop me. thanks
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Dave
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 3:53 PM
Any chance of command-line paramaters in the future?
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Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 10:23 PM
@Dave Planned in the next version. It'll be a single-instance app so you can control the running instance via command-line.
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Dave
Friday, August 8, 2014 at 2:25 AM
@nookkin Awesome, looking forward to it.
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Peter G.
Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 4:31 AM
@guy
Yes! Please!!

Fading monitor in/out based on mouse is the holy grail, if you ask me.

Those working with multiple monitors may wish to save their eyes from unnecessary glare, and an automatic solution is best for this. I don't think this feature exists in any software. I've checked.
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Friday, September 4, 2015 at 10:53 AM
Hi,
Thanks for the app. It solved a specific need and works well. I look forward to being able to ghost a blacked out screen in a future version. If you ever stop actively developing the app I hope you release the source. It's too useful to be lost.
Thanks.
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Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 12:27 PM
A new version of Multiscreen Blank has been released!

http://nookkin.com/software/multiscreen-blank-v2.ndoc
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