2nd Monitor in lighttable view

maybe I missed it, but I just can’t figure it out:
Is it possible to have a second monitor view in the lighttable view?
So far I have only found the possibility to open a second monitor in the darktable view.
When I then switch back to the lightview, the edited image in the dartable view remains in the second monitor.
This is a bit confusing, because now the second monitor shows a different picture than the one selected in the centre view. In the lightview view I can select the full preview layout, but I do not find a way, to put this full preview on the second monitor.
What am I missing? Thanks a lot for any hint.

2nd window is only available on darkroom view. When opened, the window remains opens until you close it or close darktable. 2nd window is only related to last image displayed in darkroom.

Hello Nilvus,
thank you for the clarification
I thought so. Is there a specific reason that there is no second screen available in the lightview view?
It is uncomfortable to switch between full previews in lightview all the time (with the F or W key-shortcut) when I want to see a bigger image, and additionally confusing when a different image than selected is shown in the second monitor.

Probably just because nobody code that. I can’t say more, I personally find that second window unuseful.

I am not sure if my suggestion would help, but when I am processing images in the darkroom I often move onto the next image I want to see by using the filmstrip in the darkroom rather than returning to the lighttable.

Out of interest, what advantage do you use the second screen for? I know in GIMP when I am restoring photographs I may open a second screen to show the whole image to look at the effect globally while repairing scratches and spots on the main screen zoomed in.

Hi Terry
In the lightview view I rate the images and select them.
It is a great advantage to have an overview with smaller previews in centre view, where I can quickly jump to an image if I want to look at it more closely. In full screen mode (shortcut F or W) I lose the overview, so I have to switch back again and again while a “wrong” picture (left from the last darktable edit) is permanently displayed on the second monitor.

It’s true, I can also go further in the filmstrip in the darktable view, but that takes far too long, because the basic modules always have to be loaded first.
Probably Nilvus is right and it just hasn’t been programmed. It would be really a very simplifying feature, and the structure is there (selection of the second monitor, its ICC profile management, etc.).
I am surprised that no one else has complained yet. All RAW developers work with this standard of having an overview with small previews and showing the selected image in large format on a second monitor (if there).

Because complaining doesn’t help - someone needs to implement the stuff and it seems to have no priority for the active developers…
I doubt it’s a quite simple job since the preview window content is the result of a own processing pipe. so just reuse it in lighttable mode might result in a lack of performance since the pipe must be recomputed on selecting an image.

Okay, I understand.
I didn’t mean complaining in the literal sense either, I was surprised that it didn’t seem to be an issue.
But I understand if it’s such a big effort that other things have priority.

Hi Thomas,
I certainly appreciate the effort put in by developers to develop DT, so I avoid ever criticising their effort which is freely given. However, I do make suggestions for improvements. I try to put together a case for why this would benefit users. Then if the developers are convinced of the value of the change they might try and implement it. As an example, I suggested the ability to color balance an image based upon sampling skin tone. That suggestion started an unexpected and lively discussion about the various skin tones based on race. So I then suggested being able to color balance based upon sampling a color in one image and making it the target in another image. That suggestion went down better. Now in DT V4 we have the sort of feature I requested in the color calibration module (spot color mapping). The developer went further and put spot exposure mapping into the exposure module.

It would be worth outlining the benefits of using the second monitor and seeing if a developer is interested in your suggestion. BTW, as I said before, I use the film strip to process a days shoot and move from one image (unprocessed) to the next. Some images I rate as rejected to later be deleted and others I give a star rating. I am very happy with how the filmstrip lets me do this. Also sometimes I take a snapshot of one picture to compare to the others in order to find the best shot worth my effort of developing.

Good luck with DT.


Hi Terry,
I did not want to criticize any efforts in any case. I am absolutely thrilled with what the developers and programmers of dartable are doing.
Perhaps I have overlooked a fundamentally different way of working.
The lighttable view, in my opinion, is for viewing, selecting, managing and organizing images.
For this I need a good overview of my images and as much information about them as possible. This is all available in the lighttable view. Sometimes I need a larger view to better judge an image. With the switch to Full Preview (W or F) I can do that, but first I have to press an additional button, but then I lose the overview of the images and can not zoom into the image in this mode.
Everything I would like to have in the lighttable view is available in the darktable view. But this mode is, of course, mainly for image editing. I have basic modules that are loaded automatically. A great feature, but this way each image call via the filmstrip takes its time to show. No problem when I am editing images, but too long when I want to sort images. Of course, I can turn off the automatic loading of modules to speed things up, but then I lose a big advantage that saves me a lot of time during editing.
When I go back to the lighttable view, the edited image remains open in the second monitor, which can sometimes be very confusing. So I would have to remember to switch off the second monitor before switching to lighttable.
I have a similar problem with the position of the history stack module (maybe I’m missing a trick here, too): To copy the processing steps of one image to another, I first have to switch back to lighttable view to get to the history stack module there. Or is there another way to copy the history in the darktable view besides creating a style?

Another item to consider is what other software can make use of a second display, and what do they do with it? Not sure about Photoshop, but in kdenlive you can make use of a second display and move different clip monitors there. Of course, it is a much busier interface.