Dell 34 Monitor P3421W User Guide

Dell 34 Monitor P3421W User Guide

NOTE: A NOTE indicates important information that helps you make better use of your computer.CAUTION: A CAUTION indicates potential damage to hardware or loss of data if instructions are not followed.WARNING: A WARNING indicates a potential for property damage, personal injury, or death.


Dell Display Manager (DDM) is a Microsoft Windows application used to manage a monitor or a group of monitors. It allows manual adjustment of the displayed image, assignment of automatic settings, energy management, window organization, image rotation, and other features on select Dell monitors. Once installed, Dell Display Manager runs each time the system starts and places its icon in the notification tray. Information about monitors connected to the system is available when hovering over the notification-tray icon.

Alternatively, you may launch DDM by right-clicking on the desktop background to select Dell Display Manager from the desktop menu.

NOTE: Dell Display Manager uses DDC/CI channel to communicate with your monitor. Ensure DDC/CI is enabled in the menu as below.

Using the Quick Settings Dialog

Clicking Dell Display Manager’s notification tray icon opens the Quick Settings dialog box. When more than one supported Dell monitors are connected to the computer, a specific target monitor can be selected using the menu. The Quick Settings dialog box enables you to easily adjust the brightness, contrast,  = resolution,window layout, and so on. You can select Manual Mode or Auto Mode, and the screen resolution can be changed.

The Quick Settings dialog box also provides access to Dell Display Manager’s advanced user interface that is used to adjust basic functions, configure auto mode and access other features.

Feature Function Description
Quick DDM Access Quick key to call up DDM UI
  • Ctrl+Shift+D
  • Use Page Up/Page Down key or click on “>” to flip through all Easy Arrange layouts
Control individual monitor in multiple monitor setup
  • From dropdown box to select monitor, selected monitor has Dell logo shown.
  • Perform monitor self-test feature check.
  • Move DDM UI to the monitor to be controlled.
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+D to bring up the miniUI under the mouse pointer.

Setting Basic Display Functions

Select Manual Mode that enables you to manually select a preset mode or select Auto Mode that applies a preset mode based on the active application. An onscreen message displays the current preset mode whenever it changes. The selected monitor’s Brightness and Contrast can also be directly adjusted from the Basic tab.

NOTE: When multiple Dell monitors are connected, select “Enable display matrix control” to apply brightness, contrast and color presets controls to all monitors.

Assigning Preset Modes to Applications

The Auto Mode tab allows you to associate a specific Preset Mode with a specific application, and apply it automatically. When Auto Mode is enabled, Dell Display Manager automatically switches to the corresponding Preset Mode whenever the associated application is activated. The Preset Mode assigned to a particular application may be the same on each connected monitor, or it can vary from one monitor to another.Dell Display Manager is pre-configured for many popular applications. To add a new application to the assignment list, simply drag the application from the desktop, Windows Start Menu or elsewhere, and drop it onto the current list.

NOTE: Preset Mode assignments for batch files, scripts, loaders, and non-executable files such as zip archives or packed files, are not supported.

You can also configure the Game preset mode to be used whenever a Direct3D application runs in full-screen mode. To prevent an application from using mode, assign a different preset mode to it.

Organizing Windows with Easy Arrange

Easy Arrange helps you to effectively organize your application windows on the desktop. You first choose a pre-defined layout pattern which suits your work, then you just need to drag the application windows into the defined zones. Press “>” or use Page Up/Page Down key to find more layouts. To create a custom layout, right-click on the thumbnail with a tiny triangle at the bottom right corner, arrange the numbers of rows and columns in the open window, and then click OK to set up your preferred arrangement.For Windows 10, you can apply different window layouts for each of the virtual desktops.If you often use Windows snap feature, you can select “Hold down the SHIFT key to enable zone positioning”. This gives Windows snap priority over Easy Arrange. You will then need to press the Shift key to use Easy Arrange positioning.

If you are using multiple monitors in an array or matrix, Easy Arrange layout can be applied across to all the monitors as one desktop. Select “Span multiple monitors” to enable this feature. You need to align your monitors properly  to make it effective.

There are other advanced ways for the usage of Easy Arrange. Refer to table below.




Enhanced Easy Arrange

Custom layouts
  • Save and name 5 customized Easy Arrange patterns.
  • Configure x*y patterns.
5 MRU (mostrecentlyused) layouts
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+Home to cycle among the last 5 MRU layouts.

On the fly partition resizing

  • Hold down Ctrl while resizing current Easy Arrange layout to adjust the size and numbers of cells in a layout.
  • Newly formed Easy Arrange pattern is saved into the Easy Arrange icon position.
  • Hold down Ctrl while clicking on a modified layout icon to restore it to default layout.

Easy Arrange layouts for portrait mode

  • Portrait mode Easy Arrange icons are presented when monitor is rotated.

NOTE: Some application requires a minimum effective resolution for its window. The application may not fit in an Easy Arrange zone if the zone is smaller than the required window size.

Managing Multiple Video Inputs

The Input Manager tab provides convenient ways for you to manage multiple video inputs connected to your Dell monitor. This makes it very easy to switch between inputs while working with multiple computers.All video input ports available to your monitor are listed. You can give each input a name as you like. Please save your changes after editing.You can define a shortcut key to quickly switch to your favorite input and another shortcut key to quickly switch between two inputs if you often work between them.

You can use the dropdown list to switch to any input source

NOTE: DDM communicates with your monitor even when the monitor is displaying video from another computer. You can install DDM on the PC you frequently use and control input switching from it. You may also install DDM on other PCs connected to the monitor.

Click the PIP/PBP mode selection button to set the preferred configuration. The available modes are Off, PIP Small, PIP Large, and PBP.

You can select video inputs for your main window and sub window. Please save your change after your selection.You can define a shortcut key to quickly swap the video inputs between main window and sub window. Click Video swap or use the defined Video swap shortcut key to swap the videoinputs between main window and sub window.

You can assign a USB upstream port with your video input. The assigned USB upstream port will be connected to the computer when its video is showing on the monitor.

It is particularly useful when you share mouse or keyboard which is connected to the monitor between two computers. You can define a shortcut key to quickly switch the device between the two computers.

You can also use KVM wizard to assign the USB upstream ports for the video inputs and select display partition for multiple devices.

NOTE: Make sure you have assigned a USB upstream port for each of the connected devices.

When PIP/PBP is on, if you share a device (e.g. a mouse) between the two computers, you can click USB switch or use the defined USB switch shortcut key to quickly switch the device between the two computers.

NOTE: Make sure you have assigned a USB upstream port for each of the two computers. NOTE: Make sure the USB device is properly stopped before you switch it to another computer. Failing to do so may cause problems such as data corruption on a thumb drive.

Restoring Application Positions

DDM can help you restore application windows into their positions when you reconnect your PC to the monitor(s). You can quickly access this feature by rightclicking on DDM icon in the notification tray.

If you choose “Auto-restore window layout”, your application windows’ positions are tracked and remembered by DDM. DDM automatically puts the application windows into their original positions when you reconnect your PC to your monitor(s).

To go back to a favorite layout, first “Save current window layout” and later “Restore saved window layout”.You may use monitors with different models or resolutions in your daily routine, and apply different window layouts on them. DDM is able to know the monitor you have reconnected and restore application positions accordingly.In case you need to replace a monitor in a monitor matrix configuration, you can save the window layout before replacement and restore the layout after a new monitor is installed.

NOTE: You should keep your applications running in order to benefit from this feature. DDM doesn’t launch applications.

Attaching DDM to active windows (only Windows 10)

For Windows 10, you can add the DDM shortcut icon to the toolbar region of active windows. To activate this feature, right-click on the DDM icon in the notification tray and choose Attach to active window from the opened menu.

Once you right-click the icon in the toolbar, a quick menu of DDM appears, displaying options under Auto Mode and Easy Arrange for you to easily make adjustments.


Applying Energy Conservation Features

The Options tab provides PowerNap energy conservation options and allows you to customize keyboard shortcuts.In the upper pane, you can choose to set the monitor’s brightness to the minimum level, or to put the monitor to sleep when the screensaver is activated.

Other Shortcut Keys

You can define the shortcut keys for quick access to the following DDM functions:

  • Program shortcut key: to quickly open the Quick Settings dialog box.
  • Easy Arrange MRU shortcut key: to quickly apply the 5 recently used window layouts.
  • Application window shortcut key: to launch a quick menu for options under Auto Mode and Easy Arrange.


If DDM cannot work with your monitor, DDM will show below icon in your notification tray.

Click on the icon, DDM shows a more detailed error message.

Please note that DDM only works with Dell branded monitors. If you are using monitors from other manufacturers, DDM doesn’t support them.If DDM is unable to detect and/or communicate with a supported Dell monitor, please take below actions to troubleshoot:

  1. Make sure the video cable is properly connected to your monitor and your PC, especially the connectors should be firmly inserted into position.
  2. Check the monitor OSD to ensure DDC/CI is enabled.
  3. Make sure you have the correct and latest display driver from the graphics vendor (Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, etc.). Display driver is often the cause of DDM failure.
  4. Remove any docking stations or cable extenders or converters  between the monitor and the graphics port. Some low-cost extenders, hubs or converters may not support DDC/CI properly and can fail DDM. Update the driver of such device if the latest version is available.
  5. Restart your system.

DDM may not work with below monitors:

  • Dell monitor models earlier than year 2013 and D-series of Dell monitors. You can refer to Dell Product Support websites for more information
  • Gaming monitors using NVIDIA-based G-sync technology
  • Virtual and wireless displays do not support DDC/CI
  • Some early models of DP 1.2 monitors, it may be necessary to disable MST/ DP 1.2 using the monitor OSD

If your PC is connected to the Internet, you will be prompted with a message when a newer version of DDM application is available. It is recommended to download and install the latest DDM application.You may also check for new version by right clicking on DDM icon while pressing and holding ‘shift’ key.

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