When using a computer I know when the application is taking the entire screen we call it "full screen" or "your application is in full screen mode".

And so how is it called when a application is taking half of the screen (in order to display 2 applications for instance one on the left and one on the right).

Thanks in advance:

  • 1
    taking up the entire screen and "What's it called when etc."
    – Lambie
    Mar 22, 2019 at 14:38

4 Answers 4


Mostly, it is called "Split-screen mode".
"Half-screen mode" and "Shared-screen mode" works alright too.

  • 12
    I've only ever heard and seen "split screen" being used. I'd understand what people meant if they used "half screen", but it would sound odd. Screen sharing using things like TeamViewer, Skype or dedicated conferencing tools is far too common for "shared screen" to mean the same as "split screen". Mar 22, 2019 at 13:50
  • 1
    Normally I wouldn't mention it, but since this is ELL: "alright" is a colloquial version of "all right". Mar 22, 2019 at 14:47
  • 3
    I agree with Anthony that "shared screen" is far more often used to refer to sharing one's screen with a remote third party, usually in a tech support or presentation capacity, and has nothing to do with how much of the screen a given application takes up. Split-screen is far and away the best choice here.
    – Doktor J
    Mar 22, 2019 at 15:19

In addition to Bella's answer, I occasionally hear the terms "docked" and "snapped" (as in, "The application is docked to the left side of the screen," or "Snap the application to the right side.")

  • 2
    Although these refer to the location, rather than amount, of the application. Mar 22, 2019 at 14:47
  • @Acccumulation None of them really indicate amount these days. In my experience the default for docking/snapping is 50% of the screen (split either vertically or horizontally, depending on which edge you snap to), but modern operating systems allow changing the amount of the screen used. Split screen doesn't strictly mean it's using exactly half of the screen - it just means that the screen is split - but these are the closest terms we've got. Mar 22, 2019 at 15:36

Specifically in the Windows OS, an application window can be in any one of three states; Full Screen, Minimized, and Normal. There is no special term for various arrangements of normal windows on your monitor(s). "Split Screen" is typically used for "couch co-op" games where two (or more) players can each have (all on one monitor) their own dedicated screen space (window) to play the game. "Shared Screen" is typically used to mean sharing the entire screen with a remote third party, like in a Skype meeting you can share your screen with everyone else in the meeting. I've never heard "half-screen" being used, it sounds to me like a property of the monitor itself rather than a window arrangement on the screen.

Edit: Note that in various multi-window applications like Excel, there are names for various arrangements of the application's "inner" windows such as Tiled, Horizontal, Vertical, and Cascade; but those names are more application specific (to Excel in this case) than generally accepted.

I actually create this kind of multi-window arrangement on my screen(s) every day, but I don't have a name or an easy, short description, other than saying something like, "arrange both windows on your screen so you can see as much of each as possible and neither window overlaps" or "imagine drawing a line across the middle of the screen and place one window above the line, one below".

  • Back in the day, at least, Windows had an option to tile all non-minimised windows. At least, I remember doing that in 3.1...
    – SamBC
    Mar 25, 2019 at 0:37

I read in the Collins Dictionary the definition of split-screen and it seems quite accurate, even if it does not explicitly specify half of the screen, the meaning seems close:

[countable noun]
On a computer screen, a split-screen is a display of two different things in separate parts of the screen.

Source COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

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