Since the launch of the MacBook Pro with Retina display in June, Microsoft had announced full compatibility of Office for Mac 2011 with Mountain Lion, but had neither confirmed, nor denied the possibility of a future update to the suite to fully support the Retina display. Up until now, Outlook 2011 was the only app that had support for the Retina display.

Well today, Microsoft has released an update to Office for Mac 2011 (14.2.4) that finally adds support for the Retina display across the suite. Owners of the rMBP can now enjoy a crisp UI and sharp text and finally get back to being productive on their notebooks. In addition, the update features several bug fixes and improvements for Outlook 2011 as well.

Update: I just installed the update on my rMBP, and while the basic UI and text looks crisp, there are still several UI elements (such as previews), icons and images that have not been upscaled. But overall, this is still an order of magnitude improvement over the non-Retina version and finally makes Office for Mac 2011 usable on an rMBP.

The Office for Mac 2011 14.2.4 update should now be available via Microsoft AutoUpdate, or you can manually download it from here.

Source: Microsoft

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  • ananduser - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    So much for the fancy retina marketing if the entire world needs to repatch everything to fit a single vendor's niche feature.
  • silverblue - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    I don't understand how they couldn't just make higher resolution graphics and let the OS handle the resolution aspects. Isn't that what other OSs do, anyway?

    (a very ignorant Windows user)
  • aliasfox - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    I would assume that Office, like Firefox, used a dedicated text-rendering engine rather than the OS default. If the app uses the OSX default text rendering engine, the transition should be seamless, but third party rendering might not be.

    The three months of turnaround was probably to rewrite the engine (or redirect office to use the default one). Not too long a wait, at least compared to Adobe dragging its feet for years everytime there's an architectural change from Apple (Carbon to Cocoa, PPC to Intel, standard to Retina, etc).
  • madmilk - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    Office is actually still written in Carbon, which is probably why the change was not automatic. There were some plist hacks to enable sharp text, but they didn't work perfectly.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    Yeah, screw progress
  • ex2bot - Sunday, September 23, 2012 - link

    I have to wonder a bit about you. Being an AnandTech reader, I assume you're an knowledgeable computer user. Yet you jumped to comment on this post, rushing to judgement, and showed your ignorance of OS X architectural basics (cocoa vs. carbon apps).

    Just sayin'.

    Extensible Web Spider
  • darwinosx - Thursday, December 6, 2012 - link

    Strange how everyone, even Microsoft, is rushing to meet this "niche" feature. As if they see some benefit in doing so.
  • dubthedankest - Sunday, September 23, 2012 - link

    Make sure you follow those instructions, I guess there is a glitch. Night and day now, thank God.
  • dishayu - Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - link

    I would like to see all UI elements desinged using vector graphics. Then we can seemlessly up/downscale according to need, may it be 480x320 on a phone or a gigantic 4K panel. It'll be equally crispy clear on all of them.
  • madmilk - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    Thing is, 95% of screens are low-res enough that the individual pixels are visible. So if you use vector graphics, they look like crap because of aliasing. You can try to align the lines to fit on the grid properly, but then you lose the seamless downscaling since everything looks subtly different depending on resolution.

    If you've ever looked at Mac OS X font rendering and wondered why it's so blurry, blame Apple's obsession with keeping the vectors pure. Microsoft made something easier on the eyes with ClearType by forcing the fonts to align with the pixel grid ("hinting"). Apple's setup is OK on the retina screens though.

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