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Old Jun 21, 2012, 09:49 AM   #1
blackeagle
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Microsoft Office 2011 on Retina Macbook Pro

I am keen to buy the rMBP, but need to use Microsoft Office 2011 for work on this machine. I would like to know the usability of these apps given that these are not updated for the rMBP. If it is significantly worse than what one sees on normal displays, it will be difficult.

I would love to buy this machine as it will render all other apps that are optimized well, but if the experience with Microsoft Office 2011 is horrible, it will make me think twice, especially as I use Outlook for several hours constantly for work email.

Thanks!
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 09:51 AM   #2
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I've not got an rMBP, but I use outlook on my late 2011 15" MBP most of the work day and there are no issues, either functional or visual.
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 09:56 AM   #3
blackeagle
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I've got a 2010 MBA as well, and I use Outlook and other Office apps with no issues, but I am specifically asking about the rMBP as it supposedly has issues displaying some apps that are not optimized for the retina display.
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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Roger that. Ignore my response.
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 10:08 AM   #5
kaydot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackeagle View Post
I am keen to buy the rMBP, but need to use Microsoft Office 2011 for work on this machine. I would like to know the usability of these apps given that these are not updated for the rMBP. If it is significantly worse than what one sees on normal displays, it will be difficult.

I would love to buy this machine as it will render all other apps that are optimized well, but if the experience with Microsoft Office 2011 is horrible, it will make me think twice, especially as I use Outlook for several hours constantly for work email.

Thanks!
A bunch of resolution questions were answered by the verge. Check out the Q&A session here. It's kind of long, but I'm fairly certain that I saw screenshots of Office posted in the Q&A.
http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/13/30...-the-verge-q-a
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 10:14 AM   #6
ryane67
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I just checked out office 2011 on an rMBP at the store this morning. It's not terrible, but it's not pretty that's for sure. The menus look like everything is overly anti-aliased.
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 10:17 AM   #7
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Neither Pages nor MS Office have been updated yet and the fonts don't look good, quite blurry compared with displays at their native resolution.
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 10:22 AM   #8
kingbob
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Office has not been updated yet, so its definitely blurry when using it in 1440x900. I usually use it in 1920x1200, so the experience is much improved (even though there is still a touch of blurriness).
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 10:23 AM   #9
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I've been pestering their twitter and facebook about it. They haven't answered when an update may happen.
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by kingbob View Post
Office has not been updated yet, so its definitely blurry when using it in 1440x900. I usually use it in 1920x1200, so the experience is much improved (even though there is still a touch of blurriness).
I can second this after playing with a rMBP at the Apple Store. It does not look great, but it looks better than some other applications like the Adobe stuff that's installed on the store macs.
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 01:00 PM   #11
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While I can't say how Office 2011 performs under OSX Lion I do have it running via Boot Camp on Windows 8 Release Preview. I am running at 2880x1800 with 200DPI and it is very usable.

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Old Jun 21, 2012, 01:42 PM   #12
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Don't worry, MS will have this updated quickly, just like the Lion features they said they'd get to quickly.. that they finally claimed to start on AFTER Lion was out, and still isn't done.

Expect a retina update for Office 2011 shortly.. like around 2014 or 2015
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 01:57 PM   #13
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I don't mean to derail the thread, but is there a tentative release date and name for the successor to Office 2011?
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 03:29 PM   #14
ljubimov
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not so bad

I have seen the retina display at the store as well and checked Word and PowerPoint. Did not see any problems with text (I assume, graphics would not suffer either). There is some anti-aliasing of the icons as mentioned previously, but I did not care about those. The main issue to me would be the actual text I type, which is OK.
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 03:57 PM   #15
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It's horrible. I'm using Pages and Numbers instead because I can't bear the blurriness and it gives me a headache. It's not just the menus, it's text as well.

I saw a reddit thread on how to make Word appropriate for retina: it worked until I closed it and opened it again.
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 04:23 PM   #16
ZipZap
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I found that MS Word will fail after a period of time. It simply stops saving and eventually I have to quit the app.

I have lost work twice so dont trust it.

I use Parallels and run a windows version of office. So far no problems.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by NikkiJayne View Post
It's horrible. I'm using Pages and Numbers instead because I can't bear the blurriness and it gives me a headache. It's not just the menus, it's text as well.

I saw a reddit thread on how to make Word appropriate for retina: it worked until I closed it and opened it again.
You are blowing this way out of proportion. I use it and its not blurry. You're been too demanding.
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 04:42 PM   #17
ColoArtist
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I don't really understand all the complaints of blurriness of Office on the rMBP. Sure the apps aren't "retiniazed" but they don't look any worse than on my old '09 MBP's screen.

I guess it's just that the contrast of how good they could look on an rMBP and how they've looked for years is noticeable.

Anyway, instead of taking minutes to open, as it did on my old MBP, Word opens in what seems like just a couple of milliseconds on my 2.7 rMBP.

Also, for Word there's an easy fix to make it mostly retina. It took me all of about 5 minutes to do the mod...
http://imgur.com/a/0P5KY#l5NSd

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Old Aug 26, 2012, 04:58 PM   #18
Inver
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By default it's pretty bad. I use Outlook (which is actually fine), Word, Excel and Powerpoint. I'm use them quite a bit. They make up roughly 30-50% of the work I do on a daily basis.

And when I switched from an HP laptop running Windows 7 to the rMBP, the terrible fonts on Word, Excel and Powerpoint were my only regret. So much so that I bought Pages to do personal writing with (unfortunately, I share documents and spreadsheets at work, with users who run Office 2010, so I cannot transition to using iWorks).

I suggest you see it for yourself in a store to see if you can tolerate it.

And with all that said, there IS a work around and it DOES work. You have to edit the Info.plist file of Word (and Excel) to be high resolution-capable. Here are the instructions.

http://www.cultofmac.com/182025/use-...etina-display/

There are two "catches" with this method (beside the fact that it's not supported) and I've not seen either one written about online.

Catch #1: OS X doesn't let me save over the Info.plist file (step 11 from the instructions I just linked). I've had to save it somewhere else, then delete the original plist file, then copy the edited file into the container. Still works in the end, though, it's just a couple additional steps.

Catch #2 (and this is a big one): The most important step is to minimize Word (or Excel) after you open it. Every time. If you do this, when you bring it back onscreen the toolbar is messed up. But the font is also rendered at high resolution. Just do this every time you open a Word or Excel file and you're good to go. If you don't do it on each launch of the app (or opening of a file), the low resolution will return.

I've been doing this for the past week and it's a game changer. I'm willing to live with having to minimize/maximize/min-max toolbar until Microsoft releases a new, retina-supporting version sometime in 2019.

(side note: I have not tried the fix on Powerpoint, but I will today...)
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 05:16 PM   #19
Spicedham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoArtist View Post
I don't really understand all the complaints of blurriness of Office on the rMBP. Sure the apps aren't "retiniazed" but they don't look any worse than on my old '09 MBP's screen.

I guess it's just that the contrast of how good they could look on an rMBP and how they've looked for years is noticeable.

Anyway, instead of taking minutes to open, as it did on my old MBP, Word opens in what seems like just a couple of milliseconds on my 2.7 rMBP.

Also, for Word there's an easy fix to make it mostly retina. It took me all of about 5 minutes to do the mod...
http://imgur.com/a/0P5KY#l5NSd

No its blurry. It's really obvious the resolution is out of wack. I use it everyday and hate it. I tried the work around but the constant minimizing was too annoying so I went back to the original configuration. I hope Microsoft fixes this.
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 10:46 PM   #20
ColoArtist
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No its blurry. It's really obvious the resolution is out of wack. I use it everyday and hate it. I tried the work around but the constant minimizing was too annoying so I went back to the original configuration. I hope Microsoft fixes this.
I'm sorry you don't, but I find it to be just fine, especially after the mod. Are you using the latest version, 2011? That's what I've got.

Here are some samples so people can make up their own minds. One side is from my rMBP the other from my '09 MBP.

Here they are at 100%. Can you tell which Word is the "okay" MBP and which one is the "blurry" rMBP?



Maybe it's just me, but unless I knew which was which I'd have a hard time figuring it out.

How about at 2X?



Okay, maybe I can see some difference there. But watch out, you might be wrong.

Let's go to 4X...



Well, it's ah, hummm....it must be the one on the right. That one is clearly blurrier. If that's the one you picked, you'd be wrong. The unusable blurry Word on an rMBP is the one on the left.

Go figure.

I will admit I do find one part of Word on the rMBP to be the font samples. Now those are hard to read.

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Old Aug 26, 2012, 11:39 PM   #21
Spicedham
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Originally Posted by ColoArtist View Post
I'm sorry you don't, but I find it to be just fine, especially after the mod. Are you using the latest version, 2011? That's what I've got.

Here are some samples so people can make up their own minds. One side is from my rMBP the other from my '09 MBP.

Here they are at 100%. Can you tell which Word is the "okay" MBP and which one is the "blurry" rMBP?

Image

Maybe it's just me, but unless I knew which was which I'd have a hard time figuring it out.

How about at 2X?

Image

Okay, maybe I can see some difference there. But watch out, you might be wrong.

Let's go to 4X...

Image

Well, it's ah, hummm....it must be the one on the right. That one is clearly blurrier. If that's the one you picked, you'd be wrong. The unusable blurry Word on an rMBP is the one on the left.

Go figure.

I will admit I do find one part of Word on the rMBP to be the font samples. Now those are hard to read.

Bottom line is that its blurry in real life. Its so obvious I feel bad for you that you don't see it. It makes me wonder if you have something wrong with your vision. Don't pass false info buddy it looks like crap
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Old Aug 26, 2012, 11:59 PM   #22
ColoArtist
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Originally Posted by Spicedham View Post
Bottom line is that its blurry in real life. Its so obvious I feel bad for you that you don't see it. It makes me wonder if you have something wrong with your vision. Don't pass false info buddy it looks like crap
No need to feel bad for me. I had an eye exam 6 months ago and was found to have excellent vision. I'm an artist and a web designer. My livelihood depends on my eyes. Thank you for your concern though.

I'm not sure what false info you think I'm trying to pass along. My opinion is my opinion. You might not agree with my opinion, but that doesn't make it false.

Plus, there are those pesky screenshots.

YMMV.

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Old Aug 27, 2012, 05:10 AM   #23
NikkiJayne
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Originally Posted by ZipZap View Post
[/COLOR]

You are blowing this way out of proportion. I use it and its not blurry. You're been too demanding.
Seriously? It's hideously blurry! I don't think I'm overly demanding at all.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoArtist View Post

Also, for Word there's an easy fix to make it mostly retina. It took me all of about 5 minutes to do the mod...
http://imgur.com/a/0P5KY#l5NSd

I did that and it stopped working when I quit Word and then re-opened it. Any idea why? It was great when it worked!

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoArtist View Post
I'm sorry you don't, but I find it to be just fine, especially after the mod. Are you using the latest version, 2011? That's what I've got.

Here are some samples so people can make up their own minds. One side is from my rMBP the other from my '09 MBP.

Here they are at 100%. Can you tell which Word is the "okay" MBP and which one is the "blurry" rMBP?

Image

Maybe it's just me, but unless I knew which was which I'd have a hard time figuring it out.

How about at 2X?

Image

Okay, maybe I can see some difference there. But watch out, you might be wrong.

Let's go to 4X...

Image

Well, it's ah, hummm....it must be the one on the right. That one is clearly blurrier. If that's the one you picked, you'd be wrong. The unusable blurry Word on an rMBP is the one on the left.

Go figure.

I will admit I do find one part of Word on the rMBP to be the font samples. Now those are hard to read.

Mine looks nothing like the one on the left, it looks exactly like the one on the right! What the hell, how come yours is so clear?
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Old Aug 27, 2012, 05:38 AM   #24
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Ha, great post coloartist. All coloartist has done is match the MBP image to be the same effective pixel size as the rMBP, remember each pixel in the rMBP is x2 smaller so to see the same effective image you have to resize the MBP image. I've done the same for photoshop here:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...2&postcount=16

The actual data sent to the display is not blurrier on the rMBP, anyone with a screenshot and a bit of patience can easily confirm that. At the display, there is an interesting effect, in which because the "pixels are larger and the gaps between pixels larger on the MBP, the distortion caused by that smoothes the jagged edges of the pixels:



i.e. you see the display as more blurry because of the low DPI display introducing edge artifacts to are used to looking at for many many years. Yes, some of you are suffering from cognitive dissonance, but there are many visual illusions in which an abberation or inferior image can appear "better". Cinema is a classic example, higher framerates are technically better in every respect, but whenever anyone tries to improve it (most recently Peter Jackson filming the Hobbit) everyone complains that 24fps "looks" better. Or the fact that many LCD TV displays now have a flashing backlight to imitate the scanline of old CRTs because people think motion looks better on CRTs!!! I don't want to invalidate your experiences (you do see it blurrier even though it technically isn't) — but please remember your perception is fallible, Rene Descartes, Plato or most magicians should have convinced you of that.

Nevertheless, I do hope Microsoft don't take until 2014 to support hiDPI!!!

Last edited by nontroppo; Aug 27, 2012 at 05:44 AM.
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Old Aug 27, 2012, 05:47 AM   #25
NikkiJayne
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Here is a good screenshot taken from Gravitational Pull

'The program in the upper left corner is Microsoft Word. Look at the jaggies in that 12 point type. Ugly. Now look over to the top right. That’s Apple’s own Pages program with the same words in the same font also at 12 points. Yummy. Likewise, in mid-screen is Apple’s TextEdit program. Smooth as a baby’s bottom. And in the lower foreground, Adobe’s Dreamweaver with text that looks like, well, like ass as Gruber might say.'
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