Blurry Text on the Macbook Pro with Retina Display

With more than 5 million pixels packed into a 15.4-inch display, the MacBook Pro with Retina display has raised the bar for its competitors, making everything on the screen more vibrant and sharper than ever. Everything should look better on 2880 × 1800 pixels, but here’s where we face a problem: third-party apps now look worse on the new MacBook Pro than they did when viewed on the previous models.

What does this mean? Third party apps (anything not pre-installed by Apple and/or designed for Apple) that you probably use on a regular basis now exhibit blurry text and low-quality graphics. This includes, but isn’t limited to, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Firefox developers are working on temporary fixes to cater to MacBook Pro Retina users. This will require patience until they release a software update.

Google Chrome has been a bit more active as they’ve released Chrome Canary that is better equipped to display at the MacBook Pro Retina’s resolution. This isn’t a complete fix though, so users that prefer to simply use Google Chrome will also have to wait for an update.

Microsoft Office has also stepped up their game by releasing an update (14.2.4) that will resolve this issue.

For native apps (anything pre-installed by Apple and/or designed for Apple) such as iPhoto, GarageBand, Final Cut Pro X, there are already updates in place. However, you may be seeing less than satisfactory quality in iWork, which is Apple’s version of Microsoft Office. If you are, it’s simply because Keynote, Pages, and Numbers are still set in low resolution.

To resolve this, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Go to the Application folder
  • Look for Keynote, Pages, and/or Numbers
  • Right click or tap “command+i” > Get Info
  • Deselect “Open in low resolution

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