How to Install Microsoft's Office for Mac 2011 Retina Update

Office for Mac 2011 Retina Update

Microsoft released an update to Office for Mac 2011 Wednesday, bringing Retina Display support to the company’s flagship office productivity suite. Other improvements include enhancements to Outlook and Mountain Lion compatibility fixes.

The update, 14.2.4, is causing difficulty for some customers, however, due to a caching issue in OS X Mountain Lion. We’ll show you how to fix it.

First, Office 2011 for Mac users on a Retina MacBook Pro should head over to Microsoft’s download page or run Auto Update from within an Office for Mac application (although, as of the time of this entry, the update was not yet available via Auto Update).

Once the update is installed, open one of your Office Apps. If it doesn’t look significantly better, then you are likely experiencing the OS X caching issue. Here’s how to fix it.

  1. Close your Office applications and launch Terminal.
  2. Open a Finder window and navigate to your Applications folder where your Office apps are located.
  3. In Terminal, type "sudo touch" press the spacebar once, and then drag and drop one of your Office apps into the Terminal window, making sure there is a single space after "touch." Dragging the application to the Terminal window will automatically copy the app’s file path location to the Terminal command. It should look similar to this:

    Office Retina Update Terminal Command
  4. Press Return and enter your password.
  5. Repeat for your remaining Office apps.

Office Retina Mac Comparison

Now open your Office apps again. This time, you should notice a dramatic difference on your Retina display. The apps are not as fully “Retina-enabled” as Apple’s apps, meaning that you’ll occasionally find an icon or button that is still pixelated, but the overall experience is much improved.