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Are Mac Retina displays less crisp in R2013b?

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Ken Atwell
Ken Atwell on 11 Sep 2013
Edited: Richard on 7 Nov 2014
If you have a MacBook Pro with a Retina display, you may notice that in R2013b text is displayed less crisply than earlier releases of MATLAB.

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Douglas Schwarz
Douglas Schwarz on 15 Nov 2013
I find that the text is significantly less sharp in R2013b than in R2013a on a NON-Retina display MacBook Pro. Is there anything that can be done about that?

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Accepted Answer

Ken Atwell
Ken Atwell on 11 Sep 2013
This is the case. R2013b looks less sharp than earlier releases of MATLAB on MacBook Pros with a Retina display. MathWorks is aware of the issue; more information can be found at:

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More Answers (4)

Dennis
Dennis on 5 Nov 2013
Allow me to be more frank: 2013b looks borderline unusable on a Retina display. It's like reading without glasses (for those who need them). I would not upgrade until a fix is available.

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John
John on 12 Nov 2013
For those running r2013b on a retina Macbook: the blurry interface is caused by an outdated version of Java that ships with this release (as oppose to previous releases, which used the system Java runtime). You can easily change the Java runtime used by Matlab to a more recent version. This solves the blurriness on your retina Mac.
To do this, first locate the path to your system Java runtime (JRE), for instance:
/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_45.jdk/Contents/Home/jre
Then set the environment variable MATLAB_JAVA to this path. Follow the instructions in the following article if you don't know how to do so:
After rebooting, r2013b will no longer look blurry.

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Tracy
Tracy on 12 May 2014
@Julian Williams - I'm not very familiar with paths on a Mac so might have misunderstood your tip. I executed the first command, which I understood to be changing to the directory storing Matlab JRE information, and then renaming(?) the jre file "jre.orig". I then executed the second line, which I understood to be linking that directory with the JRE.
Now, Matlab can't locate the JRE and I can't launch Matlab, either from the taskbar or from the terminal. Do you have any tips for undoing these commands (e.g. unlinking that directory and the JRE?), or how to work around this?
Billy
Billy on 26 Aug 2014
Thanks for the advice! I've replaced the jre folder with a symlink to the jre from my jdk (7u51), and MATLAB now looks good on the Retina display and on a 4K monitor I have running in HiDPI mode. However, Simulink still does not seem to be taking advantage of it and still looks very pixelated. Do I have to repeat this procedure somewhere else for Simulink?
Thanks!
Richard
Richard on 7 Nov 2014
Using R2014a on Macbook Retina.
I have corrected the sharpness on Matlab editor and all the popup windows by replacing the JRE file. The problem is that in SIMULINK and STATEFLOW the fonts are still blurry until they are selected. When a blurry line name, box name, or command is selected it instantly sharpens into focus. As soon as it is deselected it returns to blurry. Please help....

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Namshik Han
Namshik Han on 27 Nov 2013
Thanks Erik. Your second approach works perfectly.

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Kasper
Kasper on 20 Jan 2014
Sure - but now it is actually possible to read the text :-) And the misplaced cursor disappears as soon as you edit the line or click another place in the editor - as far as I see it. Please correct me if I am wrong!
- I can correct myself. The problem with the cursor is pretty bad. I found out after 10 minutes of use.
Carlos
Carlos on 26 Feb 2014
It causes other problems as well. At least for me, in Mavericks using java 1.7 51, zooming into plots often beachballs. Unusable.
Andrew Janke
Andrew Janke on 21 Mar 2014
Cursor placement and text spacing may be fixable by changing fonts. I switched to Meslo LG for my fixed-width font, and all the text fields look great now; no cursor issues.
Stability is a problem for me. Occasional plot issues, and using help() at all is an instant beachball. But I'll put up with a couple crashes a day to get a readable display. Just hope this is fixed soon.

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Andrew Janke
Andrew Janke on 21 Mar 2014
Another workaround is to run the Windows version of Matlab in a virtual machine on your Mac. Retina support (called "Hi-DPI" in Windows parlance) works mostly fine out of the box on the Windows side for R2014a on Windows 7. (You just need to adjust your font sizes. And the ribbon is displayed really small.) It doesn't seem to have the stability issues that running OS X Matlab against a newer MATLAB_JAVA does.
I'm running OS X 10.9.2, Windows 7 SP1 in a VM under Parallels Desktop 9, Matlab R2014a.

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