# How can I improve Mathematica's resolution on a macbook retina display?

Mathematica looks a bit fuzzy on the retina screen, how can I increase the resolution?

Here another screenshot showing a direct comparison between the browser and Mathematica

-
Uh, lobby Wolfram to release a retina-ready update? – Verbeia Jan 25 at 5:22
Aren't there options to Notebook[] for this? – M.R. Jan 25 at 5:31
@M.R. No, and don't hold your breath – rm -rf Jan 25 at 6:25
+1 for the funny joke inside the question: "a bit fuzzy" ;-) When I switch from LaTeX, browsing, etc to Mathematica I feel like 1990 again! – halirutan Jan 25 at 9:01
Using an an 1680 by 1050 equivalent scaled resolution will make is much more bearable. – Szabolcs Jan 25 at 21:09
show 1 more comment

## 5 Answers

Another option is the free app Retinizer, which I used for a while with Mathematica 8. It cleaned up the text, but I found caused visual glitches with the documentation and added some instability throughout. That said, it made the text look beautiful which helped the eyes when reading a lot of code.

You can turn it on and off, and it works on other applications. Worth a try, with the pros and cons in mind.

-
This doesn't work. Retinizer says to uncheck the "Open in low resolution" in the app info in the finder. But the box to uncheck this is greyed out which that means the application does not have HiDPI graphics, oh well :( – M.R. Jan 28 at 5:52
@M.R. I just re-checked it on my system and it works. You drag the application icon (not the shortcut from your dock) onto the program, and it'll retinize or de-retinize. – ian.milligan Jan 28 at 13:31
@M.R. No unchecking or checking that box needed... – ian.milligan Jan 28 at 13:32
@ian.milligan Thanks! I was using an older verison of retinizer, my mistake :) – M.R. Jan 29 at 16:23
It seems it cannot be applied to v9.0.1 any more, but if it was applied to 9.0.0, the setting is still in effect. – Szabolcs Feb 7 at 23:56
show 3 more comments

You can use one of the resolution setting utilities like switchResX to change the mode to 2880x1800. Then set the magnification in Mathematica to 200%. It works, but the menu bar is very small. Probably more trouble than it is worth.

-

This answer is complementary to Ian's. Retinizer appears to work very well with Mathematica 9. It increases even the resolution of Graphics, but not Graphics3D.

To get a prettier view of a Graphics3D, one can use the following function:

retinize[g_, n_: 2] :=
Image[Rasterize[g, "Image", ImageResolution -> n 72], Magnification -> 1/n]


Here's an example from the docs, processed like this:

-

Here's how to do it for more recent versions of Mathematica (specifically, 9.0.1):

1. Get Retinizer, mentioned in other posts
2. Show Package Contents of Mathematica, navigate to ../Mathematica/Contents/ and open Info.plist for editing.
3. Delete the lines for NSHighResolutionCapable:True.
4. Save the plist.
5. Open Retinizer and drop Mathematica onto it as instructed. It should succeed instead of throwing an error.
-
 I noticed just a few days ago that they had set NSHighResolutionCapable to True in 9.0.1... I hope that means 9.0.4 will have native retina support (my app worked fine because I had retinized version 8 and that carried over to 9.0.1 too) – rm -rf♦ Mar 12 at 16:43

The situation as far as I can guess (that's the operative word) is this: In order to supports Retina's high dpi, one has to compile the application using the Cocoa framework which has for long been the default application framework on Mac OS X anyway. Unfortunately, I don't think Mathematica does that. It uses the legacy Carbon framework. So in order to support Retina, they will probably have to rewrite a whole lot of front-end code.

By the way, this isn't just a display issue. The resolution of screen shots from Mathematica is also wrong. So if I paste a screen shot into Preview (a high-dpi application) and save it there, the result looks especially blurry when you embed it in a web page (or upload to StackExchange, for that matter). So I now try to avoid taking screen shots and instead use Export to PNG inside Mathematica. I also have a script that repairs the resolution for pasting into my Xemacs editor that I use to write web pages, but that's probably too specialized for this answer.

-
 A small correction: They only use Qt on Linux since version 6, not on Win/Mac. But that doesn't make your point invalid. – Szabolcs Jan 25 at 20:57 @Szabolcs Oh, I'm living in the past again... I won't mention Qt then (it's been on my mind because other Qt applications are having the same upgrading problems). – Jens Jan 25 at 21:10