Office apps appear the wrong size or blurry on external monitors

A lot of work was done in Windows 10 to support high resolution screens, such as the Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and third-party laptops and tablets with screen resolutions above "1080p." However, there have been issues that occurred when using Office apps on these devices when connecting to an external monitor with a lower resolution.

  • Office apps such as PowerPoint or Skype for Business displayed very large or very small

  • You had blurry text in your Office applications

Fixed

PowerPoint and Skype for Business now support the situation where you have more than one monitor and the external monitor has a different screen resolution than the primary monitor. However, you have to have certain versions (or newer) of Office and Windows 10 on your computer in order to see the fixes.

  • For this fix, the required version of Windows is: Windows 10 version 1607, also known as the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

  • For this fix, the required version of PowerPoint or Skype for Business is described in the following section, "Updated Office apps."

Updated Office apps

  • If you’re a home user of Office 365, Office 2016, or Office 2013, by now you should have received the updates described in this article that fix the blurriness/wrong size issue.

  • If you are a business user of Office 365, Office 2016, or Office 2013, by now you may or may not have received the updates described in this article. The schedule on which you get Office updates depends on the organization's wishes.

You can confirm whether your app has the update by checking the version number of Office under the File menu of any Office app. There are two different technologies for installing Office 2016. The technology used for your installation determines the version number you need to look for. Here’s how to look up this information:

  1. On the File menu, click Account (on the left side of the page).

  2. On the right side of the page, under the Product Information section, you'll see application and update information that looks like either the first picture (which represents the “Click-to-Run” installer technology) below or the second picture (which indicates the Microsoft Installer technology):

    "Click-to-Run" looks like:

    When Office has been installed by using Click-to-Run technology, the Application and Update information looks like this.

    "Microsoft Installer" looks like:

    When Office has been installed by using Microsoft Installer technology, the Application and Update information looks like this.

If you see two buttons, as shown in the first picture above, the minimum version number that contains the update is:

PowerPoint 2016

Skype for Business 2016

16.0.7369.2024

16.0.7369.2024

If you see one button, as shown in the second picture above, the minimum version number that contains the update is:

PowerPoint 2016

Skype for Business 2016

16.0.4483.1000

16.0.4483.1000

PowerPoint 2013

Skype for Business 2013

15.0.4875.1001

15.0.4875.1001

Office 2013 and 2016 for home products are kept up-to-date automatically.

Office 365 for business subscriptions are kept up-to-date automatically. The product is rolled out gradually; not everyone receives the update at the same time. If you work for an organization that has Office but doesn't have Office 365 subscriptions, the organization likely controls when you get Office updates.

Go to Install Office updates for more information if you want to make sure you have the latest update.

Upcoming improvements

Here are three terms that characterize how an application adapts to display resolutions on different screens:

Term

Description

Scaling unaware

The app can only scale itself on a low-resolution screen.

System-aware

When an application is opened, the app scales itself based on the display resolution of the primary screen. If there are additional screens (that have different resolutions) connected to the system, Windows stretches the display of the app to fit those screens.

Per-monitor–aware

The application dynamically scales itself to the display resolution of each connected screen.

The updates described in this article for Office 2013 and Office 2016 apps make them system-aware. Additional work is planned to make the Office 2016 apps per-monitor aware, so that text in Office applications is crisp regardless of the monitor resolution. Due to the pervasiveness of the changes involved, Office will only be able to distribute the per-monitor-aware improvements to Office 365 subscribers.

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