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Office Insiders can try out the mica blur effect in Microsoft Word on Windows 11

Windows 11 Start Laptop Razerbook
Windows 11 Start Laptop Razerbook (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is testing out the mica blur effect on Word on Windows 11.
  • Mica requires fewer system resources than an acrylic blur because it only samples from a PC's background.
  • The mica effect has been spotted by Office Insiders in the Beta Channel but is rolling out gradually.

Microsoft's mica blur effect is one step closer to rolling out in Microsoft Word. Mica is the new blur effect available in Windows 11. An Office Insider in the Beta Channel spotted the new style of blurring in Microsoft Word and shared a screenshot on Reddit.

Mica is an effect similar to the acrylic blur, but it's less resource-intensive because it samples from a PC's wallpaper rather than any apps behind an active window. The effect is seen on several apps on Windows 11, including the File Explorer and the Settings app.

Microsoft Word Mica Blur

Source: sixunitedxbox via Reddit (Image credit: Source: sixunitedxbox via Reddit)

Here's Microsoft's description of mica from a support document (emphasis added):

Mica is an opaque, dynamic material that incorporates theme and desktop wallpaper to paint the background of long-lived windows such as apps and settings. You can apply mica to your application backdrop to delight users and create visual hierarchy, aiding productivity, by increasing clarity about which window is in focus. Mica is specifically designed for app performance as it only samples the desktop wallpaper once to create its visualization.

It appears that the mica effect is rolling out gradually, even to Insiders. Some Insiders have not seen it even after receiving the most recent update to Word.

If you'd like to check out the mica blur in Word and other preview features in Office, follow our guide on how to enroll in the Office Insider program.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

3 Comments
  • This is interesting.
  • I understand that mica is better because it's less resource-intensive, which is always a good point. It also looks good IMO, but TBH I preferred the old Win7 look of window frames being true glass, it was nice seeing the window behind being blurred out and the fact that you could choose how intense the color was, hence varying the intensity of the transparency.
  • So it's opaque because it's not actually showing what's behind it (including opened windows), but in a sense it's also kinda sorta translucent because it does sample the desktop background and show that. I guess that's cool?