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.
Here's Microsoft's description of mica from a support document (opens in new tab) (emphasis added):
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 brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
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?
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