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Why is Calc so much slower at opening/saving files than MS-Office? (win7 x64) [closed]

asked 2012-02-19 20:40:58 +0100

Serg gravatar image

updated 2020-10-13 17:01:43 +0100

Alex Kemp gravatar image

Why in Calc (Spreadsheet) saving is so slow (os win7x64) ms office excel do this with it file in 10 times quickly? Open this file to slow too, than ms office excel.

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2016-02-23 21:35:02.743626


Hi @Serg, There are some new 3.6 and 4.0 (beta) builds available for download. Could you please download one of those builds and let us know if you're seeing any speed-ups in opening or saving files? Thanks!

qubit gravatar imagequbit ( 2013-01-25 08:56:18 +0100 )edit

The new 4.0 is just as excruciatingly slow. I'm losing my temper. Time to consider alternatives.

imusorka gravatar imageimusorka ( 2013-02-08 16:36:18 +0100 )edit

@imusorka LibreOffice 4.0 is much (times) faster then 3.6. Old Apache OpenOffice 3.4.1 is much faster than even the latest LibreOffice 4.0.

Timon gravatar imageTimon ( 2013-02-28 07:59:42 +0100 )edit

Incidentally, at least in the long past history, some MS Office programs would effectively 'coredump' the application data's memory contents into a file to save it, then read it back in directly into RAM when loading. LibreOffice instead translates application data to a valid, standardized format when writing it out since its beginning (I'm assuming), which adds a step.

krishnoid gravatar imagekrishnoid ( 2020-06-18 00:08:57 +0100 )edit

10 Answers

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answered 2013-02-24 23:31:02 +0100

qubit gravatar image

updated 2013-03-05 06:05:26 +0100


  • fdo#51019 - EDITING: long delay after every action was fixed (reported against the 3.5 branch)

If there are ongoing performance issues, we'll want to start filing 'perf' bug reports against them.

Update: Just wanted to highlight @moggi's comments:

Without the help from the community providing us with real world documents showing performance issues we have a hard time improving the performance. Please spread this word whenever you see someone complaining about the performance.

If you have reports/concerns about performance of certain documents in LibreOffice, please go straight to the bugtracker and file a bug. Please add the word "perf" to the whiteboard field of the bug report so that the developers can easily view all of the performance-related bugs in one list.


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Unfortunately, extremely few users seeing performance problems will file bug reports. Why?

  1. Who's willing to share their real-world large documents on a public bug tracker?
  2. Most users don't open the same document with both MS Office and Libre, so they have no good comparison any more. Only users who've recently switched, or are in the process of switching, will have expectations of fast load times.
  3. Users of large files tend to work in them for long periods of time, so they put up with the slow load at the beginning of the day, if they're going to spend 8 hours in the document. It's not worth it for them to file a bug.
  4. Most users don't realize slow loading is a "bug", or that a bug tracker exists.
  5. Only 1% of users take the time to file bugs.

What's the solution? I think ...(more)

dandv gravatar imagedandv ( 2020-06-18 19:56:28 +0100 )edit

answered 2013-01-25 16:01:19 +0100

imusorka gravatar image

I too experience slow loading/saving in Calc and this seems to be directly related to document size. For example, a document with 13 worksheets ranging from a few to 550 lines takes much longer to load/save than a document with fewer sheets. MS Office is lighting fast with both. I must stress that all documents are now ODS converted from XLS. My system is i7, 4GB RAM and an SSD (!) and all of this makes no difference.

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@imusorka, Thanks for the detailed notes.

qubit gravatar imagequbit ( 2013-01-25 21:03:39 +0100 )edit

@imusorka (and others), @moggi reports that "3.6 until 3.6.4 has a performance problem with conditional formatting, but it will be fixed in 3.6.5". Who wants to be a beta-tester and see if the latest builds work well?

qubit gravatar imagequbit ( 2013-01-25 23:03:00 +0100 )edit

I have just replicated the lag in Has anyone tried out 4.0?

imusorka gravatar imageimusorka ( 2013-01-26 12:51:59 +0100 )edit

Yep, I get a serious, size-related lag under LO and Ubuntu 12.04 (32-bit). e.g., saving a 3.1 MB .xls file takes 37 seconds by my watch. Same file takes ~4 seconds when converted to .ods Further system info: Intel dual core E7300 (2.66 GHz ea.), 3.9 GB RAM. Anythign I can do/add to help?

Pi gravatar imagePi ( 2014-04-08 23:05:33 +0100 )edit

@Pi -- Please see my answer above: For performance issues, please file a bug and follow those steps. If the same operation on the same file used to be much faster in an older verison, that's definitely something we want to hear about!


qubit gravatar imagequbit ( 2014-04-08 23:45:42 +0100 )edit

Thanks for the response, qubit. Based on your guidancem, I've filed a bug. I haven't done more thorough testing than this (I'm not a programmer), but I don't think it's faster with earlier versions; I'm getting similar performance when using either v4.2.1.1 at work (that E7300 CPU machine) and at home on a quad-core i7 with 12 GB RAM. I do want to stress that I love LO, and am _very_ appreciative of everyone's fabulous work on it. Cheers!

Pi gravatar imagePi ( 2014-04-13 05:29:46 +0100 )edit

answered 2012-02-19 22:00:59 +0100

Serg gravatar image

I use 3.5, working with *.xlsx file created in ms office, but libre office 3.4.1 working not much but quickly than 3.5, but ms application working much quickly.

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@Serg, Thanks for the update. If you do get a chance to try out LO 4.0 (beta builds available; it will ship in about a week), please let us know about your experience so we can try to improve Calc. Thanks!

qubit gravatar imagequbit ( 2013-01-25 20:36:45 +0100 )edit

answered 2014-05-27 05:56:09 +0100

I found a temporary workaround that improved the performance from 40 seconds to 1 second or less in my case, read more at

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answered 2013-02-28 05:14:13 +0100

jiero gravatar image

It is known to some people that struggled to catch up with MS Office speed and functions.

I knew it, but I didn't consider its a big issue as of opening speed, it won't be too long as startup.

However, I concern any lags during processing, and I heard that "LibreOffice would be slower if the current code base do not change" or something like that after read mail-list and some articles.

where Excel vs Calc: calc do not support over 1024 columns. where Word vs Writer: writer do not support over 65534 characters.

The user have their right to say "no" b/c the 2 feature above; I could laugh at them tolerated a office suite that style nearly do not exist.

Same or Different.

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answered 2012-04-12 21:59:55 +0100

m.a.riosv gravatar image

Take a look to the settings in: Menu/Tools/Options/LibreOffice/Memory

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The new 4.0 is just as excruciatingly slow. I'm losing my temper. Time to consider alternatives.

mariakatosvich gravatar imagemariakatosvich ( 2017-02-16 08:48:12 +0100 )edit

answered 2012-09-06 13:03:36 +0100

xycris gravatar image

Hi guys,

I have made some time trails myself and see the time differences. The test only uses two files that are the same in content. The ods file is 3.2MB saved in Calc and the xlsx file is 3.9MB saved in Excel, you can see that ods is even smaller than the xlsx.

Program is still close

LibreOffice Calc

  • ods: 14.5 sec
  • xlsx: 16.8 sec

Microsoft Excel 2010 (Trial)

  • ods: 4.6 sec
  • xlsx: 2.8 sec

Program is already open

LibreOffice Calc

  • ods: 11.8 sec
  • xlsx: 16.2 sec

Microsoft Excel 2010 (Trial)

  • ods: 3.7 sec
  • xlsx: 1.5 sec

My OS is: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Laptop Specs: Intel i5-2430M, 8GB RAM, nVidia Geforce GT540M Cuda w/ 2GB

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Can you please open a bug report with this document and your numbers and add the word perf into the whiteboard line? This would help us very much to improve the performance in future releases.

moggi gravatar imagemoggi ( 2013-02-28 05:27:59 +0100 )edit

Without the help from the community providing us with real world documents showing performance issues we have a hard time improving the performance. Please spread this word whenever you see someone complaining about the performance.

moggi gravatar imagemoggi ( 2013-02-28 05:29:04 +0100 )edit

answered 2012-02-19 21:46:35 +0100

Mateusz gravatar image

You should tell us what version of LibreOffice You use. E.g. Calc 3.5 import native files (.ods) faster approximately about from 86% to 90%.

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Microsoft Office always will be quickly if you save documents in Microsoft's own format. Save document in ODS (if you have Office 2007 SP2 or newer one) and import it in Calc 3.5. If I were you I never expect that Calc would be faster ten Excel in import non native files.

Mateusz gravatar imageMateusz ( 2012-02-19 22:07:51 +0100 )edit

answered 2013-03-05 05:02:31 +0100

Hello, Same observation here. I need to do the following- 1) Data is organized in single column A 2) I have to select some rows at a time copy them and transpose then in column B in order to split that in columns. I have created a macro for this. At a time, i select about 15 rows. The macro execution takes about 2 seconds to execute completely. Same file, same macro on Excel, its instantaneous. Details of the File as follows - Note- the file has been created in Excel saved in XLS format. Converting it to XLSX makes no difference. 1) File size ~55MB 2) Number of sheets - ~30 3) Rows per sheet - ~10500 Saving the file in Calc takes > 5 minutes. Till the files is completely saved, cannot use any other LibreOffice tool. Saving the same file on Excel is within a minute at the most. Strange thing observed, the macro execution becomes a little faster when I am charging the laptop. Please let me know if any more information is needed. I can attach the file required. Thanks.

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Hi @Abhijeet,

To paraphrase @moggi's comments above, please open a bug report with an example document and your performance numbers, and add the word "perf" into the whiteboard line. This will help us improve the performance in future releases.

qubit gravatar imagequbit ( 2013-03-05 05:45:13 +0100 )edit

Thanks @qubit, will do that. Hope this gets addressed.

Abhijeet gravatar imageAbhijeet ( 2013-03-05 07:44:25 +0100 )edit

answered 2012-04-12 06:33:12 +0100

Thailandian gravatar image

I am finding the same problem, but with Writer.

I run LibreOffice on OpenSuse 12.1 X64, so I don't think this is problem is specific to the Windows version, although it could be something to do with X64.

At first I thought it could be a problem about exporting to .doc format, as I happened to be working on a Word document. So I saved it as .odt and it still takes about 20 secs per save. I'm not sure how long it was taking before, using LibreOffice 3.4.5, but I have a habit of pressing Ctrl-S every few seconds, and it was saving seamlessly, so I'd guess no more than a couple of seconds.

It's not a particularly large document - the odt file is only 130KiB (the doc version was 1.4 MiB). It is a single table covering about 70 pages, but there are no graphics in it.

I just tried a larger document (1.5 MiB, 59 pages with a lot of complex graphics) and saving that took over 40 secs.

Finally I tried starting a new document, typed a couple of sentences in it and saved. It took only a second or so, but if I remember rightly, previously, this would have seemed instantaneous.

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Asked: 2012-02-19 20:40:58 +0100

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Last updated: May 27 '14