Speed up Open Office

My biggest complaint that I have when using Open Office is the speed of the application. It loads terribly slow for instance and it only topped by the time GIMP needs to start up on my PC.

Way to slow to edit a document quickly in my opinion unless you have the application open all the time anyway. There are however options to speed up Open Office which you can do by editing a couple of parameters in the Open Office settings.

I was a bit skeptical at first but soon found out that the changes would indeed speed up Open Office tremendously. Start Open Office and click on Tools > Options. This should open the configuration. Click on Memory in the left menu and change the following settings to the values you see on the right.

  • Number of Steps: 30
  • Use for Open Office: 128
  • Memory per Object: 20
  • Number of Objects: 20

speed up open office

Click on Java in the left menu afterwards and uncheck Use a Java Runtime Environment. Click OK and restart Open Office to see how fast it is now. That's really a difference don't you think?

Update: Recent versions of the popular Office suite show improved loading times. The tweaks outlined above are still valid on the other hand, especially the bit about removing the Java Runtime Environment from the Office suite to speed up the load time. That is, of course, only an option if you do not need Java for functionality in the Office software.

Another possible option is to move the Open Office installation to a faster drive. Moving it from a conventional hard drive to a Solid State Drive can improve the loading times of the Office software by a lot.  I'd say that unchecking the Java option is your best bet to speed Open Office up though.

You can alternatively uninstall Java completely instead if you do not really need it, as it will have the same effect.

Another thing that you may want to try out is ti disable loading printer settings with the documents which may speed up the loading and performance especially for spreadsheet files. You find the option under Tools > Options > Load/Save.

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Responses to Speed up Open Office

  1. Joe August 18, 2007 at 11:13 am #

    Wow!
    That really is a huge difference.This was a big reason I wasn't using OO.
    Thanks.

  2. Petri Ahava August 18, 2007 at 11:31 am #

    Gee Wow Thanks!

  3. Anthony August 19, 2007 at 1:39 am #

    thanks!!

  4. Daniel August 19, 2007 at 9:13 pm #

    Wow, I was looking for something like that for years literally. OO is starting faster than Word now... Thanks!

  5. lei September 1, 2007 at 1:28 am #

    WOW. Like Daniel & Joe posted, i was looking for this speed up for years and was the main reason why i persisted with M$ Office. Thx so much for this.

  6. soma September 9, 2007 at 1:19 pm #

    it seems to work for NeoOffice on Mac OS X as well!

  7. Karl December 30, 2007 at 11:33 pm #

    Since we started using the Open Office Quickstarter (something I would not do with Microsoft products) our speed problems have decreased markedly. I manage some 1,000 installations, so this is significant for us...

    Karl A. Krogmann

  8. Ivo Pavlik January 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    I'm afraid nobody here realized that there always will be a big difference between OO run for the first time after boot and consequential runs. The main reason for this is the fact that the OO binary and data are wery likely to stay cached in you operating memory. In my case OO almost doesn't touch my hard disk during consequential startups.

    I've of course tried your settings and measured beaviour for a while but there was NO difference in starting times of Writer (I didn't measured other parts of OO). After boot it took 12 seconds to start it and all consequential startups took 6 secs. Both with old and new settings. Maybe one important fact is that I don't have Java installed for OO.

  9. Brendon May 7, 2008 at 9:36 pm #

    Yes! This was the answer... I suspect most was caused by the Java on my machine. I was waiting 30+ sec to get the program opened. Wow, does that seem like forever when the boss is hovering over you waiting for an answer that is contained in a spreadsheet...

  10. Me June 6, 2008 at 6:14 pm #

    Quote from Ivo Pavlik:
    I’m afraid nobody here realized that there always will be a big difference between OO run for the first time after boot and consequential runs. The main reason for this is the fact that the OO binary and data are wery likely to stay cached in you operating memory. In my case OO almost doesn’t touch my hard disk during consequential startups.

    I’ve of course tried your settings and measured beaviour for a while but there was NO difference in starting times of Writer (I didn’t measured other parts of OO). After boot it took 12 seconds to start it and all consequential startups took 6 secs. Both with old and new settings. Maybe one important fact is that I don’t have Java installed for OO.

    End of Quote.

    The only person with a brainsize worthy of being considered a human one. No, really.

    Need proof? Load OO with default settings for first time and measure load time. Now do all the tweaking you want. Reboot and then load OO again. Feeling owned? You should. :)

  11. aceqbaceq October 29, 2008 at 6:45 pm #

    i suggest a real method to increase performance of OpenOffice. the only way out is DOCK TO TRAY. by using kdocker or alltray.

    but there is a difficulty. in manual mode (when you by using mouse indicates window) kdocker succesfully kick openoffice window to tray, but through command line it did not work by default. the solution is to define window ID of opened OpenOffice window and transfer it to kdocker.

    here is script that you need put in $HOME/.kde/Autostart/office-to-tray.sh

    #!/bin/bash

    /opt/openoffice.org2.4/program/scalc -norestore &

    sleep 15

    /usr/local/bin/kdocker -w `/usr/X11R6/bin/xwininfo -root -children -tree | /bin/grep "OpenOffice.org Calc" | awk '{ print $1 }'` &

    /opt/openoffice.org2.4/program/swriter -norestore $HOME/.1.doc

    sleep 5

    /usr/local/bin/kdocker -w `/usr/X11R6/bin/xwininfo -root -children -tree | /bin/grep ".1 - OpenOffice.org Writer" | awk '{ print $1 }'` &

    and you need put small simple .1.doc file to $HOME.

    the result: celeron 1800,512Mb,FC4,KDE , xls file 450kb open for 5 seconds!
    and if use icewm even 4 seconds:)

  12. yerowww June 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    well its still kind of slow on the first run after I boot up... but opens in seconds

  13. Anonymous July 1, 2009 at 7:22 am #

    Good tweak.

  14. Sathish January 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    WOW..... Great.. Thanks

  15. Sathish January 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Thanks to ghacks.. :-)

  16. Satish J March 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    That worked like a charm...thanks..

  17. JB September 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    I'm a technophobe, but this clear solutions was fabulous. Other sites were so technical and geekified I gave up. My OO opens like a dream. Thank you!

  18. V_C January 8, 2013 at 5:27 am #

    Thanks! Yay, I can finally actually open documents again! I didn't have the patience to wait before.

  19. Rohan December 11, 2015 at 7:40 am #

    I am trying to open an "xlsx" file of 3MB and its loading forever, opens the small files pretty fast.

    I tried above steps, but no luck.

    Please help.

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