Speed Up LibreOffice on Your Mac

LibreOffice is a competent, free alternative to Microsoft Office. Like Office, it’s kind of bloated and slow to load. I’m using it to replace AppleWorks, which is incompatible with OS X 10.7 Lion and later – and I’ve discovered that LibreOffice is no speed demon.

Do a Google search, and you’ll find all sort of articles on how to speed up LibreOffice, assuming you’re using a PC with Windows or Linux. For instance, if you’re using a Mac, there is no Options option in the Tools menu, and that’s what all the Linux and Windows tips tell you to use.

Tools menu in LibreOffice for Mac

Instead, you’ll find it in Preferences… in the LibreOffice menu.

LibreOffice menu in LibreOffice for Mac

Probably the best thing you can do to speed up LibreOffice is to avoid using the Java runtime environment. Choose Preferences in the LibreOffice menu, open the LibreOffice section, choose Advanced, and then deselect Use a Java runtime environment.

Advanced preferences in LibreOffice for Mac

In Preferences, you can make the Memory settings to optimize LibreOffice performance. Note that some of these will increase the amount of memory used so LibreOffice will work more efficiently.

Memory in LibreOffice for Mac preferences

Suggested Settings

  • Undo – Number of Steps: reduce to somewhere in the 20-30 range
  • Graphics Cache
    • Use for LibreOffice: increase 128 MB
    • Memory per object: increase to 20 MB
    • Remove from memory after: 00:10 hh:mm
  • Cache for inserted objects – Number of objects: 20

These settings should make LibreOffice a lot more responsive, although not yet perfect. As of version 5.1.3, there are still a lot of complaints about how slow LibreOffice is to save spreadsheets, but other than that, you should find it a lot nicer to work with after making these adjustments.

Keywords: #libreoffice #libreofficemac

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