1 2 Previous Next 29 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2014 11:18 PM by doug Davies
doug Davies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I only have four spreadsheets but one is uncomplicated but long; it has about 2400 lines. Some weeks it became very, very slow; if I click, the machine is slow to respond; if I type, the data appears 15 seconds or so later. I have read that this has been a problem with Apple for a number of years, but have they come up with any solutions? I have a Mac OS X 10.6.8, processor is 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, memory is 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. I have used the disk utility first aid and the problem does not seem to be there. Thanks


IMAC, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • 1. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)

    Three questions ... how large is your hard drive and how much space is used? Second, if you bring up the Activity monitor, on the system memory tab, what are the values for page ins and page outs?  Finally, if you bring up Disk Utility and do a verify disk, does it show everything is OK?

     

    If you have less than 10% of your disk free, and no less than 5GB, that can slow down your system. Likewise, if page outs are 10% to 15% or greater of page ins, then your system can use more memory for what you run. A page out happens when the system writes memory to the hard drive to make room to run something else. Too much of that can impact performance.

  • 2. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    doug Davies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your quick response. My capacity reads 250 GB. Under "untitled" it says cpacity is 249.72 GB and it states 212.67 GB is "space free". Page ins are 1.36 GB and page out are 127.6 MB. I did a disk utility and everything does show ok.  In another area it show page ins are 182.3 MB and page outs are  0 bytes. Everything else on my IMAX works perfectly except for this one spreadsheet.

  • 3. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)

    So what that says is that disk space isn't a performance constraint, likewise, memory isn't a performance constraint across everything you run, and you verified your hard drive and that doesn't show any issues.

     

    My next step would be to load your activity monitor (on hard drive in applications/utilities), then load up your spreadsheet and see if the activity monitor points out anything, ie, does CPU usage spike, or disk usage, or ?

     

    If you're using Excel, it would be interesting if you had iWorks Numbers available to see if you have the same experience.  Your system may even have the free demo that's been distributed with systems for awhile. Or you can download a free 30 day trial from http://www.apple.com/iwork/download-trial/

  • 4. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    doug Davies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

         I do not have Excel, I am using Numbers. If you could explain how I can act on your second paragraph it would be helpful. I have no idea how to load my activity monitor, load up my spreasheet {do you mean add more lines?} and I am relatively unfamilar with the activity monitor.

         Before I submitted this entry I had checked old answers to what seems to have been a long-term problem with Apple Numbers spreadsheet; i.e. very slow performance when spreadsheets have many lines. I have more than 2300 lines on this one spreadsheet. If Numbers spreadsheets are not designed to handle very long spreadsheets I realize that there is not a viable solution to this problem. Is this a probem with the software?     

  • 5. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)

    Using Finder, go to applications on your hard drive. Under Utilities, you'll find the Activity Monitor. Click on it to start it up ... it may start directly to your dock, so you may need to click on it there to open it up so you can view it.  You'll be interested in the CPU and disk activity tabs. Bring up Numbers and your large spreadsheet and watch the activity monitor ... does the CPU start very high utilization? Or disk access, does it likewise have unusually high utilitization.  If there's no joy there, then you might post your Numbers-specific question on the Numbers discussion area at https://discussions.apple.com/community/iwork/numbers

  • 6. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)

    doug Davies wrote:

     

         I do not have Excel, I am using Numbers. If you could explain how I can act on your second paragraph it would be helpful. I have no idea how to load my activity monitor, load up my spreasheet {do you mean add more lines?} and I am relatively unfamilar with the activity monitor.

     

    You will find Activity Monitor  in Applications - Utilities - Activity Monitor. You can also easily load it (or any other app) by opening Spotlight (Command + Spacebar) and typing the name of the app. Once you have AM open along with the spreadsheet look in AM to see how much RAM Numbers is using and if you see any app using a large %CPU. Another thing to check is how much FREE RAM you have. You can find that by clicking the System Memory tab in AM. Do this with the spreadsheet open. If your system is showing 500MB or less you could benefit from a RAM upgrade. It will look something like:

     

    FREE RAM screen shot.jpg

  • 7. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    doug Davies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you both for your assistance. In AM I am showing "free" 292.3 MB. No app is using a high percentage of CPU. Numbers is using 106.1 real memory and 72.0 virtual memory. Since this slowness exists only in one spreadsheet that has 2300 entries I tend to think this problem is not caused by the fact that my system shows less than 500MB of RAM. I will try the other community mentioned by BGreg.

  • 8. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)

    I see. You can try some other things like restaring in Safe Mode (hold down the Shift key on restart) this will clear some caches. However because your FREE RAM is so low with spreadsheet running, I'm pretty sure I'm correct that your system could use a RAM upgrade.

     

    Let us know what you decide to do.

  • 9. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    doug Davies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I did go into safe mode and then went back to normal usage. Nothing changed. I know when I move the cursor over my spreadsheet it changes from a white cross to a hand to a coatrack. Interesting.

  • 10. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)

    Your system is low on RAM if you upgraded to the maximum your system can accept there is a good chance your problem will dissappear. If you have already maxed out the RAM then in order to conserve RAM while you are running the spreadsheet you can quit other apps such as iTunes, Safari, Mail, etc.......

  • 11. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    doug Davies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I quit all the other open apps and that did not make a difference. I reformulated the question in apple support communities> iwork > numbers > discussions. According to some much earlier posts my difficulty is caused by a design flaw in which the computer recalculates using all the cells and there is no way to correct that.

  • 12. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)

    Interesting.

  • 13. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    doug Davies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Per the suggestion of someone else I moved the discussion to apple support communities > iwork > numbers > discussions. I believe that in while in some cases the problem could be a failing of my IMAC, the real problem here is in the Numbers software. It is simply not made to handle more than a few thousand entries; I have more than 2300. There may be a solution though, at least for me: is it possible to divide my one spread sheet into 2 spread sheets {a-l and m-z} without recopying 2300+ lines? That would resolve the software failure. Let me know if this is viable and if you can advise me how to facilitate it. Thanks,  Doug

  • 14. Re: slow spreadsheet using numbers
    doug Davies Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I followed the advice of Yvan Koenig and divided my spreadsheet into two and now both work perfectly. I am convinced that he is correct in that the problem lies in the Numbers software. Apple should advise those using its software of its limitations. I have spent too many hours trying to fix the unfixable. If you are having the same problem as I had you now have your answer: Numbers is very limited.      Doug Davies

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