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Why is my Numbers operating slowly?

428 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Apr 20, 2013 5:43 PM by original24 RSS
original24 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 5, 2013 8:10 PM

I am running Numbers 09 version 2.0.5.  One of my spreadsheets has gotten quite large and it has become almost impossible to work in.  Almost everytime I try to move around in the document I get the spinning wheel which lasts for 30 seconds or more.  Sometimes I can close the document and re-open it and it will be a bit better but usually it's still very slow.  Is it possible that my document is just too large now?  I have 2415 rows of data 9 columns across.


My Apple version is 10.5.8.  Do I need to update my OS?  And then update my Numbers version?


Thank you in advance.

iMac (20-inch Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.5.8), Numbers 09 - 2.0.5
  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 Level 7 (28,120 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2013 8:17 PM (in response to original24)



    Numbers, strictly speaking, can handle files that large, but not with acceptable levels of responsiveness. Look for an old version of Excel for Mac or use one of the Office clones for the Mac, or switch to a true database application for files of this size. If you're in the market for a new Mac, the higher speeds of state of the art processor chips might make the difference for you and let you stay with Numbers if that's a priority.



  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 Level 7 (28,120 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 6, 2013 6:02 PM (in response to original24)

    It won't cost you much in time or money to try out the options. I believe that MS Office for Mac has a free trial, and LibreOffice is tip/donation-ware, I think. Just Export to XLS and open your  XLS document in the Office apps.






    Sorry, I didn't reply to your question about upgrading your OS. OS upgrades aren't necessarily going to increase your app speed. Usually the later OS releases have so many new features and background operations, assuming the presence of newer, faster, hardware, that older hardware runs slower with the newer OS. (My opinion and my observations, but no data to back that up.)

  • Yellowbox Level 4 Level 4 (3,870 points)
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    Apr 9, 2013 9:11 PM (in response to original24)

    Hi O24,


    Maybe the photos are making your Numbers documents overly large and slow to run?


    Could you bear the suggestion to split large documents into several smaller ones? Not an ideal solution (Numbers can not reference between documents) but a work-around if there is no pressing need to connect everything.


    Anyway, I hope Excel does the job for you.




  • Wayne Contello Level 6 Level 6 (12,560 points)
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    Apr 10, 2013 5:43 AM (in response to original24)

    Try transferring the contents from Numbers to Libre Office by copying and pasting content one type at a time.  i.e. copy that spreasheet contents, then move pictures, etc.

  • Wayne Contello Level 6 Level 6 (12,560 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2013 8:11 AM (in response to original24)

    Also make sure you have enough RAM by launching the application "Activity Monitor" in the folder "/Applications/Utilities".


    Look at the amount of free memory:

    Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 10.10.40 AM.png


    In my case I have 450M of RAM left.  If you have less than that you may experience a slow system.  Quit applications to free memory OR add more RAM

  • Wayne Contello Level 6 Level 6 (12,560 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 19, 2013 6:39 PM (in response to original24)

    Instead of pasting a photo into a cell paste it onto the canvas.  Excel does not support image fills.


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