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Speeding up Openoffice

This week the usual sources were flooded with stories about how slow and bloated Openoffice is. I guess this came on the heels of the release of version 2.0; it’s never been much of a secret that Openoffice was big and slow. It’s descended from Staroffice, after all, and it was big and slow too.

Speedup tips ensued.

A tips summary appeared at The Inquirer, but I’ll elaborate on them a bit.

First, fire up one of the apps and go to Tools, Options. Click on Java, then uncheck the box that says Use a Java Runtime Environment. This can speed up loadtime by a factor of 10, and I’m not kidding. On my machine, it used to take 30 seconds for one of the applications to load; now it takes 2-3.

This is an old trick; I remember back in 1996-97 we used to disable Java in Netscape to speed it up considerably. Disabling Javascript used to help too. It’s hard to live without at least Javascript these days, alas. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a Java-enabled word processor though.

Another tip involved clicking on memory, going to Graphics Cache, and changing the value for Use for to 64 and Memory per object to 8. I wouldn’t do this on low-memory machines but if you have a lot of RAM it does seem to help.

I used to avoid Openoffice because it was slow. If I wanted to wait 30 seconds for my word processor to load, I’d buy a Commodore 64 and hook a 1541 up to it again. The memory usage still bugs me, but on high-memory machines, I’m finally comfortable using it, and that’s good. It’s very nice to have a free office suite that’s practical to use available.

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