2011 Excel Painfully Slow

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by paulrbeers, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    This is simply a rant. I have to use Excel for the Visual Basic Editor and I must say it is painfully slow when working with large spreadsheets on my Mac Mini (or any of my Mac's). Apparently it is not multi-threaded and working with 10,000+ row spreadsheets with custom Macros really bogs down. I'm trying to decide if I should buy a faster Mini (i.e. the 2.7ghz mini) or switch to Windows for all my Excel needs (since Windows version is multi-threaded). Ho hum....
  2. pfquigley macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2012
    Go to Windows. It is Bill Gates way of saying hello to Steve Jobs.

    Currently using a imac 27" with 2.8GHz Intel Core i5 - 16 MB 1333 MHz DDR3 memory with with 250 GB Flash drive and using EXCEL is slow.

    You might try hitting the ESC at a point where you think it should be done. Doing this sometimes causes the computer to stop feeling like it is hanging and return you the changes you want; completely unscientific.
  3. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Excel 2011 is much quicker than Excel 2008 for Mac, but it is still way slower than the Windows version of Excel with large complicated spreadsheets. As others have suggested your best option is to use the Windows version. Hopefully in the next version Microsoft will add a few more hamsters to wheel inside the spreadsheet engine.
  4. Benjamin99 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2012
    The Woodlands, TX
    Would running Excel in Windows on a dual boot on the mac net increased speeds over running the mac version of Office? I have the same issue w/ trying to cross process data between several spreadsheets w/ over 10,000 lines each..
  5. miz-mdk macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2011
    Even small spreadsheets slow in Excel for Mac 2011. So is Word.

    I have the mid-2011 Macbook Air 11", 256 GB SSD, which came loaded with Lion (now v. 10.7.2), 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3. Normally very fast, but not with MS Office programs.

    My uses of excel are relatively small and rudimentary, but I still find the Mac 2011 version very slow and frustrating. I had a spreadsheet with 600+ rows and 10-15 columns, 5-6 sheets, it couldn't handle it. I have had to copy some of the sheets to new workbooks and make sure I only had one or 2 sheets with all the rows in each one. Of course, being relatively ignorant, I may have done something that got it all upset.

    I also notice in Word 2011 the same annoying little lag in editing that I had in NeoOffice - like it's translating from the Windows language to the Mac language. I click to insert something and then have to pause a little before I start typing. Sometimes I have to click 2 or 3 times, or maybe I'm just not waiting long enough for it to figure out that I want to do something there. It seems like Microsoft has managed to make the normally responsive and accurate Mac touchpad act like temperamental Windows touchpads when you're using MS programs.

    It's hard to believe that Microsoft isn't deliberately making the Mac versions of their programs inferior. Can they really not get the basics right?

    Anyway, thanks for the tip re the ESC button.
  6. Planky, Mar 8, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012

    Planky macrumors regular

    May 24, 2009
    The Sunny Isle of Wight
    I find excel (latest version) on my mac painfully slow with my large multi sheet spreadsheet. It can take over 30 seconds to respond to any mouse click or button press. :mad:

    I run parallels 7 with XP. I installed Office on that and there is no slowdown or hangs at all with exactly the same spreadsheet! :eek:

    Just timed it.
    From double click on mac excel spreadsheet to available: 59.6 seconds!
    Launch Parallels 7: 7 seconds.
    from double click on PC excel spreadsheet to available: 7.1 seconds.

    So it is quicker for me to launch Parallels then PC excel than use Mac excel. Sigh.
  7. lilgto64 macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2009
    same here

    I am running into the same sort of thing.

    Macros on the Windows version of Word and Excel run almost too fast to measure - same macro on Mac version takes 30 seconds or more.

    Which doesn't sound like a lot - but I have run the word macro on something like 60,000 files over the past decade - which adds up. And it may actually be double that - since I sometimes run it - then find I need to change the source file and then have to run it again on the same file.

    It would be nice if it was fast enough to set it up to run based on an automated folder trigger.

    I have started looking into my code to see if there are places where perhaps better code - with fewer loops etc - can improve the speed - ut I suspect a large chunk of it is on MS to solve.
  8. kyjaotkb macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    London, UK
    Crazy to realize Office is still slow on a mac in 2011 - remember MS Office existed on the Mac even before Windows came out...
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Fonts could be a contributing factor to slow performance of MS Office apps. Open Font Book (in your /Applications folder) and click Edit > Resolve Duplicates. If that doesn't help, select all fonts and click File > Validate Fonts. That should tell you if you have any corrupt fonts, which should be deleted or disabled.

    For more information:

    Also, this may help: Performance Tips For Mac OS X
  10. jessec3 macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2012
    Extremely slow Excel 2011

    Just purchased new 27' iMac and Office 11. Excell was very slow, so I added an additional 8GB ram. Still no help. It's so slow, I'm having to do my Excel work on my PC. Also, this version of Excel is very stripped down from the PC 2010 version. I'm very disappointed. I'm trying to find an authorized shop to install an SSD, but no one does it in the Salem, OR area. I feel your pain and hope a resolution is in the works, I purchases the iMac to work on large spreadsheets.
  11. martef02, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013

    martef02 macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2010
    South Australia
    Excel 2011 on Mac and pasting data

    I have found Excel 2011 performs fine on my Macbook Pro 13" retina or on my Mac Mini 2.5 Ghz except when pasting data.

    I have a spreadsheet with over 20,000 rows and when I want to add more data, it can take a very long time before control is returned.

    I found that if I paste the data into an editor that has no formatting and then copy and paste it into the spreadsheet, it pastes instantly.

    If I paste the same number of rows from another spreadsheet, it is instant as well. It seems to be something with the format of the data.

    When it comes to macros, I have not seen any difference in speed between the Mac version or the PC version. They both perform the same. In my case, the macro reads the 20,000+ rows and inserts the extracted data into the appropriate columns. Its fast.

    See http://blogs.technet.com/b/the_micr...t-can-cause-slow-copy-and-paste-in-excel.aspx
  12. mpilon macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2013
    Night and day difference

    I followed these instructions posted on this thread and there has been a *huge* improvement.

  13. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Apples response to slow Excel on OSX was iTunes on Windows.
  14. Oldmanmac macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2012
    Edmond, OK
    I think the person who said it was Bill Gates' present to Steve Jobs is correct.
    With people going back to Win7/XP that just validates MS. If people quite buying Mac Office I think MS would have to move it (speed wise) or lose it.

    My $.02
  15. EZWriter macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2013
    Frustrated Office 2011 User

    Your helpful discussion caused me to remember the "Get a Mac" commercials that ran between 2006 and 2009, where the Mac character, played by Justin Long, acknowledges to the PC character, played by John Hodgman, that PCs are superior when it comes to spreadsheets.

    I wonder if anyone here has any thoughts about for Excel's slow performance on OSX platform being attributed to the Mac's Intel chip design, as opposed to a clandestine conspiracy concocted by Microsoft. I realize such thinking would require one to be blind to the ongoing rub that has always been omnipresent between Apple and Microsoft.

    My wishful thinking says that Apple and Microsoft could develop iWork and Office applications that operate in sync with each other without infringing on each other's patent rights, but I suspect there's probably a better chance of peace breaking out in the Middle East.
  16. parkerspal macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2013
    Excel and HP printer

    Finally fixed the glacial response of excel (Excel 2011 for Mac) I use an HP printer (hpC4780) and apparently there was a file hogging (386%) the CPU. I opened the Activity Monitor, clicked on %CPU to sort from highest to lowest usage. I deleted the file "hp4dot" or similar name. and voila....problem fixed. The excel spreadsheet was only ~200kb in size, but was painfully slow. Now responds the way one would expect. I also re-installed the HP software. btw, the HP printer was also acting strange.... very slow speed, after finally printing a single and simple text page, it would keep the print job/file in memory, then print again DAYS later when trying to print something else. Anyhow, the excel problem appears to be fixed. Hope the printer issue is fixed too!
  17. Jeppo macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2013
    Very slow copy and paste

    This one has been plaguing me too, but only intermittently - bizarrely in one file some sheets were fast, others slow.

    What I discovered, by chance, was that there were hidden objects sitting on a layer above the cells - revealed by accident only if I moved the cursor slowly around a sheet, and cross occasionally turned either to an arrow, or the floating text cursor. Using the shift key I could hunt these down in a cluster, then delete, but it literally was like playing 'pin the tail on the donkey'.

    This process would delete most objects, but for some reason a long column would always remain. Each deletion just seemed to spawn a new 'child'. Haven't a clue what was causing this, but it was frustrating.

    Like others on various fora I have been frustrated by the lack of an ability to select / lasso a area to highlight anything that might be lurking; then, after a lot of searching, I found this site:


    ...and this advice.

    Hit ctrl+g
    Select Special
    Select objects

    Any objects on your worksheet are then highlighted - you can then delete.

    This seems to kill everything, including the pillar of objects that keep reforming, and the copy + paste on previously affected sheets is now back to normal.

  18. MacBH928 macrumors 68030


    May 17, 2008
    Any one know a light excel alternative? I really do not need all the blows and whistles in Excel . I want something more like how TextEdit is to Word.

    All the alternatives are heavy and slow to work with including LibreOffice, OpenOffice, NeoOffice, Google Docs .. etc .

    The only thing I have not tried is Pages.. which I am not sure how well it will run on my Core2Duo macbook 2GHz 6GB RAM.

    Launching Excel 2008 feels like launching photoshop
  19. dinepada macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2014
    Office 2014 may be the solution… or maybe a new problem…


    In my case launching MS word 2011 is like to launch a spaceship
  20. mollahasani macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2015
    I converted my file into Google Sheets, links now open as fast as clicking a link on the web. Google Sheets has all the functions I need in Excel plus it's save on the cloud (Google drive). You can always convert it back to Microsoft Excel.

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