Is Open Office too slow to be usable?

In other OSDC news, speaker Stewart Smith gave a Lightning Talk on OpenOffice 2.3 yesterday. To illustrate the speed issues with the open source office suite, he started to open the program at the start of his talk. And finished the talk before the program had successfully opened. Admittedly Lighting Talks are usually 5-7 minutes long, but still. Ouch.

I'll admit I'm disheartened to hear that even on a high end laptop, OpenOffice can be so ridiculously slow. Have you used Open Office, or are you using it now? How have you found it? Should I be looking around for a different open source office suite?


Comments

    I tested OpenOffice on my own computer and now use it instead of equivalent MS products. (Although I actually use a wiki for most of my activities, then export my work as needed).
    Once I knew it worked fine, I installed it on my wife's new computer, which unlike her old computer didn't have MS Word installed.
    Two weeks later I asked her how she was getting on with OpenOffice. She's a full-time professional writer who works to deadlines. If anyone needs a word processor that 'just works' it's her. She said, "What do you mean?".

    That said, I do think it's a bit slow to start up. Perhaps this will be fixed in future versions, but software creators don't generally seem to regard this as a problem worth fixing. No idea why not.

    I got Vista, 4GB Dual Channel and opening OO.o is just as fast as MS Office

    My Laptop has Ubuntu, 2GB memory and the opening speed between Office and OO.o is almost the same. Edge to Office.

      apparently you need such a powerful comp to run it fast :P

    I've been using OO for over a year now and am running it on an AMD 3500+ which is hardly a quick machine these days.

    Never known it to have any speed issues at all. It's not noticeably slower than MS Office ever was. Obviously people are having issues, but it's all news to me.

    1GB RAM, with a 1.9GHz CPU, and the only speed difference I notice from MS Office is the start-up time.

    That said, it's barely noticeable at that. Once the Java Runtime is loaded (I have the service turned off on my Windows PC by default), Open Office starts up almost as fast as MS Office every time.

    I suspect that Mr Smith's PC isn't set up correctly (old version of Java, etc), or purposely sabotaged the installation/system (like using 256MB RAM) to prove his point..?

    I have an athlon 3200+ with 1GB ram and vista (I actually like it!)

    I stopped using my version of Office 2007 because outlook/word were so slow and killing my machines usability.

    It wasn't the start time that was killer (but OO is still faster), it was the way MS Office slowed my whole computer down whenever I used it.

    Changed to Thunderbird/OO and never looked back, runs a lot faster on my machine.

    I must be one of the lucky ones.

    I use a Mac, so I use the free port of Open Office, Neo Office. It opens about as fast as M$ Word, but not nearly as fast as Pages, which is designed for the Mac.

    I wonder how many applications Mr Smith was running at the same time or what size and age computer he was using?

    Remember, if an experiment can't be duplicated by others with the same result, the result you may have ended up with is worth nothing and 'proves' the same...

    I have a 5+ year old PC, and OO loads fine. Takes around 15 seconds to load all OO apps.

    oh pfiffle - newish ubuntu 7.10 installation on Athlon 3200+ with 1.5gb mem - OO fully up in

    My business runs from a P4 2.4GHz with 1.5Gb RAM running XP.
    OO 2.3 starts in 15 seconds with a bunch of stuff already open.
    NeoOffice works beautifully on my Core 2 Duo Macbook. I can't compare to MS Office because I've never run it on either of those machines.

    For my main Computer, I still use a PII-350 with 1GB RAM, Slackware Linux 9.1.0 with many hacks ;-)
    yes a Pentium II 350 MHz.......
    for as long as I can remember.....
    I'm slack because I haven't upgraded much except for the 1GB ram about 8 months ago. I still use OO 1.1.3...
    From the moment I click the 'button':
    it takes 9 secs to get the splash screen
    & takes 20 secs total ready to use!!!!
    Mind you I have already loaded & using:-
    - Firefox 2.0.0.8 loaded with 25+ Tabs
    - Thunderbird 2.0.0.6
    - XMMS playing mp3's
    - Organiser(korganiser)
    - 4 file browser windows(konqueror)
    - kmix(it's hungry)
    - and 15 shell windows(like command prompt)
    - with a total of 8 Desktops!!

    I think that's damn good

    In comparison, dare I say I also have a Toshiba 1.4GHz Laptop with 1GB RAM(896MB User/128MB Video) , (sorry I bought it preloaded)XP Home SP2 with OO 2.0
    It takes almost as long to Load OO !!!!!
    without any other Programs running AT ALL/fresh startup....
    To _ME_ that says volumes about M$

    oo I forgot to add....
    please add this into the right spot

    My GUI is KDE 3.1.4

    I have used OpenOffice and MSOFFICE both for years, and the biggest complaint is the slowness opening, if you have OOffice quickstart running it is faster, but I am not fond of having more running than the minimum. I have installed it on my mother's computer and that was her first complaint, it was so slow starting....That being said, I use OpenOffice as my primary suite, I have MS office because we use it work mostly the Excel program because we use a a lot of odbc's to sql servers.

    P.S.
    I have just installed 2.4 of OOffice.
    After installing I opened all apps, quickstarter off.
    Rebooted.
    Opened Writer (After the computer settled--antivirus, startup programs finished..etc)
    ooWriter took 35 seconds to open, msword 7 second.
    I, closed, reopened....writer 3 seconds, word 3 seconds. I also disabled the splash screen to see if that would help (soffice.ini, logo=0) verdict still out.

    I downloaded OpenOffice on my HP Pavillion laptop with Vista. The first file I tried to open was a calc document I downloaded from another machine. It took forever to open the sheet. I saved it to the HP, and it still opened very slowly. Then I tried something else. I opened a blank calc sheet, filled in one cell, and saved it. Then I opened it, and it opened quickly. Then I reopened the downloaded sheet (still very slowly), and pasted its contents into the new sheet I had originated on the HP. Then I opened the new sheet, and it was quick. The old sheet remained very slow to open, but the new sheet was as quick or quicker than Excel opening. Needless to say, I deleted the imported sheet and kept the one originated and saved on the HP. Vista with my HP likes and is quick and normal with calc sheets originated and saved on the machine, and is slow with downloaded sheets. I'm not smart enough to know why, but he workaround may be a way to overcome the problem.

    BTW M$ Office is preloaded @ startup

    YES, I have a new Thinkpad laptop and Open Office is way to slow -- even after it's open, switching to the window is slow. I'm switching to google docs as much as possible which runs much more smoothly for me.

    I found this thread because OpenOffice moves like a slug and I wanted to know why.
    I don't like MS products and wanted to move elsewhere, but OpenOffice, the latest download, is much slower in every way, than WORD97.
    I can't bear it anymore.
    Maybe I will go and try Google Docs after having an absolute hair raising and stupefying experience with Google Sites.

    Oh the tribulation.

    I've got a 600 word blog almost done while waiting for a 70 page OpenOffice document to do it's business. I'm likely to go purchase the latest version of MS Office later today.

    Not real happy here.

    My hunch is that OpenOffice works fine for short documents with no images or tables.

    Why I should have the time to look up "Why OpenOffice is so slow" while trying to format my OpenOffice document is beyond me.

    It's the slowest thing on my laptop... which I've used for professional C++ desktop application development in the past. Has the full version of Visual Studio on it, which runs fine.

    If you go to 'memory' in the options dialogue and increase the memory allocated, you can see vastly faster startup times with OO.o.

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