How to Speed Up Open Office

Open Office is a suite of office applications developed by Sun Microsystems. It is an open-source alternative to Microsoft's Office Suite and for this reason, it is often bundled together with various Linux distros such as Knoppix, Ubuntu and MEPIS. It also has the ability to save the documents in native Microsoft Office formats so that you can continue to work with your document even though the computer doesn't have Open Office installed.

Of course, there are several setbacks to Open Office. Firstly, its the incompatibility of the formatting Open Office with Microsoft Office. Of course, as time advances, compatibility between the two offices have increased by leaps and bounds and formatting is now a small problem for Open Office. The next issue is printing problems with Open Office in Linux. This is a problem that I have personally faced numerous times. Most users overcome this problem by either exporting their document as a PDF file and print them or take the drastic measure, ie. to reinstall their printer in Open Office.

Of all the problems mentioned above, the most common problem faced by Open Office users is of course the program's slow loading time. I've tested some methods to speed up Open Office's loading time and here's a list of methods I've found useful for my machine. I'm running a P4 with 256MB of RAM and Open Office takes almost 30 seconds to load. After applying the changes, Open Office now loads about 30% faster!! (thankfully!)

1. Increase Memory Cache
This is a method to decrease the loading time by tweaking the memory settings.
Go to:
Applications--> Writer-->Tools-->Options
Under the heading, select Memory,
Under Graphics Cache, change the "Use for" to 30 MB (or more if you have >512MB RAM)
Change "Memory per Object" to 2.0 MB

2. Reduce Number of Undo Steps
Go to:
Applications--> Writer-->Tools-->Options
Under the heading, select Memory,
Now change these settings:
Undo:Number of steps = 25

3. Disable Java Runtime Environment
Apparently Open Office also loads the Java Runtime Environment at startup to handle databases. If you don't use database, you can disable the feature.
Applications--> Writer-->Tools-->Options
Click on Java, and deselect “Use Java Runtime Environment.”

Restart the program and and this should give you a much faster Open Office!


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