Thursday, April 2, 2020

Opening Large CSV Files in Numbers 10.0


Numbers 10.0 is optimized for the best possible performance when working with large data sets.

Numbers 10.0 features improved performance for data import, export, and charting. In Numbers 10.0 on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac, you can create, edit, and view spreadsheets with tables that contain up to 1,000,000 rows and 1,000 columns. In Numbers for iCloud, you can create and edit spreadsheets with tables that contain up to 65,535 rows or 256 columns, and open and view spreadsheets and tables larger than that.

Previously, the Mac and iOS versions only supported 255 columns. Alas, 1,000 columns still isn’t enough for some people.

To check out Apple’s performance claims, I tried opening a 34 MB CSV file. Numbers 10.0 took 47 seconds and used 2.18 GB of private memory. Microsoft Excel 16.36 took 5 seconds and used 220 MB of private memory.

So Numbers took 9.4 times as long as Excel, which isn’t great. But it’s an improvement over my test of Numbers ’13 and Excel 2011, where Numbers took 102 times as long as Excel.

See also: MacRumors.


5 Comments RSS · Twitter

Excel sometimes gets a lot of guff, but it sure is a useful tool. While most people likely just use Excel, as Numbers has never struck me as particularly useful, I do wonder how your test would compare with other software people might use in the real world, like LibreOffice Calc (or even Gnumeric on the low end) or Google Sheets?

As much as the slowness of the operation matters, and thankfully it is only now 9 times slower than Excel, the 10 times greater memory use might be even more embarrassing.

@Nathan When I measured OpenOffice, it was between Numbers and Excel.

@Nathan - I use Numbers by preference over Excel and the OpenOffice variants. It's significantly easier for me to get things done in it, and allows me to avoid the huge complex beast that is Excel. If you are already invested in Excel then I can see how you might reach for it first, or a copy of it like OpenOffice but I don't want to have to make that investment.

That's fair, sometimes ease of use trumps features or performance. Definitely been there. I use Gnumeric sometimes (then again, currently I have neither a word processor nor spreadsheet installed locally on my main work laptop), but I routinely do not need much more than an occasional Google Sheets work up.

Leave a Comment