I have an 11,000 row Excel file (in Japanese) that I have saved as an xlsx file. I need it to be saved in UTF-8 format, so I went in and tested a few rows in OpenOffice (the reason for this apparent redundancy is to preserve formatting that OpenOffice leaves out) and then saved it as a CSV file and then specified it as UTF-8 in the save-as option, and the conversion worked perfectly! For a couple rows.

Now that I am trying to do the same thing for my full sized document, I can't get anything to come up. I'm running it on a current version 13" MacBook Pro with 4gbs of RAM, and it just won't go, it just freezes.

Are there any tricks that I can use to get this file loaded? Or my excel file to save in UTF-8?


  • 1
    Does it actually freeze, or are you just impatient? Excel is known for seemingly crashing and then miraculously finishing 20 minutes later. – Tyler Nov 15 '10 at 23:02
  • Great question. In both Mac OS as well as Windows 7, open office stops responding, or so says the task manager... – Jerry Nov 15 '10 at 23:26
  • This is OO.o 3.2.1 (or whatever) locking up on opening the xlsx? – Tyler Nov 15 '10 at 23:46
  • Yes, but you were right, it is going, it is just going VERY slow. Its been going now for 40 minutes, and is probably 25% done...thanks for the tip on patience! – Jerry Nov 16 '10 at 0:33
  • Excel is not multithreaded, so it won't take advantage of multiple CPU cores. How big is the actual file? 11k rows of data may or may not be a lot - how big is each cell and how many columns? How many sheets in the workbook? Does it link to external sources? – warren Nov 16 '10 at 2:49

Excel and Calc are both known to "freeze" but really just be doing something very slowly.

A little hacking might be necessary to get some of these lower level options up to snuff with UTF-8, but there are options

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