ifile = "test.xls";
TimeConstrained[idata = Import[ifile, {"Data", 1}], 5];

I can achieve the desired result of importing the first page of the spreadsheet in under 5 seconds.

When the same data are reformatted (Excel "Save As ...") to ODS format

ifile = "test.ods";
TimeConstrained[idata = Import[ifile, {"Data", 1}], 60];

times out.

Is ODS Import[] broken? Does anybody else have this issue?

  • $\begingroup$ But ... how long does it take if you don't time constraint it? $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2015 at 0:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @belisarius: Good question. I'm cognisant that things take time. However, longer than 10 minutes to read a 500 kb file is stretching the friendship. At 15 minutes, I'm still waiting. $\endgroup$
    – dwa
    Feb 24, 2015 at 1:14

1 Answer 1


I reported this to Wolfram Research and it has been classiefied as a bug.

No word on a fix.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Can you add the issue-tracking number? $\endgroup$
    – halirutan
    May 28, 2015 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ My tracking number is 2558090 $\endgroup$
    – dwa
    Jun 2, 2015 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ Has this been fixed? I am seeing huge cpu usage with 11.1.0 on LInux without any results, I have to abort in the end. $\endgroup$
    – atapaka
    Oct 2, 2017 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ @leosenko: I just tried this on 11.2.0. For a very simple data set, I get timings of 0.016, 0.024 & 0.06 for data in xlsx, xls and ods formats respectively suggesting that things may be fixed. How large is your file? $\endgroup$
    – dwa
    Oct 4, 2017 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ @leosenko: However when I try to Import[RandomReal[{-1, 1}, {64, 64}]], csv, xls, and xlsx are (essentially) instantaneous. ODS times out, so things may not be fixed. $\endgroup$
    – dwa
    Oct 4, 2017 at 7:22

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