About working with large data sets in Numbers

Numbers 10.0 and later is optimised for the best possible performance when working with large datasets.

Numbers 10.0 and later on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac features improved performance for data importing, exporting and charting. 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.

Overall performance of large data sets also depends on the how much processing power, device memory and storage space your device has available.

Data import

Import data sets with up to 1,000,000 rows and 1,000 columns into a spreadsheet. If you try to import more than that, Numbers shows an alert that says your data has been truncated.

Data export

Export a table with up to 1,000,000 rows and 1,000 columns to Excel, CSV or TSV format.

Exporting to certain legacy formats has some limitations:

  • Exporting to XLS (Excel 1997-2004 compatible) supports tables with a maximum of 65,535 rows or 256 columns of data. And if you choose "One per sheet" when exporting and the table exceeds 65,535 rows or 256 columns of data, it will be exported as one worksheet per table.
  • Exporting to the Numbers ’09 format supports tables with a maximum of 65,535 rows or 256 columns of data.


When charting large datasets, Numbers uses a performance-enhancing downsampling technique that maintains the shape, detail and character of your data while increasing charting speed. Certain types of charts in Numbers use this downsampling technique:

  • 2D charts, including bar, stacked bar, column, stacked column, area, stacked area, line, mixed and two-axis charts
  • All 3D chart types except pie charts

You can chart up to 250,000 rows of data. When charting a spreadsheet with more than 250,000 rows, the chart will only show data from the first 250,000 rows.

Categorised tables

A categorised table can have up to 200,000 rows with up to four levels of categorisation.

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