Today I noticed that a spreadsheet I use had a file size significantly higher than I’d expect: 2 worksheets, maybe 100 rows, but somehow 31.2 MB. (I’m using LibreOffice.)

Fortunately, it didn’t take long for me to find the problem: embedded fonts.


  1. Open the file in LibreOffice Calc.
  2. File > Properties….
  3. Go to the Font tab.
  4. Uncheck the various settings for embedding fonts in the document.
  5. Save the file and watch the file size decrease.

How I Got Here

I installed 7-Zip and listed the contents of the spreadsheet file (7zz l $FILENAME). I noticed font files. I inferred that LibreOffice had embedded the font files in the spreadsheet file. I searched the web and learned how to stop doing that.

What’s odd is that I don’t remember embedding fonts in this document, so maybe I did it by accident. I also couldn’t find any kind of sticky preference in LibreOffice that would embed fonts in new documents by default. This means that I have no idea how this happened; I presume that information is lost to time.