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Terrible app performance with PDFs and other docs

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Running the latest 7.8 on Mac Pro 10.14.2 w/64G RAM + SSD

Evernote is extremely slow w/pinwheeling on any notes containing PDFs.  It's so slow as to render Evernote almost useless as a productivity app.  Any other app (e.g., office, etc.) is blazing fast.

This problem has persisted for a while - maybe as early as v.7.2.  I've done a full and complete uninstall/install.

Evernote is used within my group as a professional productivity app.  For years it has been a repository for manuals and the like. 

Huge PDF manuals were never an issue but now 2 page PDFs result in a pinwheel.

Are there any remedies I may have missed or any tuning parameters that can be set?

Thanks in advance!

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I am having the same problem - spinning wheel. I have v 7.7. What is going on? I have hundreds of recipes arranged as icons in a notebook and now cannot retrieve that layout. It's the ONLY way I can do menu planning. Why are you making this now impossible?


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  • Level 5*
2 minutes ago, worddrawing said:

I have hundreds of recipes arranged as icons in a notebook and now cannot retrieve that layout

Card, Snippet View?

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@DTLow Usually PDFs are opened as an attachment - even that process to simply open the PDF is slow.

But there are plenty of times when I want to peruse the doc in-line - even if it's just to double-check that it's the correct document.

Inline viewing is garbage slow at this point.  Just scrolling down a page results in pinwheeling.

This was never an issue in the past.  I would be able to scroll through a 900 page manual if I wanted. 

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On 1/17/2019 at 9:01 PM, MisterPetkus said:

I am also aware that this forum is not Evernote support.  I have not contacted them yet.

I'm trying to get an idea if

1) these issues have been plaguing other users

2) there are any available performance tweaks

Same here, sad part is I contacted Evernote support, send them screen videos etc, they said we couldn't reproduce this issue. After 7.8 update they send me an update mail that in 7.8 version this problem is gone :)

I updated EN and I tried, some pdf's scrolling a bit better but app's general performance is not good enough. I have notes which has maybe 30-35 attachments (word, excel files), scrolling performance terrible.

I tried BEAR app for a while, its performance is amazing. Buttery smooth scrolling and writing experience. Maybe one or two extra functions keep me using EN.

I'm using EN with MacBook Pro 2017 i7 16Gb Ram 4Gb Radeon 560 512SSD.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the same problem, but there is a twist: on my Thunderbolt Display or built-in retina display (MacBook Retina, Early 2013), scrolling w/ PDFs is *completely* smooth.

On my Dell display, connected via HDMI, it is *completely* unusable (exactly as described by others, above).

Clearly, this is a display driver issue, related to something that Evernote is using to render embedded PDFs (i.e. NOT viewed as attachments).

It would be super great, as a work-around, to be able to toggle on/off ALL PDFs to in a note as attachments or in-line, so I could at least get back to work.

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  • 3 months later...

An update if anyone cares:

We're now at Evernote v.7.10 and the problem has *not* been resolved.  It remains intolerably slow and nigh unusable for any note containing PDFs.

Interesting post by "krutsch" - I can confirm that viewing embedded PDFs on my underpowered Mac Air laptop is not an issue.


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For me it seems there must be an additional factor: MBP, i7, 32GB, 2TB, latest version of MacOS and EN - no issue in opening whatever. Multipage pdfs behave quite similar to plaintext notes, and this means fast.

But because my MacBook is new, it had only a month or so to collect clutter. Does reorganizing the database (hold option Key when clicking on HELP-menu, additional options will appear)  take any effect ?

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