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Is there anyway to time how long it takes an Application to start up on the Mac?

We were getting reports of Word 2008 taking a half-hour to launch, and, while we think we've resolved the problem, it would be nice, in the future, to be able to:

  1. verify the veracity of such statements, and
  2. see if any of our changes make a difference.
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Can this question please be moved to Stackoverflow? I don't seem to be able to flag it or vote for it to be moved. [In the worst case, I will ask it again.] – Clinton Blackmore Jun 1 '09 at 23:26
I think this question is okay for Serverfault. – splattne Jul 16 '09 at 12:24

You can always use the command line, with a command like:

time open -a Word <some_word_doc.docx>

Edit: As pointed out, this method will exit as sun as the splash screen appears. Some research led me to an apple doc page explaining how to profile applications launch time (link). You will need the Apple developer tools installed. The method using the Shark tool works even for applications for which we do not have the source code available. From my testings the launch time appears in the chart tab, in the X axis of the chart. I do not know how accurate this method is, since I'm not an experienced developer in OSX.

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Excellent suggestion. Unfortunately, it returned as soon as the splash screen came up (and my intention is to time how long it takes until Word is in a useable state). – Clinton Blackmore Jun 15 '09 at 15:57
Yes, you are right. I was not with my mac when I wrote the reply. See me edit with new information – rsarro Jun 15 '09 at 22:06
I'm glad I double-check the post. I'd no idea you'd edited it. There is an environment variable called NSQuitAfterLaunch mentioned in the article that looks really useful! – Clinton Blackmore Jun 26 '09 at 2:00

How did you solve the issue? I've seen that in the past on Windows boxes where got corrupted, causing an extremely slow word startup. The solution was to delete the .dot template, start up word again, and let it recreate that default template

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Our solution involved hoping it was an AFP bug and upgrading our servers and desktops from OS X 10.5.4 to the latest - 10.5.6 at the time. [We also redirected the Cache folder, but did that some time ago and were still having problems.] It seems to have resolved the issue, but I'd love to have some stats to know for sure. See also… – Clinton Blackmore May 29 '09 at 18:12

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