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The amount of textual information digitally stored is growing every day. However, our capability of processing and analyzing that information is not growing at the same pace. To overcome this limitation, it is important to develop semi-automatic processes to extract relevant knowledge from textual information, such as the text mining process. One of the main and most expensive stages of the text mining process is the text pre-processing stage, where the unstructured text should be transformed to structured format such as an attribute-value table. The stemming process, i.e. linguistics normalization, is usually used to find the attributes of this table. However, the stemming process is strongly dependent on the language in which the original textual information is given. Furthermore, for most languages, the stemming algorithms proposed in the literature are computationally expensive. In this work, several improvements of the well know Porter stemming algorithm for the Portuguese language, which explore the characteristics of this language, are proposed. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm executes in far less time without affecting the quality of the generated stems.