Abstract The computational efficiencies of the semi-empirical method have been compared with those of different ab-initio methods for positional isomers of Naphthol and Tetrahydro-naphthol type molecules. The efficiencies for computations in case of optimized structure, electronic absorption and emission properties are investigated. For that semi-empirical approach ZINDO and two different nature of ab-initio approaches such as TD-HF/6-311G(d,p) and TD-DFT/B3LYP/6-311G(d,p) were considered. The three main approaches are studied here to give the right direction of simulation. Semi-empirical AM1/ZINDO function itself can detect the trend of molecular transitions and the values obtained by simulations are more realistic than ab-initio methods. Ab-initio methods can reproduce exact values of first transitional energy with some scaling factor both in ground and in excited states of Tetrahydro-naphthol positional isomers whereas no solution or prediction could be inferred for Naphthol isomers.