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Quick Glance on Mac OS: OpenOffice vs LibreOffice vs NeoOffice

You have probably heard of the “Microsoft Office” clones that have been out for a good while now. I taught Microsoft Office for several years at Mercer University, and have to say it is indeed a very useful product. The ribbon interface in particular is well done and helps you get your work done faster, compared to the standard interface in Office 2003.

HOWEVER, it can cost a fair amount of money, and many small businesses just can’t justify spending the money on software they will use rarely.

I have had some experience with Open office, Libre Office, and Neo office on both Windows and Mac platforms. Libre- and Neo- are both spinoffs from the open-source Open office suite which has been around for a couple of decades. NeoOffice wasbegun in 2003 by Patrick Luby and Ed Peterlin because there was no port of OpenOffice for the Mac at that time. LibreOffice is a fairly recent spinoff project from OpenOffice – I’ve read some blogs that purport LibreOffice is being feveloped faster.

All three apps will read and write Microsoft Office files – there may some small issues depending on the file and your computer, but you get those issues (things like not having the same fonts installed) anyway.

I can recommend all three for general Office-type tasks. If you are on a Mac, however, I really do prefer NeoOffice. The user interface behaves in a more mac-like manner (text highlighting, for example, looks like text highlighting should on a Mac. Libre- and Open-office text highlighting looks more like it does in Windows. This is disconcerting or even annoying).

The developers of NeoOffice have also kept up with the times in the Mac world – the current 3.2.1 version is Lion (10.7) compatible, and has support for Versions, Full Screen mode, and Resume. CLICK HERE for more details.

Another plus for those with older OS X Macs – they still have a current PowerPC compatible version available. It does run a bit slow on my first generation Mac mini (1.4 gHz PowerPC) – but it does run quite acceptably.


Links

Open Office

OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.

Libre Office

LibreOffice is the power-packed free, libre and open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base. Support and documentation is free from our large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers.

NeoOffice

NeoOffice is a full-featured set of office applications for Mac OS X. Created in 2003 when there was no Mac OS X version of OpenOffice.org available, Patrick Luby and Ed Peterlin have devoted their decades of Mac software engineering experience to create an office suite that is adapted to the unique needs of Mac users.

While OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice now have their own Mac OS X versions, Patrick and Ed continually add improvements to NeoOffice that our Mac OS X users will not find in OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice such as:

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