OpenOffice vs. NeoOffice vs. LibreOffice

Last Updated: February 16th, 2012

Looking at my blog’s stats recently, I’ve noticed that among the searches that lead people here is people asking for comparisons between OpenOffice, NeoOffice, and/or LibreOffice. I’ve decided to take the time to look at these 3 suites and write about what is good and bad about each. I’m going to keep it simple with what most people will notice, and not get too technical about data, code, etc.

NOTE: This comparison is between OpenOffice 3.3, NeoOffice 3.2.1, and LibreOffice 3.5

OpenOffice Startcenter

Let’s start with OpenOffice. OpenOffice is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. With version 3, it became a native app on Mac, and has for a long time been one of the primary default office suites on many version of Linux. With version 3.3, its icons have less color, going for a more minimalist look. Personally, I prefer a little color in the suite, but this is a minor change, but it does mean that it looks better in Windows, and especially better in Linux, than it does on Mac. It comes with read and write support for Microsoft’s .doc, .ppt, and .xls files, but can only read the latest versions of Microsoft’s .docx, .pptx, and .xlsx found in Microsoft Office 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. Open Office is still a great free suite of tools to work with, but it still takes up a lot of RAM and energy. It no longer comes with many language dictionaries by default, which is nice for installation speed and hard drive size, but not so much if you have to download a lot of other languages. It has a lot of add-ons though, which you can download along with those dictionaries.

NeoOffice icon

Next is NeoOffice. NeoOffice is specifically Mac only, with its original purpose to be run natively on Mac (OpenOffice did not run natively on Macs until version 3). It uses on Mac’s Aqua interface style, which blends in well with the native Mac feel. However, since they have not updated to Mac’s latest interface style (dubbed Cocoa) it doesn’t feel as natural in Snow Leopard or in Lion (OS 10.6 and 10.7 respectively). The native icons actually take up more room on the toolbars than they do in Open or Libre, and the dock icon is kind of ugly. You can download some really nice looking icon packs for it though.
That being said, Neo really makes up for its style in features. It can also read and write Microsoft Office formats (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel), including the .docx, .pptx, and .xlsx formats (which Open can only read); this ability is slightly limited though. Neo also has built in integration with iPhoto and other Apple applications, which is a major plus for those who deeply integrate themselves in Apple programs, fonts, etc. Neo is also easier to configure than Open, and generally takes better advantage of Mac’s processing power. Text highlighting is also Mac native, and can utilize Mac’s built in basic grammar checker, though I’ve found it a bit spotty at times.  Neo does use more RAM than OpenOffice though, and is reliant on Open for its code, meaning that Neo users have to wait a little longer than Open users for major version updates. Neo does send out more patches, fixing bugs and holes in the software, sooner than Open however. I’ve also found that it it slower to startup, sometimes taking a few minutes before the dock icon even shows up. Neo also does not have that nice Startcenter option like Libre or Open does, allowing me to choose what new document type I want to work in quicker. Neo generally opens documents faster than Open, but it is slower in printing and print previewing (very noticeable).  But NeoOffice does have it’s own mobile application for iOS, so you can sync, read, and edit document on your iDevice.  However, free users only get 10 Megabytes of storage and the documents are removed from online after 7 days, though not for donater accounts.  Since the update to Lion, NeoOffice has added Lion’s ability to Resume, go Full Screen, and to save as Versions.  While very nice features, NeoOffice is now donation only, so if you want to use the software now, you have to donate $10 (U.S.A.), which makes it seem less like a donation.

Finally we have LibreOffice. LibreOffice split off from OpenOffice for political reasons, mainly being that some developers did not like the way it was being run by its new managers at Oracle. Otherwise, it isn’t too different from either Neo or Office, but has few noticeable differences. Like Open, it runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux, but looks best in Linux, followed by Windows, then Mac. It has some of its own, more colorful icons that I happen to like. It has support for Microsoft Office documents, including better support for the .***x formats that were mentioned earlier. It also has SVG image support, better support for Lotus, Microsoft Work, and WordPerfect files, and 3D transitions in Linux. It also supports Open’s extensions, but has a few bundled in nicely including a Presenter view for Impress (PowerPoint), a PDF importer, as well a grammar checker. This grammar checker certainly doesn’t have the power of Microsoft Office, but it is a very nice addition and has been improved in the 3.5 update.  Called LightProof, it seems to work for English, Russian, and Hungarian.  Libre is constantly working to have a smaller footprint, and use Java as a base code less. It includes the multiple language dictionaries that by default were removed from Open. This does mean the install time is a little bit slower, but Libre makes up for it in being pretty quick to load up once installed, and being fairly light compared to the other two suites. Libre has had a lot of superflous and unused code taken ut of it, especially with the 3.5 update.  One last note is that it is somewhat separate from OpenOffice development, meaning that, unlike Neo, Libre can update before or after Open updates, however it sees fit. Compared to Open, it does tend to update on a quicker basis.  Before 3.5, Libre lacked the ability to auto-update, but version 3.5 has finally given Libre the ability to auto-update as new releases are published.  This is probably the most welcome feature for me.

So what’s the final verdict?  NeoOffice seems to be falling away from the spirit of open-source, though I don’t blame them for it.  The additional features for Lion are also certainly welcome, but the interface could really use an update.  LibreOffice, however, takes the cake in my opinion with the most features, a quick update and patch cycle, and being the best in terms of speed and resource footprints.  You can use the other, because in the end it is really up to the individual, but LibreOffice is the best of the three, and what I recommend to people who ask me.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this or any other topic, leave a comment below or email me at easyosx@live.com  You can also check me out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by hitting the buttons on the top of your screen.  You can also check out my Google Plus Page.  Thanks!

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Posted on May 5, 2011, in Comparison, Open-source, Software and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 100 Comments.

  1. NeoOffice just made me switch to LibreOffice by walking off the donationware field (it’s now $10 shareware). They were already in the doghouse for intentionally abusing the term “donation” and requiring $100 for the privelege of accepting bug reports; this was just the last straw. I went with LibreOffice because it was favored by a significant majority of posters I found who compared the two, and have so far been very satisfied. Good luck NeoOffice, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    • Theoretically you can build it yourself. However, reality does not make this easy, I for one have not been able to build it on Lion.

    • What the hell are you saying?
      NeoOffice isn’t shareware!
      Donations are really important for those free projects.

      What’s my opinion?
      Many free projects like OpenOffice and LibreOffice have very huge sponsors which help them in support and money, that’s why they don’t need much donations.

      NeoOffice hasn’t any corporate sponsor, so all its work is performed by two ingineers who haven’t any paid for it. That’s why they need donations to continue with the proyect. You can download NeoOffice for free. You don’t have to paid for it. If you use the office suite for you own work only, you won’t be needing premium support, just let the premium support subscribed people post the bugs for you.

      What happen?
      Many people have taken adventage of free software, they only ask and download but they don’t even say thanks. All those ones who like to demand premium things to the free software are all those who only download and don’t say thanks, and much less like to donate their time and at least $10.00 dollars to support the project.

      It’s to say they like to receive gold and don’t like to give anaything.

      If you don’t help and don’t know how things work, it’s better to you to shut up.

    • What the hell are you saying?
      NeoOffice isn’t shareware!
      Donations are really important for those free projects.

      What’s my opinion?
      Many free projects like OpenOffice and LibreOffice have very huge sponsors which help them in support and money, that’s why they don’t need much donations.

      NeoOffice hasn’t any corporate sponsor, so all its work is performed by two ingineers who haven’t any paid for it. That’s why they need donations to continue with the proyect. You can download NeoOffice for free. You don’t have to paid for it. If you use the office suite for you own work only, you won’t be needing premium support, just let the premium support subscribed people post the bugs for you.

      What happen?
      Many people have taken adventage of free software, they only ask and download but they don’t even say thanks. All those ones who like to demand premium things to the free software are all those who only download and don’t say thanks, and much less like to donate their time and at least $10.00 dollars to support the project.

      It’s to say they like to receive gold and don’t like to give anaything.

      If you don’t help and don’t know how things work, it’s better to you to shut up.

      • According to the definitions on Wikipedia, the latest binary version of Neooffice as distributed by the website is not shareware (not a trial version of proprietary software), donationware (donation is not optional), or freeware (you must pay to obtain the binary as it is distributed by Neooffice.) It is open source and free as in speech, as the full source code is available under the GPL.

        Still doesn’t make it easy for those who can’t “donate” (such as those who can’t use PayPal) to obtain a working binary. Online payment is a tremendous roadblock for many – not everyone has a credit card and many people are very wary of online transactions for legitimate reasons. Also, required “donations” are a very sketchy thing indeed. If you must charge for the software, don’t call it a donation – most people consider donations to be an optional, voluntary payment.

        • I fully disagree with you on several points. First, anyone with a credit card can use paypal, you don’t even have to sign up for an account.
          Second, the people who work on and support NeoOffice tried originally to just ask for donations, unfortunately, too many people want something for nothing. It takes a lot of time and knowledge to make these programs work. Add to that for OS x users, NeoOffice always been very well implemented into the operating system. It takes MONEY to host the files and the bandwidth for available downloads, something people seem to forget. And lastly, for the mere pittance of two cups of Starbucks coffee, you get an office suite on par ( and compatible ) with Microsoft’s offerings and updates for a year!!!
          Try downloading Microsoft office suite and see how much their “donation” is.

          • I think you’re missing the point. No one is questioning the amount of work the developers have put into NeoOffice, or the good job they’ve done. None of that however changes the fact that [as Johnathan Baldwin] correctly points out, a ‘donation’ which is compulsory is not a ‘donation’. It is a fee. In this case a shareware fee. Methinks NeoOffice are sailing pretty close to the wind, as regards the terms of the original OO licence.

            For my own part, I’ve pretty much given up on both NeoOffice and LibreOffice. Both are horrendously ugly, sluggish bloatware. I try to use multimarkdown whenever possible, when I need to generate formatted text documents these days [http://fletcherpenney.net/multimarkdown]. When I simply *have* to be able to open/save a .doc or .odt file, I use Bean [http://www.bean-osx.com]. It doesn’t handle spreadsheet files or overly complex layouts but it’s fast, lean and [properly!] free, launches in less than an ice-age and doesn’t look like it’s been beaten half to death wit the fugly stick!

            > >

          • The very need for quote marks around “donation” underscores the preposterousness of employing it to describe these transactions.

            Yes, NeoOffice likely invests more in development and maintenance of the software than the $10 covers. If they wish to avoid suggesting that the $10 download fee is the cost of the software, a better word would be CONTRIBUTION, which does not necessarily imply a gift willingly bestowed without the expectation of a benefit in return.

            The folks at NeoOffice should not be ashamed to charge for their work: the laborer is worthy of his hire. The objection is to their calling the fee charged for downloading a donation. It diminishes the meaning of donations.

  2. I wish more people would write blogs like this that are really fun to read. With all the fluff floating around on the net, it is rare to read a blog like this instead.

  3. Howdy blogger, thank you for providing this article.. I found it first-class.

  4. Thanks for the interesting article. I must query a couple of details. Can I post them here or should I email you.

  5. Glad I noticed this on google here .

  6. No Fan of Microsoft

    I do not have as favorable a view as you do of Libre Office used with a Mac. The Text program has a delay in loading that can run 30 seconds. Very annoying. None of the online solutions seem to work with Mac. Poor support.

    Also, the Calc program corrupted Exel files when use to try to open them. A page indicating UT-8 popped up,
    and no data appeared in the empty spreadsheet. Try to find help or a solution – you are on your own. I was able to get data previously copied on a flash drive from the same Excel file to open in Apple’s Numbers program as a spread sheet, but that program does not support freeze panes, allowing you to keep title information visible while scrolling through data.

    As much as i detest Microsoft, true compatibility to Word and Excel remain elusive in open source software.

    • No Fan: I don’t blame you about Microsoft compatibility, iWork does have better Office reading & writing skills than most open-source software. It has gotten better, but it does need tweaking. However, I can’t say that I’ve had the problems with LibreOffice that you have had. I hava had Libre-Writer delaying when opening a text document, but it usually hasn’t been too unbearable.
      You might try reinstalling LibreOffice (the latest version of course) to try to fix some of these issues.

    • Actually, iWork numbers does support freeze frames. In the menu Table>”freeze header rows/columns”

    • When finding empty fields, select a cell you know to have content and then check if the content displays in the calculation field. If so this is a font issue.

      Delete obsolete suitcases in library/fonts and restart. In my case I found duplicates of the Arial font I was using. When I deleted the extra font, all of my content was visible again.

  7. Thanks, this is exactly the kind of comparison I was looking for. Hope that Google ranks you higher for all the other people looking for a short and concise review.

  8. As a long-term Windozer having abandoned Windows in favo(u)r of Macs (do more in less time having much more fun) I very much welcome your – both concise and easily comprehensible – article.

    Not deeming open source a religion in itself, I opted for an alternative that leaves the scope of Open Office clones: Apple iWork. Having installed the trial version, I’m quite pleased to see the warnings when opening Microsoft Word documents. Those are important to me as they put *ME* in charge (e.g. do not open this on a Mac again – try to run it under Windows, if you can, or – I don’t mind whether it’ s a-box or b-box). My initial impressions are quite favo(u)rable.

    Eventually, I might return to Open Office, once my “convert status” has been overcome :-)

  9. James T. Kirk©

    I’ve installed here MS Office 2004 (runs through Rosetta under SL), iWork ’09, OOo. 3, which I used the most until sofar and now I’ve took the plunge with Libre Office. First I held off s there was no localization for my language, but now it actually looks like OOo, I even used the same crystal icons. One thing is definitely different. Why does Libre use such an dull icon in the dock?
    BTW, thanks for the comparison!

  10. Thank you for this much-needed comparison. I came here as a long-time Pages user. Recently I’ve had problems with MS Word for Windows compatibility, and thought an open-source solution might be better at making reliable .doc files than Pages. After reading the comments, this doesn’t seem to be the case – but can anyone confirm that?

    I tried both Open Office and Neo Office years ago but didn’t care for the clunky interfaces and even clunkier performance. LibreOffice looks like a sleek alternative, but only if it writes .doc files that keep basic formatting when opened on a PC. Is this the case?

    Thanks for your astute comparison!

    • Pages does seem to be better at keeping most formatting compared to an open-source solution, at least when dealing with unusual formatting. As for creating them, they’re pretty equal but I think Libre or Open Office is better because when they only ask you once if you’re sure you want to save it as a .doc or .docx file, whereas Pages asks you every time because it wants you to save it as a Pages file.

      Otherwise, I’ve used OpenOffice and LibreOffice on mac and Windows all through high-school and even in my college career, and I haven’t had any major problems reading Word docs and almost none making my documents into the Word format. Hope this answers your question, and thanks for reading.

      • Thanks a lot! That’s extremely helpful. Just FYI – the problem I have is that I lose all italics from a Pages document if I export it as a .doc file. Saving as an .rtf solves that problem, but then leaves out more advanced formatting like text highlighting. There’s been another problem as well: some Firewalls recognize a Pages .doc file as made by a program other than Word and bounce the e-mail that has one as an attachment. I love the speed and cleanliness of Pages’ interface, but such basic cross-platform compatibility should really be part of the package.

        Thanks again so much for your very helpful article. Cheers!

  11. I’ve switched back to Open Office org. from Libre Office because of a stupid bug. I’m used to select a word or sentence under Writer and overwrite them with another word or a cut and pasted word or sentence. For some reason Libre Office (3.4.2.) freezes than and it takes a really long time (10-15 minutes!) before I can continue. Of course this is a horrible nuisance and I have to force quit and continue under OOo. There seems not to be any bug report, so I wonder if the makers are aware of the bug and I don’t know how to let them know. It seems not the case in Linux, as I have that on my net book and haven’t experienced such there.

    • I’ve never had that problem, nor have I heard of it, so it may just be a bug in your copy. You might try reinstallation or a permissions repair if you’re using a Mac. LibreOffice doesn’t have a built in bug report, so you might just go check out the forums on their site or email them about the bug if one of the above 2 methods doesn’t work.

  12. OK, I just did and repairing permissions, is what I had done before, so it should be good now. But, alas, it has problem still… I’ll look for the forum or so…

  13. BTW, why is it, one has to create username and passwords for every tiny little thing you want to share on internet? Even for filing a bug report I have to create a new registration, it’s just ridiculous! I think i will just NOT do that and forget about Libre Office. I just doesn’t make sense as one thinks “open source” should not need such… :-(

  14. Cocoa is more than just a style; it’s a complete toolkit that has a different language than Carbon, moving from Carbon to Cocoa is no easy feat.

    @adastra0 NeoOffice isn’t sharware. AFAIK I can put NeoOffice on my website for free download; the $10 just helps pay the bandwidth

    I use NeoOffice for it’s Mac integration; use of MacOS X’s own dictionary. I might take another look at LibreOffice though

    • I realize that saying it should get the Cocoa interface is easier said than done, and if it comes it will likely come in a bigger, say like version 3.5 or 4 of NeoOffice. I would just like to see it soon as possible as more Macs are running Leopard and higher versions of OSX and are abandoning the Carbon and Aqua interface.

    • Hey Josh ,
      I was wondering if you ever took another look at LibreOffice , and what your final thoughts were …..
      I would like to hear YOUR opinion as well.

  15. NeOffice has Grammar checking in NMacOS X 10.5+

  16. Finally found what should I install in my friend’s MacBook!! LibreOffice, I think, is the answer. Thanx a lot for the comparison!!

  17. Thank you for taking time to write the comparison. It was very helpful.

    Thank you.

  18. which one would keep the formatting in word tables if you wanted to work in the same file repeatedly on mac and windows? i.e., working in word on windows.

    • Your best bet is using the same program on each OS to do your editing (e.g. using Word on Mac & PC, OpenOffice on both, etc). However, both each of the free suites above do a fine job of maintaining formatting. LibreOffice has a better record in my book for keeping everything together. I will say that some stranger formatting options from Word or Pages may mess up slightly in the free suites, but rarely has it been illegible or out right horrid.

  19. Hey buddy, if you can update your article with opinions of newer versions, like NeoOffice 3.2.1.

    Thanks, great article and helps me to choose my editor :D

    • I should do that. Actually, I should probably update this article and repost it every once in awhile after a few version changes have come out, especially after their are any major feature updates.

  20. Hey thanks for the comparison. Well I just purchased mac around a year and a half ago and am using iWorks on it. It is pretty descent suite. I particularly like keynote. Its the best.
    Prior to macbook by main operating system was Slackware. I still use it now and then. I am mostly using Koffice on it.I know its not a great suite but the spreadsheet did work for me. I am simply lazy installing LibreOffice. For documents I simply use Emacs + Latex on slackware and Aquamacs + Latex on mac.

    After reading this article I think I will try LibreOffice on mac and slackware. Atleast it will give me some portability.

    BTW can we sync GoogleDocs or Zoho Docs in libreOffice?

    Thanks for reading my Rant. Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year

  21. Thanks for the comparison. I keep getting tempted to try LibreOffice, as NeoOffice’s increasingly money-grabbing behaviour is pissing me off, but I’m always put off by the horrible Java-esque fugliness, which still permeates the interface. NeoOffice’s interface is no beauty queen either, but at least it’s a bit OSX-like.

    One correction though. You say:

    “…But NeoOffice does have it’s own mobile application for iOS, so you can sync, read, and edit document on your iDevice…”

    NeoOffice’s IOS app is a viewer only and is tied to NeoOffice’s pointless online cloud storage service. There are not currently any iOS [or Android] apps, which allow the editing of ODT format documents. This is, I reckon, one of the biggest hurdles to mass adoption of the open document format, in this increasingly mobile and cloud-based world.

    Quote from NeoOffice’s neowiki:

    “…Native NeoOffice Mobile applications are also available for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 4 or higher) as well as Android devices. These applications require that you have a NeoOffice Mobile account and only support viewing, not editing, of your published documents…”

    I have read that LibreOffice are planning an iOS app, which will offer editing capabilities but, unfortunately it’s still at the Vapourware stage, at the moment. Someone really needs to pull this off soon, if the open document format is to have any future.

    • Thanks for the note about that. Originally reading about the app from NeoOffice’s webpage led me to believe that the iOS client allowed for editing. I’ll fix that error soon.

  22. Thank you for your blog. I have just recently formatted my MacBook and before I decided to install an open office software, I thought I would look at a comparison. I’ve only been using LibreOffice for the last 4-5 months, because once I updated to Lion, my version of Microsoft Office wasn’t compatible. Albeit, I was highly annoyed, but instead of purchasing the compatible version, I thought I should give open source a better chance. I’m so glad I did.

    I think your blog has just reconfirmed that my choice of open office was the right one. LibreOffice is so simple and easy to use and I’m not fussed about the ‘Cocoa’ look, I was more focussed on speed and it certainly delivers on that.

    Thanks again!

    • I’m really glad to hear that it helped you. I do like Microsoft Office, but open source stuff seems to have fewer problems for me when upgrading your OS. Plus I went through high school using Open Office, and I got through just fine. Now I’m using LibreOffice and minus the few issues I mentioned, it works just fine. I really think businesses and schools could really benefit from using open-source software like this more.

      • Yep, I agree about the use of open source software. It’s the only way I go now! With that said, if a product does really impress me and I see it being a valuable tool, I do donate to the cause, because without our support, we wouldn’t get such genius products.

  23. batallaej@gmail.com

    Thank you very much for your article.

    I’m a newcomer to Mac and the 1st thing I did was to disable character rendering (this is meaningful, just keep reading).
    2nd thing was to install LibreOffice, as my desktop keeps beeing Ubuntu.

    The (bad) surprise was to see in Writer how the line you`re editing keeps shaking and letters step one over the other. When you leave the line or update your screen, the apperance is correct.

    Dived into LibreOffice web, in the bug report page, I’ve seen someone has already reported it. It only happens on MAC if you disable character rendereing.

    The answer from LibreOffice is a coin with two faces. One one hand they say than developers will be put to work about it. On the other hand they say this is an old bug that people have learnt to live with.

    As I posted to LibreOffice, I think this is particullarly annoying. But as long as this is only an interface issue, and does not corrupt your document… i may learn to live with it.

  24. Great article and comparison. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together. Need your help/advice. I have a new MacBook Air 11″ with OS X 10.7.1 and OpenOffice 3.3.0. Every time my Mac goes to sleep after a few minutes of non-use with OpenOffice, when I log back in, I have all these error messages that it couldn’t go to sleep because OpenOffice wouldn’t quit and there are several document recovery panels open that are hard to close/cancel. Anyone experiencing this and/or know how to fix it?

  25. This really answered my problem, thank you!

  26. Great article! I’ve been using NeoOffice for years, but am becoming increasingly disillusioned with it. Maybe it’s about time I switch to LibreOffice.

    Thanks.

  27. NeoOffice is NOT shareware. Donations get you better support and access to new versions sooner. You can always download the previous version freely.

  28. Oh, and since you apparently have moderation enabled on this, why not flag the content-free “comments” with links, as the spam they obviously are?

  29. Why is your (this) page jerky to scroll?

  30. Jacqui Coosner

    I have recently switched from Windows with OpenOffice to Mac OS X Lion. I installed LibreOffice and then OpenOffice, but both of them crash repeatedly many times a day on simple standard tasks. So I installed NeoOffice, which has not crashed yet. But I have lost compatibility with the rest of our staff who are using Windows, because NeoOffice has different names for fonts. This is extremely irritating. I am tempted to install a VM with Windows just to run LibreOffice.

    • Are you sure you were using the most recent version of Libre and Open? Also make sure Java is up to date. These may help solve your crashing problems. When are the 2 programs crashing?

  31. This article is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you! Nacho Libre it is!

  32. If you are running Lion, you cannot install the older (free) versions of NeoOffice now and are required to donate to get a workable suite on your Lion updated machine. Not nice!

    • Gee Bob, for less than two cups of Starbuck’s coffee you get access to the latest version and updates for a year. You do understand it costs them money for network bandwidth and a server to host the files on. Ten dollars seems pretty reasonable, considering what it would cost you for Microsoft Office.

  33. Since NeoOffice began to ask me to “contribute” to get an update… they began to loose me. After reading this article, I decided it was time to try LibreOffice, for obvious reasons ;-)

  34. I really like NeoOffice and have found it to be far more stable and have less bugs than OpenOffice or LibreOffice. It is not true that you have to pay to download NeoOffice, although I do contribute because what I get is something of real value.

    As far as support, I pay $100 annually for it and it has been worth every penny. For any issue at all that comes along I gets almost immediate attention by the developer and he will often post a test patch within hours to see if it fixes the issue. Try getting that kind of support from a paid product like MS Office- you call, wait on hold for an hour, then get to speak to someone reading from a script who knows little about the software. Here I get the actual programmer.

    You can’t get that kind of response with OpenOffice or LibreOffice- you hope someone gets around to fixing the problem you post on a bug list at some future point. I realize it is not immediate because everyone is a volunteer at that is admirable and I am not knocking that. But for a businessperson who has to keep a business moving I can’t wait for some unknown future fix. To me an immediate is worth paying for, and in the case of NeoOffice, this developer needs to make a living if he is going to work full time to support it and is not something to deride. My vote is for NeoOffice.

  35. Great to find a blog I can understand (mostly)! I am on iMac with Lion, using Pages format and to insert photos into .txt files from WP5.1 for DOS. Attempting to create ebooks, starting with Kindle. Reading about Jutoh, looked like I needed OpenOffice to go between Pages and Jutoh. No recent reviews of OpenOffice for Mac…suspicious! So I found you all here…
    Q: Will Libre do whatever it is that Jutoh needed OpenOffice to do to make ebooks? I’m guessing that this is saving Pages files in Open Document Format to import into Jutoh.
    Thanks! this is such an informative blog!

    • The short answer is that LibreOffice will work perfectly fine with Jutoh and how you use it at the moment.

      After doing a little bit of reading, here’s how it works. Jutoh can take .odt documents (which is the default type for OpenOffice and LibreOffice) and turn them into ePub documents. However, images in OpenOffice sometimes save pictures in an obscure, older format type, which is why sometimes images don’t copy over. I’m not sure if LibreOffice also uses this same image format by default, but for the moment I will assume it will. Otherwise, you will be able to use it in the same way you have used OpenOffice.

      Out of curiosity, why have you chosen to start with Pages, go through OpenOffice, and then use Jutoh? Do you just like writing in Pages more than OO?

      • Hi Stuart, thanks so much for your quick reply!
        I am not enamoured with Pages–it’s what’s on my iMac and it’s less clunky than Word. I had never heard of OO and never used it–tho my husband, it turns out, uses it when his students turn in work in .odf.
        I’ve written for 2 decades on WordPerfect on DOS because it’s the best and Word made me tear my hair out. 5 years ago, a chronic illness I’ve had most of my life got way worse. I could hardly use a computer for 15 minutes. Wrote by hand or on AlphaSmarts. So I have a bunch of notebooks, and a bunch of .txt files, and a bunch of files in WP5.1 on DOS.
        I’m looking for the easiest, cheapest, best way to get my .txt files out of DOSBox and onto Kindle or whatever other ebook formats I can. I am very new to this. 5 years is a long time in computers…seems like every time I want to do something I have to get and learn a whole new program.
        I don’t even know this: when you say ePub, is that a particular format of ebook? or is it general e-publishing?
        thanks for the quesiton–I hope I didn’t bore you!
        If you know a better way I’d LOVE to hear about it! I’m sure you know that WordPerfect files converted to .txt and imported to Pages or Word have hard returns at the end of every line. The one file I’m working on in Pages is short enough to fix this by hand. Seems like Jutoh takes care of this; haven’t tried it yet tho.
        thanks for listening–
        Z

  36. Stephen B. Strum

    I am one of the original users of Microsoft Word for the PC. 5 years ago I switched to using Mac computers–a new and more wonderful computing world in my opinion. Although I have always liked Word I have gotten exhausted by “upgrades” insofar as cost and so much time to learn where stuff is that in the “update” was hard to find or to do. I tried OpenOffice. I was delighted with it. I then have moved to NeoOffice. Apart from the really ugly icons, I find NeoOffice “Writer” to be superior to Word in many ways. For me, a physician, I use Neoffice Writer to create an EHR (electronic health record) that does not cost billions of dollars and could save lives and vastly improve how medicine is practiced. The use of bookmarks, hyperlinks and especially the Navigator tool makes NeoOffice really wonderful. I plan to create a QuickTime movie on how I use Writer and upload it to YouTube.

    As far as the hot exchanges re cost of NeoOffice, let’s not be petty. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars for Microsoft Office plus a hundred or so every few years for the cost of upgrades, you can download NeoOffice for whatever the meager donation is that they are asking. I have been using Neo for about 3 years. I do not recall paying anything for it, but I would be glad to figure out a way to donate $100 for ten people if those ten really were hurting for $10. But, knowing human nature, I am sure that those moaning about $10 go out and buy a pizza and beer and drop a sawbuck.

  37. all that being said I found neooffice quite essential for its persian support (which I found lacking in microsuck office. I think openoffice too has the mentioned support which is invaluable for non-english users, who happen to be on mac.

  38. Stephen B. Strum

    I am still using NeoOffice per SnowLeopard on one computer, although I have Mt. Lion on another. All of my prior comments from 6 months ago have not changed. But let me clarify or emphasize a few issues:

    1. I use the NeoOffice counterpart to Word mostly. This is the Writer app within NeoOffice. I have not explored NeoOffice re PowerPoint or Excel counterparts. Being an original Microsoft Office user from the 80’s, the time it takes me to master apps like Excel and PowerPoint is just too costly.

    2. For me and many others, the upgrades offered throughout the computer world are often means to bill (charge) the user and not true upgrades. This is not just the case with apps but for operating systems. For example, I think Apple blew it BADLY with its so-called upgrades to Lion and Mt. Lion when Snow Leopard was an excellent OS and needed only a half dozen improvements e.g., a default search in Finder for filename or switching to a different finder app like Total Finder or PathFinder. The most egregious example of an “upgrade” that is really a downgrade is Microsoft taking a highly usable app like Word and making it so convoluted that the “learning” time outweighs the so-called updates.

    3. The Navigator tool in NeoOffice is so valuable I cannot believe that other apps have not copied this.

    4. The icons in NeoOffice do indeed suck badly. I have substituted many but a beautifully artistic icon set for NeoOffice would be welcomed. This is only a cosmetic issue but when using a program so often real pretty icons do become important. Any links to sites with specifics on icon sets for NeoOffice would be appreciated.

    5. For some reason, moving lines of text for me on NeoOffice’s Writer is not as easy as with Word. Maybe this is a function of my mouse, but I do not think so.

    6. Most of my colleagues still use Word. Highlighting of text in NeoOffice is not able to be unhighlighted in Word. Please help me solve this problem.

    I continue to use Writer instead of Word but I do save all my Writer docs as Word 97-2004 for ease in opening for other users. I do not see any problem with this.

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  45. Hello There, I have been using Open office for years and I am happy with it. Was using Word but after getting a mail to pay for new update, I decided to switch and I am happy with Open office. I just got a MacBook Air and was checking what people thought of open office for it and found your post. Well written and very informative. I do not know the neo program and feel that I will continue using Open office. I am a writer and in the process of doing a check on E.format and e.book etc.
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  1. Pingback: Great Mac OSX Freeware – Office Suites – Neo- or Libre- or Open? « Tech Tips 101

  2. Pingback: OS X and iOS productivity suites as free Office alternatives | AppleTell

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