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NeoOffice 3.1.2

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NeoOffice Editor's Review

NeoOffice is a complete office suite that's based on OpenOffice.org.

Basically NeoOffice and OpenOffice are the same thing, but the packaging mode is a little bit different. OpenOffice runs under Apple's X11 implementation, while NeoOffice runs into a Java wrapper.

NeoOffice is more close to the Mac style of designing user interfaces. The X11 gives the possibility to the developers to create Mac OS builds of typical UNIX applications, but the usability of X11 isn't the best.

The package contains the same tools that you can find in OpenOffice. You can find there a document writer, a spreadsheet creator, a slideshow creator, a vector driving application, and a database application.

The better interface and the improved usability comes with a price though. The suite works a little bit slower that OpenOffice, even though it takes less time to load, because OpenOffice has to start X11 first in case it wasn't already running. This is the price you have to pay for those round and blue buttons.

Besides the features that you can find in OpenOffice, NeoOffice includes some extra features. Those features are: the handling of MS Office 2007 Word files, it can handle macros in Excel files, it can be integrated with Finder and Mail, it uses Mac OS X fonts, it can handle international keyboards, it has native printing support, native drag-and-drop support, and copy-paste native support.

Pluses: it provides you the OpenOffice's functionality plus the Mac style user interface; compared to OpenOffice it has some extra features.

Drawbacks / flaws: running under a Java wrapper makes it run slower than OpenOffice.

In conclusion: this suite brings the power of OpenOffice to the Mac users by using the Apple's philosophy upon the user interface designing. Even though it runs slower than OpenOffice, NeoOffice is a strong and Open Source alternative to Microsoft's Office suite.

version reviewed: 2.1

What's Required in Version 3.1.2 of NeoOffice

Intel Macs: Mac OS X 10.4 or later, PPC Macs: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

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