Neo-Office or Open Office?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Schlangy, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. Schlangy macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hey guys,
    I got my WWDC 15" MacBook Pro!!!
    I don't have the money to spend on Microsoft Office or iWork.

    Which is better? Neo-Office, or Open-Office?

  2. maestro55 macrumors 68030


    Nov 13, 2005
    Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
    I run Neo-Office on both my Mac machines. It is basically OpenOffice designed to work better with Macs. I suggest going with it.
  3. H$R macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2008
    I think it's more a personal thing and that there isn't really one which is the better one.

    Personally I used NeoOffice from the beginning and it still satisfies all my needs.

    I think it was better before OpenOffice 3.0 got released but know I think they are about equal.

    Though that's just what I read in other threads because I only use NeoOffice myself.
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    NeoOffice is more Mac-like. OpenOffice is a couple of point grades ahead in its releases.
  5. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    I thought new machines come with iLife. :confused:
  6. andrew upstairs macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009
    Downtown Los Angeles
    Uh, they do. There's no office software in iLife.
  7. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    I think it's a bit of a misnomer to say one is more Mac-like than the other. NeoOffice's icons are a bit larger, so it scores points if you have a big monitor. But both programs offer "Exit" commands instead of "Quit" -- which would be a simple fix.

    Neither has a proper Page Setup dialog -- in part because the user has far greater control on output, but awfully confusing to someone who is looking for the essentials that all other Mac software has.

    Maybe I'm being too cranky -- it is free software after all -- but I'm getting less and less impressed with either Neo or Open office. They both take far too long to load. They both have unfathomable database units. Their graphics units are overloaded with features and yet they're nearly impossible to do anything useful with them.

    They both need someone to go from the ground up, pondering how the user interacts with the software. I realize it's a team of dedicated volunteers supporting this software; they deserve our commendation. But it's time for someone to say out loud that neither product is really all that good.

    If the OP need a free word processor, I suggest you look at Bean. If you need one of the other office units, check out

  8. MAC~n~Cheese macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2009
    I will soon be getting a new MBP and have found myself wondering these same questions. I haven't checked either of these "office" sites out yet, but in the mean time, anyone else have other thoughts on them? Newer/ better updates for either, etc, etc.

  9. keithOrbit macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2008
  10. dshafer macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
    Some Things to Consider

    I've used NeoOffice for several years, but have not yet upgraded to Version 3.0, which has been in beta for a while. I have also tried 3.x for Mac OSX. I love some things about Pages and Keynote in iWork. So I have perhaps an unusual perspective to offer. But I'll try to be brief.

    As for Neo vs. Open, for me the primary difference relates to integration with the OS. Neo is much more cleanly and seamlessly integrated. Things like Spotlight search, Address Book, spell-checking, and access to Mac Services are included in Neo, but not (at least yet) in Open. Because Neo is essentially its own fork of Open, it doesn't have to do things just so the code base will continue to be compliant with other platforms and i find that often makes enough of a difference to continue using Neo.

    While it is true, as someone said earlier, that both Neo and Open take a while to load, the load time isn't any slower than would be the case if you simultaneously opened, say, Word, Excel and PowerPoint or, for that matter, Pages, Numbers and Keynote. And you only have to load once, so I find that sort of a non-argument for the way I work.

    Pages, Numbers and Keynote are far and away the most Mac-like of the office "suites" (though it is not strictly speaking a suite). That's the Good News. The Bad News? Pages, Numbers and Keynote are far and away the most Mac-like of the office "suites." That means they work almost nothing like any other office productivity tool you've ever seen or used. While I really, really like Pages a lot, I find that for anything other than fairly simple documents, I spend too much time trying to figure out how to do things than doing them. If you aren't already steeped from decades of ingrained practice in one of the more standard interfaces, I'd go for the iWork tools. They really are good. But if you're an inveterate user of Word or Excel or Powerpoint or their Neo/Open equivalents, then you might find yourself really frustrated trying to learn their iWork relatives.

    BTW, I do a lot of moving documents between Neo and Office formats in both directions and very seldom run into a conversion issue. The same is decidedly not true of Pages, whose support for Office is marginally adequate but unfathomably bad at some points. The same is not true of presentations: PowerPoint back and forth between Neo and Keynote generally works very well.

    For me, Neo keeps on doing the job with a very good implementation of the MS standard as adapted to OS X. Support has been excellent (better now if you pay $25 or more in donations, which is strange but inevitable) and the community is absolutely first-rate.

    I'd be happy to answer other questions if you like.
  11. mkusafr macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
    Conversion to .doc

    I am adding to this forum because mabye my question will help others previously asked.

    I am rather new to Macs. So far I am extremely happy! After talking with the mac store employees, I had decided to go with the Mac version of Microsoft Office.... regret? My major problem/concern right now is conversion to word from Pages. Work in pages for me is slow because I'm learning it. I'm not hating it but it is slow as I have worked tons with Microsoft word on PCs. My major problem is compatibility issues sending my work to others - and dealing with their PCs. I have moved to the "other side".

    I am working on resumes and when I convert them to .doc it messes with it to a point that I am embarrassed sending it. Like the job field isn't hard enough right now! I know I can save as .pdf and do this when possible; however, some employers ask to receive the resume as a word document!

    Question 1 - I can't afford because I'm unemployed (unless I absolutely have to because it's making job searching hard... and I wonder at this point) to purchase Microsoft for Mac (esp. since I have the mac version already installed!) I've also heard that there are kinks also with it for macs - so is it worth it?

    Question 2 - Would OpenOffice solve my problem... the main concern is RESUMES! If I format a resume, will it open as a .doc on PCs without totally messing it?

  12. dshafer macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
    I can just about guarantee you that Neo or Open would work just fine for this. As I said earlier today, I, too, have experienced numerous formatting issues trying to move between Pages (which I dearly want to love and use) and .doc formats. But with Neo (my choice) I almost never have a problem and if I do it's something very minor.

    Even if you could afford it, I wouldn't buy Office for Mac. Bloatware and Neo is very nearly as good for free.

    At least that's my $0.02.;)
  13. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    Simple documents, like Resumes, should be fine using the Neo/Open office, however, if you are going to be emailing a resume in .doc format, I would make sure that it opens and looks right on Microsoft Word, on a Windows PC (go to your local library if you don't have that option at home). Don't loose the job over something silly like your resume not looking right on the system one is opening it up on.

    I would actually never send a resume in .doc format, unless someone specifically asked for that format. It is for this very reason. Too many chances that the formatting won't look quite right because the version of Word I used is different than the one someone else might be using. I've experienced this lots of time with these open source office suites and even many times with different versions of MS Word.

    I would create a PDF, which your Mac can do anyway, and send that. That way, you can use whatever program you want to create the resume and it's almost guaranteed that others will see it the way in which you intended.

    edit - sorry, I just saw that you mentioned employers sometimes ask for a word doc (which is just silly). I would then do whatever I had to in order to verify that it looked right using MS Word on Windows. Heck, I would do that even if I wrote the resume in Mac Office. Heck, I would probably send both a pdf and a word doc to employers that asked for word docs.
  14. dshafer macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
    Don't Overlook RTF

    Neo and Open (as well as Pages) will also allow you to save your files in Rich Text Format (RTF), which is a quasi-standard that is supported by every major word processing program including MS Word. Over the years, I've seldom seen RTF fail to carry the formatting correctly to its destination word processor.

    You might try creating a resume of as much complexity as you usually do, saving it in both RTF and .doc and then opening the resulting files in MS Word on a Windows machine and seeing which one renders more faithfully.

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