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NeoOffice 3.3 Feature Comparison

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Last updated: 19 September 2012

N.B. This page compares NeoOffice 3.3 to LibreOffice 3.6 and Microsoft Office 2011. To see the version of this page comparing NeoOffice 3.1.1 with then-current versions of OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office 2008, see NeoOffice 3.1.1 Feature Comparison.

NeoOffice has many advantages over other office suites, including, in some cases, Microsoft's Office. Most importantly, NeoOffice is free and open source software, relieving you of costly licensing fees. The NeoOffice community also offers support options, including the documentation in this wiki and read-only access to the forums, where priority support is available for NeoOffice donors.

At the same time, other office suites also contain features missing in NeoOffice which may be indispensable to your work, and your purchase of commercial software generally assures the software has passed professional quality assurance and typically entitles you to professional technical support.

This page attempts to provide a balanced, but by no means complete, comparison of NeoOffice with two comprable office suites, Microsoft Office and LibreOffice, to help you make a more informed decision when evaluating office software. Some other software developers have similar comparison pages; those we are aware of are linked below.

[edit] NeoOffice vs. Microsoft Office vs LibreOffice

As an open source project, NeoOffice is free to incorporate useful code from other open source projects that corporate products often cannot use. In turn, this allows NeoOffice to react to needs of its users in ways that others are unable to match.

NeoOffice is also far more integrated with Mac OS X than the Mac releases of LibreOffice. Rather than relying on the vision and goals of the Linux developers behind LibreOffice to determine features, NeoOffice includes many features designed specifically for Mac OS X and requested by NeoOffice donors.

Apart from these benefits, NeoOffice has features that outshine Microsoft Office and LibreOffice:

[edit] Price, System Compatibility, and Version

Feature NeoOffice 3.3 Microsoft Office 2011 LibreOffice 3.6
Price (single user, standard edition) $10.00 $199.99 $0.00
Officially available for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs Image:redX.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Minimum Mac OS X version 10.6.8 10.5.8 10.4.11
64-bit application Image:redX.png Image:redX.png Image:redX.png
OpenOffice.org codebase (version) ooo-build 3.1.1 N/A LibreOffice 3.6
Mac OS X codebase in use since 2003 2001 2011
Bug fixes released Weekly to biweekly Every 2-3 months Every 3 months

[edit] Mac OS X Integration

Feature NeoOffice 3.3 Microsoft Office 2011 LibreOffice 3.6
Aqua look-and-feel Good Full Some
Aqua-style icon set Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Non-Mac keyboard shortcuts Some Some Some
Standard Mac keyboard shortcuts for document navigation Some Image:GreyQuestion.png Some
Option key available as shortcut modifier key Partial Image:check.png Partial
Native toolbar buttons Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Native context and overflow menus Image:redX.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Native floating palettes Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Native highlighting for selections Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Menus available when no document window is open Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Document proxy icon in the titlebar Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Ability to move or rename open documents Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Document contents searchable by Spotlight Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png*
Quick Look support Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png*
High-quality Quick Look previews Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Sharp, high-quality text on Retina displays Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Installs on Mac OS X 10.8 with Gatekeeper Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Uses Mac OS X spelling checker and dictionaries for supported languages Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Uses Mac OS X 10.5+ grammar checker for supported languages Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:redX.png
Support for magnify and swipe gestures on multi-touch trackpads Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:redX.png
Support for using an Apple Remote when displaying presentations Image:check.png Image:GreyQuestion.png Image:GreyQuestion.png
Media (audio and video) support Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Media browser, providing easy access to iLife images, sounds, and video Image:check.png** Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Image Capture support, for inserting images directly from scanners and digital cameras Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:redX.png
Reads and writes files on AFP and SMB volumes and iDisks Image:check.png Image:check.png Partial**
Native (styled) copy and paste support Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Drag-and-drop between other applications Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Support for Mac OS X Services Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
AppleScript support Image:redX.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Integrated with Finder and major mail clients Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Usable with accessibility tools such as iListen, Proloquo, ViaVoice, and others Image:check.png Image:check.png(?) Image:redX.png
Support for the Mac OS X accessibility framework Image:redX.png Image:check.png(?) Image:check.png
Reads from the Mac OS X Address Book as a datasource Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:redX.png
Reads from the Thunderbird Address Book as a datasource Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:redX.png
Notes
* NeoOffice includes the NeoLight Spotlight Importer and the NeoPeek Quick Look importer; LibreOffice also includes a Spotlight importer. On Mac OS X 10.5, Apple includes OpenDocument Text (.odt) files in the file types natively supported by Spotlight and Quick Look.
† Requires the Office for Mac 20011 version 14.2.4 update.
‡ Retail version.
** LibreOffice is missing support for iDisk and webdav volumes and also is missing support for using Base .odb files on any remote volume.

[edit] General Features

Feature NeoOffice 3.3 Microsoft Office 2011 LibreOffice 3.6
Type ahead word-completion (optional), similar to features found in mobile phones Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
A logical, safe and suite-wide system for templates, so these are never accidentally updated Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Clean HTML code export (compliant with international web standards) Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Support for international standard ISO 26300 OpenDocument file formats Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Support for Office Open XML formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx) produced by Microsoft Office 2007 and greater Image:check.png* Image:check.png* Image:check.png*
Unified User Interface, reducing learning time and costs Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Optimized PDF generation Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:redX.png
EPS preview, printing, and PDF export Image:check.png Image:check.png(?) Image:check.png
Smoother text kerning Image:check.png N/A Image:redX.png
Online document sharing service Image:check.png** Image:check.png** Image:redX.png
UI for choosing which component appears on launch Image:check.png N/A Image:redX.png
Notes
* NeoOffice and LibreOffice include support for reading and writing Word 2007 (.docx), Excel 2007 (.xlsx), and PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) files using code from the ooo-build project. Office 2011 includes native support for reading and writing OpenXML file formats.
† LibreOffice 3.6 does not support embedding EPS files in PDF files created when using the Export as PDF function.
‡ NeoOffice 3.0.2 and later include text kerning improvements that result in a smoother, more uniform appearance compared to text positioning in LibreOffice.
** NeoOffice Mobile allows users to securely share NeoOffice files with other users and other computers, publish directly from within NeoOffice, and view published documents using secure connections from regular web browsers or web-enabled mobile devices (including native iOS and Android NeoOffice Mobile apps), or from NeoOffice itself. Both free and paid accounts are available; see the NeoOffice Mobile site for more information. Paid NeoOffice Mobile accounts also allow NeoOffice to open and save files from Google Docs.
Microsoft's Office 365 is a paid, business-oriented suite of online office applications as well as web-based file storage that is compatible with Office 2011. Microsoft's SkyDrive is a web-based file storage service that appears to integrate with Office 2011 via a separate application and web browser plug-ins.

[edit] Internationalization and Localization

Feature NeoOffice 3.3 Microsoft Office 2011 LibreOffice 3.6
Localized user interface and help files (number of languages) 34* 14* 109*
International spelling checkers 88† 17† 88†
Support for text entry in non-Roman scripts, including South Asian, East Asian, right-to-left and complex text layout scripts Image:check.png Some [1] Image:check.png
Supported scripts or languages:
Arabic Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Armenian Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Cyrillic Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Cherokee Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Chinese (Simplified) Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Chinese (Traditional) Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Devanagari & Gujarati (Indic languages) Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Greek Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Hebrew Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Inuktitut Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Japanese Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Korean Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Roman (Western and Eastern European languages) Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Roman (Hawaiian, Northern Sami) Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Roman (Vietnamese) Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Tamil Image:check.png Partial[2] Image:check.png
Thai Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Other Likely** Unknown Likely**
Notes
* NeoOffice ships with UIs for US English, French, German, and Italian; UIs for the other 30 languages are freely available in language packs.
Office 2011 is available in Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish [3].
LibreOffice 3.6 is officially available in US English for Intel or PowerPC Macs, with 108 other languages available as language packs.
† NeoOffice uses the native Mac OS X spell-checker by default. If there is no native spell-checker dictionary available for a language, NeoOffice will fall back to Hunspell dictionaries. An ever-growing number of writing (proofing) tools for many languages are available from the OpenOffice.org project [4].
Microsoft Office 2011 ships with proofing tools for Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (US/UK/AU/CA), Finnish, French (FR/CA), German (DE/AT/CH), Italian, Japanese, Norwegian (NB/NN), Polish, Portugese (PT/BR), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish [5].
‡ LibreOffice requires manual selection of an appropriate Arabic script font in order to correctly display Arabic text.
** Because the core OpenOffice.org code includes support for languages and scripts which do not have keyboard layouts in Mac OS X, and because Mac OS X includes system-level Unicode support for many of these languages even though Apple does not ship fonts or keyboards, it is very likely that NeoOffice and LibreOffice will support text entry (and perhaps sorting) in the language/script if one installs third-party Unicode fonts and keyboard layouts. See Tom Gewecke's Your Multilingual Mac for more resources. For instance, there is a report that NeoOffice handles Khmer very well, and there has even been a report of using NeoOffice with characters in Unicode Planes 1 and 2.

[edit] Word Processor

Feature NeoOffice 3.3 Writer Microsoft Office Word 2011 LibreOffice 3.6 Writer
A logical style system that does not invent styles based on your layout choices Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Functional bullet/list numbering Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
The ability to import WordPerfect documents Image:check.png* Image:redX.png Image:check.png*
The ability to import Microsoft Works word processing documents Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Table drawing options Good Very good Good
Notes
* Thanks to the libwpd project.
† Experimental support; not all versions of the format are supported and some formatting may be lost. Thanks to the libwps and ooo-build projects.

[edit] Spreadsheet

Feature NeoOffice 3.3 Calc Microsoft Office Excel 2011 LibreOffice 3.6 Calc
More conditional layout options for cells Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Style-enabled layout system for text and cells Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Support for linear programming extensions for spreadsheets Image:check.png* Image:check.png Image:check.png*
Support for Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Notes
* Thanks to the ooo-build project.
† Microsoft announced in August 2011 that the Solver is available again as a stand-alone application that is downloadable for free by Excel 12.1.2 users.
‡ Experimental support; all macros may not work perfectly. Thanks to the ooo-build project.

[edit] Presentation

Feature NeoOffice 3.3 Impress Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2011 LibreOffice 3.6 Impress
The ability to export to Flash animation Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Superior (3D) font art possibilities. Image:check.png Image:redX.png Image:check.png
Support for playing QuickTime-supported audio and video Image:check.png Image:check.png Image:check.png
Notes

[edit] Performance Comparisons

Comparison of these office suites performing a number of different tasks can be found on the NeoOffice Performance Comparison page.

[edit] Supported File Formats

NeoOffice can read and write a large variety of file formats, both current and legacy. Current and recent Microsoft Office file formats are just some of the import and export possibilities; for a more complete listing, see the NeoOffice File Formats matrix.

[edit] Still To Do

In all fairness, NeoOffice is not perfect. No software is. Along with relatively large RAM requirements (minimum 512 MB, 1 GB or more recommended), there is always room for improvement.

[edit] Other Comparisons

Additional feature comparisons between selected office suites and word processors are available at Mellel: Competitive Comparison (redlers.com; compares Mellel 2.0 with Microsoft Office 2004, OpenOffice.org 2.0.x, and Nisus Writer Express 2.7, but not NeoOffice) and Word-Alternativen: Der Test (apfelwiki.de; compares AbiWord 2.4.5, Mellel 2.2, NeoOffice 1.2.2/2.0.3 Aqua Beta, Nisus Writer Express 2.7, and Apple's Pages 2.0.2 [de]).

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