NeoOffice/J Feature Comparison

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N.B. This information is a comparison of NeoOffice/J 1.1 to other office suites. For a comparison of the current version of NeoOffice to other office suites, please see NeoOffice Feature Comparison.

The advantages of NeoOffice/J over other office suites, particularly Microsoft's, are legion. Most importantly, NeoOffice/J is free and open source software relieving you of costly licensing fees.

There is a strong community support forum that is also frequented by the developers at


NeoOffice/J vs. Microsoft Office

Apart from these benefits, NeoOffice/J 1.1 has features that outshine Microsoft Office:

FeatureNeoOffice/JMS Office 2004 for Mac
Price (standard edition)$0.00$349.95
Type ahead functionality (optional) like many mobile phones haveYESNo
A logical, safe and suite-wide system for templates, so these are never accidentally updatedYESNo
Clean HTML code export (compliant with international web standards)YESNo
Unified User Interface, reducing learning time and costsYESNo
Localized user interface (number of languages)40*7*
International spelling checkers and localized help61**12**
Support for text entry in non-Roman scripts including South Asian, East Asian, right-to-left and complex text layout scriptsYESSome [1]
Supported scripts or languages:
Chinese (Simplified)YESYES
Chinese (Traditional)YESYES
Devanagari & Gujarati (Indic languages)YESNo
Roman (Western and Eastern European languages)YESYES
Roman (Hawaiian, Northern Sami)YESYES
Roman (Vietnamese)YESNo
Writer (word processor):
A logical style system that does not invent styles based on your layout choicesYESNo
Functional bullet/list numberingYESNo
The ability to import WordPerfect documents (thanks to the libwpd project)YESNo
Calc (spreadsheet):
More conditional layout options for cellsYESNo
Style-enabled layout system for text and cellsYESNo
Impress (presentation):
The ability to export to Flash animationYESNo
Superior (3D) font art possibilities.YESNo
* NeoOffice/J ships with UIs for 12 languages; the other 28 are freely available in language packs. Office 2004 is available in English (all versions of Office 2004), and in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish (for some versions of Office 2004; must be ordered separately) [2].
** NeoOffice/J includes help files and a growing number of writing (proofing) tools for many languages from the project [3], [4], [5], [6]. Microsoft Office 2004 ships with proofing tools for English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, German, Danish, Swedish, Portuguese, Finnish, and Dutch [7].
*** You must use the Caps Lock key to enable syllabics.
**** Because 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/J 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/J handles Khmer very well, and there has even been a report of using NeoOffice/J with characters in Unicode Planes 1 and 2.

NeoOffice/J vs. for Macintosh (X11)

NeoOffice/J is far more integrated with OS X than the X11 version on which it is based. Rather than relying on X11, NeoOffice/J uses Java to bridge the gap between the interface code and Apple's OS X.

FeatureNeoOffice/ for Mac (X11)
Uses your normal Mac fonts (no conversion required)YESNo
Smooth font display (Quartz anti-aliasing)YESNo
Allows international keyboards and input methodsYESPartial
Switches keyboards and input methods along with your MacYESNo
Optimized PDF generationYESNo
Native Aqua menusYESNo
Native OS X printingYESNo
Native (styled) copy and paste supportYESNo
Drag-and-drop between other applicationsYESNo
Normal Mac keyboard shortcuts (command key)YESYES*
Mouse wheel scrollingYES???
Integrated with Finder and major mail clientsYESPartial** codebase (version)***
Runs on Mac OS X 10.2.x, 10.3.x, 10.4.xYESYES***
* Available only with certain settings in Apple X11, which is available only to users of Mac OS X 10.3.x and 10.4.x
** Finder integration provided by separate Start application; integration with Apple Mail only
*** The official Mac OS X version of is available only in English, is based on the 1.1.2 codebase, and runs on Mac OS X 10.2.x, 10.3.x, and 10.4.x. Unofficial localized French (1.1.3), Japanese (1.1.2, 1.1.4) and German (1.1.4) versions are available, but these versions run only on Mac OS X 10.3.x or 10.4.x, depending on the version.

Still To Do

In all fairness, NeoOffice/J is not perfect. No software is. Along with relatively large RAM requirements (minimum 256MB, 512MB recommended), there is always room for improvement. NeoOffice/J can (and will) get better. Take a look at the following comparison:

Feature NeoOffice/J MS Office 2004 for Mac for Mac (X11)
Bitmap printing at >300 dpi No Yes Yes
Can print Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) No Yes Yes
Standard Mac OS X open & save dialogues No Yes No
Media (plugin) support No Yes No
Non-Mac keyboard shortcuts Some Some Some
Table drawing options Good Very good Good
Aqua look-and-feel Partial Full None

Other Comparisons

Additional feature comparisons between selected office suites and word processors are available at Mellel and other word processors (; compares Mellel with Microsoft™ Office,, and Nisus Writer Express, but not NeoOffice®/J) and Word-Alternativen: Der Test (; compares AbiWord, Mellel, NeoOffice®/J, Nisus Writer Express, and Apple's Pages [de]).

Supported File Formats

NeoOffice/J 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/J File Formats matrix.

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