NeoOffice/J Press Kit

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N.B. This press kit covers NeoOffice/J 1.1, released in June 2005 (a press kit for NeoOffice 2.1 can be found at NeoOffice 2.1 Press Kit); the latest NeoOffice Press Kit can always be found here. We appreciate your interest in NeoOffice!


Writing a story about NeoOffice®/J?

This Online Press Kit offers press materials and additional background information relating to the release of NeoOffice®/J 1.1 (see NeoOffice®/J 1.1 Announcement). While the Press Kit gathers the most pertinent details and summaries, you will find useful related information elsewhere on this "wiki" web site.

Key Features

The NeoOffice®/J office suite is a powerful bundle of word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing applications for Mac OS X. Based on the latest stable codebase, NeoOffice®/J offers a full feature set that individual and business users alike expect from a complete office solution (see feature listing here).

NeoOffice®/J 1.1 extensively integrates with the Mac OS X experience. Key Macintosh features added to NeoOffice®/J but missing from include a standard Mac OS X installer, a native Aqua menu bar, use of the Mac OS X printing system, full clipboard support, drag-and-drop, Mac "command" key shortcuts, mouse scrolling, integration with major Mac email clients and native support for Mac fonts. NeoOffice®/J 1.1 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.2.x, 10.3.x, and 10.4.x.

Perhaps most significantly, NeoOffice®/J is free, open source software. By "free", we mean that unlike comparable office suites such as Microsoft™ Office, one may legally make and use as many copies of NeoOffice®/J as one likes—without expense or costly licensing fees. But "free" has a second meaning. NeoOffice®/J is open-source, meaning the source-code (the written set of instructions in computer language) has been "freed" for anyone to use, modify, or redistribute in accordance with a license created just for this purpose, the GNU General Public License (GPL).

NeoOffice®/J vs. Microsoft Office vs.

See our Feature Comparison page for a detailed comparison of three Mac office suites: NeoOffice®/J, Microsoft Office, and for Mac OS X (X11).

Graphics & Images

These NeoOffice®/J logos, icons, and screenshots are in medium- and high-quality. Feel free to use them in print and or web coverage of the NeoOffice®/J 1.1 release.

Medium- and High-Quality Logos, Headers, & Application Icons

Transparent PNG
(Logo/Application Icon)

NeoOffice®/J logo (PNG)
256x256, 72 dpi, 83 KB

(Logo/Application Icon)

NeoOffice®/J logo (JPG)
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NeoOffice®/J header (JPG)
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Background Information

History of NeoOffice®/J

NeoOffice®/J's story begins in 2000 when Sun Microsystems cancelled its Mac OS X port of StarOffice and donated the partially-completed project to the community. The former manager of the port, Patrick Luby, was on hand to help with the transition. Although he moved on to other jobs at Sun and ultimately to Planamesa Software, in his spare time Luby continued working to make run on Mac OS X without the X11 software used by other Unix variants to display Graphical User Interface (GUI) applications. Because the Java programming language was well-integrated with Mac OS X's "Aqua" interface, and because Luby had significant Java experience, he used Java to interface the core code with Mac OS X.

In 2002, two developers of the Mac OS X community porting effort, Edward Peterlin and Dan Williams, started an open source project at They needed a stable, unchanging codebase in order to make sweeping changes to for Mac-specific work, which wasn't possible under the development system employed by Peterlin and Williams worked on a new port, known today as NeoOffice®/C, using Mac OS X's native Carbon and Cocoa toolkits.

In June of 2003, Luby open-sourced his Java-based port, which was incorporated into Peterlin's project as NeoOffice®/J. The first NeoOffice®/J binaries and source code were made available on June 19, 2003. Throughout the summer of 2003, Luby and the community worked together to improve the application. By fall of that year, NeoOffice®/J 0.7 (based on the 1.0.x codebase) appeared with support for printing. The 0.7.x and 0.8.x releases that followed added full support for copy-and-paste, support for many languages, and other features and bug fixes. The final release of the NeoOffice®/J 0.x series, NeoOffice®/J 0.8.4, appeared on June 23, 2004, giving users a relatively stable version of the old 1.0.x codebase that offered a partially "native" Mac OS X experience.

Over the past year, Luby and Peterlin, with help from Williams and the community, moved NeoOffice®/J to the current 1.1.x codebase and added significant "native" Mac features, including drag-and-drop, use of the Mac OS X menubar and "Aqua menus," enhanced multilingual support, and dozens of smaller features and GUI improvements that make the application more at home in Mac OS X.

The June 22, 2005, release of NeoOffice®/J 1.1 (based on 1.1.4, the latest stable codebase) marks not only the culmination of a year-long version 1.1 development effort, but also several years of early "behind-the-scenes" trial and error by the developers, the testers, and the entire community.

As a result of this massive effort, today Mac OS X users finally have access to a stable version of the latest release that behaves—not completely, but to a very large extent—like a regular Macintosh application.

Work has already begun on the next release, which seeks to achieve more extensive "Aquafication". Future versions will also be ready for Apple's transition to the new Intel processor architecture.

For a more extensive history of NeoOffice®/J, the projects, and on Mac OS X, please see the "NeoHistory" article in this wiki.

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is NeoOffice®/J?
    NeoOffice®/J is a Mac OS X-native version of that runs on Mac OS X 10.2.x, 10.3.x, and 10.4.x. It looks (partially) like a "normal" Aqua Mac OS X application and does not require X11 software to run.
  2. Is NeoOffice®/J a Java application?
    No, NeoOffice®/J is 99% C and C++ code, just like NeoOffice®/J uses small amounts of Java code for graphics drawing and configuration.
  3. What is is both an open source project and a suite of office applications available for many operating systems and in many languages. The suite is largely feature-compatible with Microsoft Office. Sun Microsystems is the primary corporate sponsor of
  4. What is the relationship between NeoOffice®/J and
    NeoOffice®/J is part of the project, which is loosely affiliated with the project. NeoOffice®/J's primary developers were both main contributors to the port of to the X11 environment on Mac OS X, Patrick Luby as the manager of Sun's cancelled port of StarOffice to Mac OS X, and Edward Peterlin as lead developer of the Mac port of 1.0.x.
    NeoOffice®/J uses code (both core cross-platform code and Mac-specific non-X11 code produced by the Mac X11 porting team) under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), and the developers contribute bug-fixes in code shared by both applications back to the project. In addition to contributing bug-fixes, the NeoOffice®/J developers provide advice and assistance to the Mac X11 porting team from time to time.
  5. Why is NeoOffice®/J separate from's SISSL license allows companies to create proprietary products using While the creators of NeoOffice®/J have no problem with people making money selling software, they felt that the SISSL license would result in several proprietary Mac OS X versions of So, instead, the developers created a separate open source project that releases code under the GNU General Public License (GPL) to ensure that any improvements to NeoOffice®/J made by commercial organizations can be added back to NeoOffice®/J where it can benefit everyone and not just the commercial organization that made the improvement.
  6. Why is NeoOffice®/J released under the GNU General Public License (GPL)?
    NeoOffice®/J development is done entirely by volunteers. The developers of NeoOffice®/J believe that users of Mac OS X benefit from a free (both in cost and in usage rights) office suite, and they want to ensure that any improvements that are made to the NeoOffice®/J codebase are freely available so that everyone may benefit.

For more FAQs about the design and development of NeoOffice®/J, visit the NeoOffice®/J and Aqua page.

User Testimonials and Migration Stories

Migration to NeoOffice/J

When the World Scout Bureau's central office in Geneva, Switzerland, took delivery of 10 new Apple iMac G5 computers at the beginning of 2005, it was the ideal opportunity to assess whether migration to a free, open source office suite was a viable option for the 30-strong team working there.

"This release of NeoOffice/J 1.1 is a very welcome development," explains Ray Saunders, Director of Information Technology. "Minimising total cost of ownership is obviously important to an international voluntary organization, such as ours; however, the real benefits lie elsewhere. With NeoOffice/J now integrating seamlessly onto our Macs, our users here have joined the growing numbers worldwide who are very happy to work with the only truly multi-platform, multi-lingual office suite around. We can now build on this real-world experience by demonstrating in a very practical way to our 28 million Scouts worldwide that switching to open-standards based software is a genuine commitment to breaking down barriers between peoples and, ultimately, to building a better world.

"Migrating our users and their documents to NeoOffice/J has been straightforward. In fact, generally easier than I expected it to be! Visually, NeoOffice/J is very similar to what we had before - just a few items in different menus and some functions in Calc have different names from their Excel equivalents. On the whole, we've found what we needed to know either in the Help menu or in the manuals available from the documentation project. Of the hundreds of legacy word-processing documents we've opened, only a very few have required any attention to formatting discrepancies.

"We're now beginning to play to the strengths of NeoOffice/J, including its logical use of paragraph and page styles. For example, basic newsletters for which we would previously have only considered using desktop publishing software are now being prepared completely in NeoOffice/J. Once a styled template is ready, using NeoOffice/J greatly simplifies and shortens the production cycle while maintaining realistic standards and enabling more users to see their projects through from conception to realisation.

"With NeoOffice/J, we are easily able to produce multi-lingual presentations - for example, a mix of French, English and Arabic - with this free software and exchange them with our regional office colleagues working with Microsoft Office on their Windows computers in Cairo. That has felt incredibly liberating!

"I have no regrets about the decision we took back in January 2005. Realistically, the issues we've faced by migrating to NeoOffice/J have not been so very different from similar issues which we would have faced anyway by following the more conservative and costly upgrade path for our previous office suite. The results speak for themselves. They give us the confidence to proceed to the next phase which will be to migrate our other 11 offices around the world to NeoOffice/J and I hope our positive experience can serve as an encouragement to others."

Ray Saunders
Director, Information Technology
World Scout Bureau

Examples of documents migrated from Adobe PageMaker to NeoOffice/J

During the past three years, the World Organization of the Scout Movement has published a series of Promising Practices giving diverse examples of the many ways in which Scouts around the world are responding to the strategic priorities of the movement.

  • First, an example of an earlier edition, produced using Adobe PageMaker, featuring a project to improve the living and working conditions of working children through improving their talents, health, education and vocational skills undertaken by the Egyptian Scout Federation: The Child Labour Project in Egypt

The World Scout Bureau offices are located in Belgrade, Brussels, Cairo, Cape Town, Dakar, Geneva, Manilla, Moscow, Nairobi, Santiago and Yalta.

Just to let you know - I've been using Neo[Office/J] with patch 6 as my routine office working app since the patch was released. I can't find a bug so far using native and M$ [Microsoft Office] format files in the word processor and the spreadsheet. Everything that's been switched to Apple behaviour behaves as Apple Apps should, and everything else is OOo [] 1.1.x, indistinguishable from my W32 [Windows] box at work.

Cheers, Phil

in a post on the trinity forums, June 2005 [1]

[A]s far as [I]'m concerned [NeoOffice/J] now does everything I want it to do. Just for the record, I'm a writer, I did English at university: I have no use for spreadsheets &c, I want something that can handle large text documents and not crash and not slow down inexplicably after a few hours: this is usually when I'm writing fastest. This is why I gave up on MS Word.

user edwardfox in a post on the trinity forums, June 2005 [2]

For other testimonials and user reviews, visit the NeoOffice®/J listing on the popular Mac software download sites VersionTracker and MacUpdate.


Over the years, a vibrant NeoOffice®/J community has emerged at ("trinity"), where users and developers offer support, bug reporting, beta-testing, artwork, documentation, etc.

The community is a ever-expanding group of active users from all over the world who aid in the development, support and advocacy processes:

  • writing NeoWiki articles that answer common requests for user assistance and support.
  • answering questions and providing user support on the trinity forums.
  • testing patches and filing bugs.
  • translating the website and the wiki articles into several languages.
  • working on new GUI (toolbar) icons.
  • promoting NeoOffice®/J on the web, among friends and anywhere else.
  • providing download mirrors and BitTorrent seeding.
  • donating financially to help offset the costs of bandwidth and development.


While the combined efforts of dozens of people have made possible the development of NeoOffice®/J and the 1.1 release, certain individuals have made sustained or key contributions to the code, infrastructure, and other areas of the NeoOffice®/J project. These individuals and their roles or contributions are briefly profiled below.

Patrick Luby

Patrick Luby (AKA pluby) is the creator and primary developer of NeoOffice®/J. He resides in Sunnyvale, California with his wife. He was the lead engineer for Sun's effort to port StarOffice to Mac OS X as well as the lead engineer for the Tomcat Servlet Container within Sun's Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) development group.

Patrick now owns and runs his own software consultancy firm called Planamesa Software, specializing in short-term software development and debugging services in the San Francisco Bay area.

Edward Peterlin

Edward Peterlin (AKA OPENSTEP) is a graduate of Princeton University with an engineering degree in Computer Science and a certificate in Engineering Physics. He is the founding developer of the community Mac OS X (X11) porting effort and a co-founder of and main developer of NeoOffice®/J. He also provides much of the development and community infrastructure: the CVS server, the trinity forums, and the website. Ed also wrote NeoLight, the plugin for Mac OS X 10.4's Spotlight search engine, that ships with NeoOffice®/J 1.1. He resides in Santa Barbara, California. As a lead developer on the Mac OS X port of 1.0.x, Ed has been using Writer, Impress, and Calc on his Macs since 2000. He has presented at many conferences including Apple's WWDC, O'Reilly's Mac OS X Conference, and Linspire's Desktop Linux Summit.

Ed is the lead Macintosh developer at BIOPAC Systems, Inc. and has many other interests, as demonstrated on his personal website.

Dan Williams

Dan William (AKA fa) is a co-founder of and a developer of NeoOffice®/J. He also provides and maintains the NeoOffice Bugzilla bug-tracking system. While Dan is not actively coding on NeoOffice®/J at the moment, he still helps out with bug triage, supplies an occasional patch, and keeps us appraised of many developments within Dan was a main developer on the 1.0.x Mac port.

Dan works on with Red Hat.

Jacob Haddon

Jacob Haddon (AKA jakeOSX) is a long-time member of the community. He hosts and administers the NeoWiki and is working on setting up infrastructure to allow multilingual interlinked versions for our global audience. Back before the demand for NeoOffice®/J required 50 GB/day of bandwidth, Jacob also mirrored the NeoOffice®/J binaries; now he just moonlights as the webmaster. Jacob also put together the launch shortcuts for quick launching into the NeoOffice®/J application of your choice. In real life, he's a rocket scientist and author.

Fridrich Å trba and the libwpd development team

Fridrich Štrba is one of the main authors of the libwpd and writerperfect libraries used by NeoOffice®/J for import of WordPerfect™ documents; he integrated code written by the entire libwpd development team into NeoOffice®/J. Fridrich is a founder of the project to port Ximian/Novell Evolution to Windows and is a contributor to several other open source projects.

Outside of his open source endeavours, Fridrich works as a system engineer/network administrator of a research organization, admininstering a mix of Windows clients and Linux servers.

Max Barel

Max Barel (AKA Max_Barel) wrote the original AppleScript help installer for NeoOffice®/J 1.1, greatly simplifying the process of installing the localized help files available for several languages. He also takes the lead in answering French-language user support questions. Max spent over a decade as a developer and professor in programming and systems administration, and he currently works as a freelance system engineer and programmer [fr] for Mac OS X, Linux and PHP/MySQL.

Dan Bennett

Dan Bennett (AKA foxcorner) designed the new splash screen for NeoOffice®/J 1.1 just to see if he could, and he did the Aqua application icon simply because he wanted to know how it's done. Looked cool, and got adopted (the artwork, that is, not Dan). But he should probably keep his day-job in Hewlett-Packard's workstation division, working with high-end graphics solutions for automotive styling.

Smokey Ardisson

Smokey Ardisson (AKA sardisson) is the NeoOffice® champion of end-user support. He is responsible for bringing a large part of this information into the NeoWiki and also leads the NeoOffice® advocacy effort. The NeoOffice®/J document icons displayed by the Finder are also his work. By day he is a doctoral candidate in Middle Eastern and African history in Washington, D.C.

Aelitis of France has graciously offered to provide BitTorrent tracking and seeding for NeoOffice®/J, helping to alleviate the crushing bandwidth demands on the download mirrors.

NeoOffice® is a registered trademark of Edward H. Peterlin. Other product and company names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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