and its Macintosh ports

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[edit] (OOo) is the "main" office suite, written primarily for Solaris, Linux and Windows, with the most developers and users. The project provides the source code from which many other versions are derived, including Sun's proprietary StarOffice. is currently at version 3.0.

[edit] Aqua

Beginning with 3.0, Sun and engineers introduced an official native Mac OS X version, Aqua, and Sun released StarOffice 9 for Mac OS X (Intel) based on this version. Sun build an official Aqua 3.0 release in English for Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5, but community builds are available for PowerPC Macs and other languages.

[edit] NeoOffice

The best, fastest, most Macintosh-like port to date, NeoOffice (formerly "NeoOffice/J"), uses bits of Java and Cocoa instead of X11 to display to the screen and bits of Cocoa and Carbon for other features like printing, menus, fonts, and Aqua widgets. Because Java is so well integrated into Mac OS X, NeoOffice feels much more "Mac-like" than the X11 version. There are numerous improvements over the X11 version—native menus along the top menu bar, native OS X fonts, the print dialog screen you're used to seeing, scrollwheel support, traditional Mac shortcut keys, drag-and-drop, Aqua scrollbars, and so forth. Beginning with NeoOffice 2.1, NeoOffice also incorporated new features and bug-fixes from the odf-converter project and Novell's ooo-build version of for Linux. While Aqua has narrowed the gap in the area of Mac look-and-feel, NeoOffice still includes numerous Mac-specific features and bugfixes missing from Aqua. NeoOffice is also extremely stable. As of August 2008, the latest version is NeoOffice 2.2.5.

[edit] Discontinued Ports

[edit] Mac OS X (X11) (abandoned late 2008) was a very stable port of the office suite that ran on Mac OS X and used the standard Unix X11 display system. That is, to use, you must have had Apple's X11 system installed on your computer or have used another X11 package.

Apple's X11 is available for Mac OS X 10.3.x and above; it is normally installed in /Applications/Utilities; for more information on obtaining X11 packages and Mac OS X (X11), see Downloading X11 and was entirely functional and looked like its Unix counterpart, but it did not use native Mac controls or fonts. For many Mac users, looked and felt "out of place" when compared with other Macintosh applications. The official Mac OS X build of varied depending on language and processor; the last version, 2.4.1, was available in English and other languages, for both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

Beginning with 3.0, developers removed the ability to build an Xll-based application on Mac OS X and introduced a native Mac OS X application, Aqua.

[edit] RetroOffice (discontinued late 2008)

RetroOffice was a version of that used X11 to run but included enhanced features and bug-fixes not found in Mac OS X (X11). RetroOffice was released by and contained certain Mac-specific features and bug-fixes from NeoOffice, as well as new features and bug-fixes from the odf-converter project and Novell's ooo-build version of for Linux.

Like Mac OS X (X11), RetroOffice looked like its Linux counterpart and did not use native Mac controls or fonts. RetroOffice was available in all the same languages as NeoOffice and ran on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. However, RetroOffice was completely unsupported. Beginning with 3.0, developers removed the ability to build an Xll-based application on Mac OS X, thereby leading to discontinue RetroOffice.

[edit] NeoOffice/C (abandoned late 2004)

The goal of this highly-experimental port was to prototype methods of making a fully Aquafied program and a 'first class citizen' on the Mac OS X desktop. The code is based on the 1.1 version of NeoOffice/C would build on Mac OS X 10.2.x and 10.3.x but was at the pre-Alpha stage and was extremely buggy; it ran only on Mac OS X 10.2.x and then only for a few minutes before crashing. With the release of NeoOffice/J 1.1 Alpha, NeoOffice/C ceased development, as resources are being channeled into NeoOffice/J 1.1 and its successors, NeoOffice 1.2 and 2.1.

[edit] Which one should I use?

Most Macintosh users who are looking for a good office experience should give NeoOffice a try. NeoOffice offers many Mac-specific features not present in and includes many enhancements from the ooo-build project that are not yet available in the main version of, and is available for both PowerPC and Intel Macs in dozens of languages.

If you always need to have the latest version or need to take advantage of Sun's paid support options, you should use Aqua.

You can also look at the comparison charts for more detailed comparisons.

Hope this helps!

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