NeoOffice is a complete set of office applications for Mac OS X. Since 2003, the NeoOffice engineers - Patrick Luby and Ed Peterlin - have been continually adding improvements to NeoOffice that our Mac OS X users will not find in OpenOffice or LibreOffice such as:
- Mac OS X Gatekeeper
- Mac OS X Versions
- Mac OS X Full-Screen mode
- Significant speed improvements to the OpenOffice and LibreOffice text layout, rendering, and printing code
- Native Mac OS X text highlighting
- Native file locking support for local and networked volumes
- Mac OS X Services support
- Native floating tool windows
- Extremely stable Mac OS X code that has been in daily use by thousands of users
New in NeoOffice 3.3
This release adds several new features:
Apple now ships Mac machines with Retina displays.
While text appears very blurry on a Retina display in applications that have not added support for Retina displays, the NeoOffice engineers have added code to draw text properly on Retina displays.
The top screen snapshot shows how our Retina display code draws high resolution text on a Retina display. In contrast, the bottom screen snapshot shows how text drawing appears in applications that do not support Retina displays.
Apple's Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion contains many changes. To ensure that NeoOffice will run smoothly on this new version of Mac OS X, the NeoOffice engineers have dedicated a significant amount of time testing NeoOffice on all "developer preview" versions of Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion to find and fix any changes that affect NeoOffice before Apple's official release of Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
Also in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple has added a new feature called Gatekeeper that is designed to help prevent Mac users from installing malicious software on their machine. To ensure that NeoOffice will install and run on machines using Gatekeeper's default settings, the NeoOffice engineers have digitally signed all NeoOffice installers and binary files so that Gatekeeper can verify that the NeoOffice engineers are registered Apple software developers. The NeoOffice engineers digitally sign NeoOffice using our legal corporate name - Planamesa Inc. - so only NeoOffice installers signed by Planamesa Inc. should be trusted.
NeoOffice now uses Apple's Cocoa framework to display windows, manage menus, and print. This new Cocoa code replaces the Java code that performed these functions in previous versions of NeoOffice. The new Cocoa code improves NeoOffice's startup and printing speed. It also removes the need for Java - a technology that Apple has begun been phasing out of Mac OS X - for most NeoOffice users. Java is now only used to open Base database files and to run a small number of NeoOffice's many wizards.
French, German, and Italian users no longer need to install a language pack. In previous versions of NeoOffice, users who wanted to see NeoOffice's menus, buttons, and help text in French, German, or Italian needed to install a language pack. While most users download NeoOffice from an English speaking country, a large number of our users download from French, German, and Italian speaking countries. By adding these three languages to the main installer, we estimate that 95% of NeoOffice users will not need to install a language pack.
Below is a list of some of the Mac OS X features requested by our users that are in NeoOffice 3.3 but are not in OpenOffice or LibreOffice:
In Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple has added a new feature called Versions that allows applications to save and restore previous versions of your document. Using this new feature, saving a document causes Mac OS X to keep a copy of your document before any changes are saved so that you can restore any of the previous versions of your document.
The NeoOffice engineers have implemented this new Mac OS X feature and saving a file will automatically keep a copy of your document before any changes are saved. Also, by selecting NeoOffice's new "Revert to Saved" menu, you will be able to restore any of the previous versions of your document in Apple's document version browser.
In Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple has added a new feature called Full-Screen mode that allows users to expand a window to fill the entire screen by clicking a new button in the window title bar.
The NeoOffice engineers have implemented this new Mac OS X feature and pressing the new button or selecting NeoOffice's existing View :: Full Screen menu will cause a document to enter Full-Screen mode.
In Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple has added a new feature called Resume that allows applications to automatically reopen the documents that were open the last time that the application quit. This new feature helps Mac OS X users avoid the tedious process of reopening their documents after launching an application.
The NeoOffice engineers have implemented this new Mac OS X feature and NeoOffice will automatically reopen any documents that you had open the last time that NeoOffice quit immediately after NeoOffice has been launched. Also, NeoOffice users who do not like this new Mac OS X feature, will be able to disable this feature by selecting NeoOffice's new NeoOffice :: Mac OS X Options :: Disable Mac OS X Resume menu.
NeoOffice draws highlighted text the same as Apple's Safari and TextEdit applications. Recent versions of OpenOffice and LibreOffice attempt to emulate native Mac OS X text highlighting by drawing a very light shade of the system highlight color on top of the highlighted text. However, many of our users have requested that we support full native Mac OS X text highlighting behavior in NeoOffice so we have rewritten the text highlighting code in NeoOffice's underlying OpenOffice code to draw highlighted text the same as Apple's various Mac OS X applications. The following screen snapshots show how NeoOffice's text highlighting behavior compares to OpenOffice's and LibreOffice's behavior:
Text highlighting in NeoOffice Text highlighting in OpenOffice and LibreOffice
The NeoOffice :: Open at Launch menu allows you to choose which type of document to open when NeoOffice is launched. By default, NeoOffice opens a Writer document when launched. However, many of our users have requested that we provide an easy way to make a different document type such as Calc or Impress open when NeoOffice is launched so we have added the NeoOffice :: Open at Launch menu.
When a user selects one of the document types listed in this menu, NeoOffice will open the selected document type the next time that you launch it. Also, users can select the "- None -" menu item to only show the Mac OS X menubar when NeoOffice is launched. The screen snapshot to the right shows the NeoOffice :: Open at Launch menu with Calc set as the document type to open at launch.
NeoOffice Mobile provides a way to securely share NeoOffice files with other users and other computers. It works by allowing you to "publish" a document from within NeoOffice to the NeoOffice Mobile server using a secure, encrypted connection. Once documents are published, they can be viewed using secure connections from regular web browsers or web-enabled mobile devices. Also, NeoOffice users can open previously published documents directly in NeoOffice.
Anyone can create a free NeoOffice Mobile account. Free accounts can upload and view documents but they are limited to only 100 megabytes of storage and their documents expire after 30 days. This allows users to try out NeoOffice Mobile and use it for temporary storage. NeoOffice users, in contrast, have access to the complete set of features. For more information on the features that each type of account has access to, please visit the NeoOffice Mobile pricing page.
NeoOffice now uses Apple's Core Text text layout and rendering functions. In contrast, OpenOffice and LibreOffice use Apple's obsolete ATSUI functions. The Core Text functions are up to twice as fast as the ATSUI functions and the Core Text functions provide improved text layout and rendering for many Windows OpenType fonts.
OpenOffice and LibreOffice stopped using native file locking and started using custom, non-native file locking code. Since most office suite applications use native file locking, their custom, non-native code caused frequent problems when users on different machines were editing the same file on a networked volume. We have restored native file locking in NeoOffice and now file locking should work the same as it did in NeoOffice 2.2.6.
In NeoOffice, many of the menus within the NeoOffice :: Services menu will be enabled whenever you highlight data in your document. When you select any of the submenus in the NeoOffice :: Services menu, the highlighted data will be sent to the Mac OS X application that matches to the Services menu that you select. NeoOffice also supports Mac OS X services that change the highlighted data in your document.
Many Mac OS X users have found Apple's iLife Media Browser very useful and we have received many requests to include the same feature in NeoOffice. Fortunately, the generous people at Karelia Software have developed the iMedia Browser and we have integrated their iMedia Browser into NeoOffice. Once you open the Media browser by clicking on the Show Media Browser toolbar button or selecting the Tools :: Add-ons :: Show Media Browser menu, a floating window will appear from which you can drag your images, movies, sound files, or links directly into a NeoOffice document.
In OpenOffice and LibreOffice, many floating tool windows such as the Styles and Formatting and the Color windows look and behave like document windows. Also, other floating tool windows such as the Bullets and Numbering and the Table windows look and behave like Windows floating tool windows. But in NeoOffice, all floating tool windows in NeoOffice will be native floating tool windows. This means that they will look and behave like floating tool windows in most other Mac OS X applications. They will have the small window titlebar, all of the floating tool windows will float above the document windows, and when NeoOffice is not the active application, all of the floating tool windows will automatically be hidden until NeoOffice becomes the active application again.
Menus available when no documents are open
OpenOffice and LibreOffice have only a very minimal set of menu items available if no documents were open. But in NeoOffice, menus are available even when no documents are open. This feature allows users to access some of the frequently used menus such as the Recent Documents and NeoOffice Help menu items that previously were not accessible unless you opened a document first.
Import images from scanners and cameras
A menu - Tools :: Add-ons :: Paste Image from Camera or Scanner - has been added. Selecting this menu allows you to directly import images into NeoOffice from any device (such as digital cameras or scanners) that Apple's Image Capture application supports. If you have any devices attached to your machine that Image Capture recognizes, selecting this menu will display the Mac OS X Image Capture dialog. Using this dialog, you can import an image from any of the recognized devices into your current document. In addition, the imported image will also be copied to the system clipboard so that you can paste additional copies of the imported image in NeoOffice or any other application.
Command-clicking on window titlebar
In most Mac OS X applications, whenever a previously saved document is opened, a small icon will appear in the window's titlebar. Command-clicking on this icon will display a popup menu that lists the file name and the folders that the file is in. Clicking on any of these items will open the Finder.
Mac OS X grammar checking support
In Mac OS X 10.5.x, Apple added grammar checking support for a small number of languages. NeoOffice takes advantage of this Mac OS X feature and so we have added several menu items in the Tools :: Add-ons menu. These menu items allow you to use Mac OS X Leopard's grammar checker to check the grammar and recommend corrections for your document's selected text or your entire document. Please note that at this time, Mac OS X's grammar checker only supports English.