NeoOffice is a complete set of office applications for Mac OS X. With NeoOffice, users can create and edit spreadsheets, text documents, and presentations.
NeoOffice is based on the OpenOffice office productivity software. Since 2003, the NeoOffice engineers - Patrick Luby and Ed Peterlin - have taken the OpenOffice code and have continually added improvements to NeoOffice that users will not find in OpenOffice or LibreOffice such as:
- Mac OS X Full-Screen mode
- Open Calc or Impress instead of Writer at launch
- Mac OS X Versions
- 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 code that has been in daily use by thousands of users
New in NeoOffice 3.4
This release adds several new features:
NeoOffice now uses Cocoa code to draw buttons, scrollbars, comboboxes, tabs, and other native controls. By using Cocoa code, NeoOffice can now draw advanced native control states such as darkening of scrollbars when under the mouse. NeoOffice will also be able to adopt any look and feel changes that Apple may make to buttons, scrollbars, or other native controls in future versions of Mac OS X. In contrast, OpenOffice and LibreOffice use obsolete HITheme functions that Apple will remove or stop updating in future versions of Mac OS X.
Users who need Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish 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 those languages needed to install a language pack. By adding these languages to the main installer, only a small number of NeoOffice users will 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 3.4 but are not in OpenOffice or LibreOffice:
In Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple 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.
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.
In Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple 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.
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
NeoOffice uses Apple's Core Text text layout and rendering 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.
In Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple 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 digitally sign 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.