9.7. NeoOffice/J and OpenOffice
OpenOffice (http://www.openoffice.org) is well-known in the Unix/Linux community as a powerful and free X11-based alternative to the Microsoft Office productivity suite. Open Office includes the word processor Writer, the spreadsheet Calc, the presentation tool Impress, and the drawing tool Draw. OpenOffice also includes a set of database tools and a mathematical equation editor. Aside from providing a powerful set of productivity tools, OpenOffice can import and export to Microsoft Office documents.
At the time of this writing, of port of OpenOffice 1.1.2 is available for a number of platforms, including an X11-based port for Mac OS X. Also at the time of this writing, OpenOffice 2.0 beta ports are available for Linux, Solaris, and Windows, while an X11-based port is planned.
In addition to the OpenOffice.org-supported X11-based Mac OS X port, the NeoOffice group (http://www.neooffice.org) provides Carbon- and Java-based Mac OS X versions of OpenOffice, NeoOffice/J. Binaries for both X11 and non-X11-based Mac OS X ports are available from the OpenOffice web site (http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/ooo-osx_downloads.html). The X11-based port is a little more mature and functional and looks the same on Mac OS X as it does on other X11-based platforms.
NeoOffice/J, however, has better integration with Mac OS X and runs natively on the Mac as a Java application. Among other things, NeoOffice/J uses Mac OS X fonts, uses native printer drivers, and uses Mac OS X's menu bar, unlike the X11 version. If you have the space on your hard drive, you can install both the X11-basedOpenOffice and NeoOffice/J on the same system, but our experience leans toward using NeoOffice/J. Figure 9-18 shows a Word document that has been imported into NeoOffice/J.
Figure 9-18. An MS Word document opened in NeoOffice/J