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Category Archives: neooffice

>NeoOffice 2.2.3 patch 5 available

>NeoOffice 2.2.3 patch 5 has been released. Nothing exciting, just some bug fixes:

  1. Opening Office 2003 XML files produced a General I/O error
  2. Poor selection of Polish and Cyrillic replacement fonts
  3. Landscape documents could be cropped when printing

Download from the patch download page. For more information, see the NeoOffice 2.2.3 release notes.

NeoOffice is an OpenOffice.org-cousin that nicely integrates with Mac OS X, unlike the regular OpenOffice.org 2 for Mac OS X, which requires X11 to function.

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>NeoOffice integration with Mac OS X improves

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Even though a beta of OpenOffice.org 3, with a native Aqua version, has been made available, NeoOffice is still standing strong as a stable OpenOffice.org cousin that provides slick Mac OS X integration. Standing isn’t the right word, though, because it’s constantly improving.

Since 2.2.3 Patch 3, NeoOffice now improves on the Mac OS X integration by adding these features:

Previously, NeoOffice 2.2.3 Patch 2 added horizontal scrollwheel support.

 
 

>OpenOffice 3.0 beta available

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The OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta is now available from download.openoffice.org. One of the most compelling changes is Mac OS X support. Localized builds are also available, but not directly linked from that page. Instead, check out one of the mirrors.

Currently, most Mac users prefer NeoOffice over OpenOffice 3. OpenOffice 2 does not work under Aqua (only under X11) and NeoOffice has a history of stable OpenOffice-functionality for the Aqua/Mac OS X platform. This may change once OpenOffice 3 becomes (more) stable.

 

>How to print from NeoOffice at more than 300dpi

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One of the limitations in NeoOffice 2.0 and 2.1 is that the maximum resolution when printing 300dpi. This is especially an issue when printing images with tiny details, such as screenshots. Photos are normally just fine at 300dpi.

However, there is an easy way around that:

  1. export to PDF;
  2. open in Adobe Reader and print from there.

That’s it, now you can have higher quality output.

 
 

>NeoOffice 2.1

>I’ve covered NeoOffice 2.0 before. Recently I switched to 2.1 on one of my machines. Due to some issues with 2.1, I decided to stick with 2.0 for a while.

Overall, NeoOffice 2.1 looks and feels more professional than 2.0. However, the integration with the Mac OS X operating system still leaves a lot of room for improvement, IMHO.

Here is a list of candidates for improvement (some of which were previously reported on 2.0 as well):

  • overall the look-‘n-feel is not very Mac OS X-like, although this has improved since 2.0, e.g. default buttons are not completely blue and the toolbars look different from standard applications;
  • after confirming the Print dialog (Cmd-P) another dialog is shown, asking for advanced settings; these advanced settings should be integrated in the standard print dialog;
  • there is a Printer Settings dialog, but it doesn’t do anything;
  • when a file is modified, the red close icon in the window title bar does not change to include a dot;
  • when using Exposé, the dialog windows are considered windows in their own right;
  • the list of recent documents is not in the NeoOffice program menu, but in the File menu; so it’s impossible to open a recently opened file without having any other file open;
  • it doesn’t use standard dialogs, such as the Font dialog;
  • it does not use the standard dictionary and hyphenation support offered by Mac OS X;
  • Cmd-RightArrow goes to the next word instead of the end of the line; Alt-RightArrow does not go to the next word – same for combinations with LeftArrow;
  • Save As is not under Shift-Cmd-S, as in other applications;
  • the File menu does not indicate that Close has the keyboard shortcut Cmd-W;
  • there is no Alt-Shift-Cmd-V keyboard shortcut to paste and adjust the style, like in other applications;
  • sometimes, when selecting text with the keyboard and scrolling, the display looks distorted (I’ve seen this on all earlier OpenOffice.org versions, on all platforms);
  • when changing the style on some existing text, the style setting Keep with next paragraph does not immediately take effect; work-around is to modify the style and press OK immediately;
  • sometimes pressing Shift-Enter inserts 2 newline-characters instead of one, this seems new since NeoOffice 2.1.
 
 

>Using NeoOffice

>NeoOffice is a free port of OpenOffice.org for the Mac. I’ve now been working with it for a few months. The program automatically checks for updates, which most programs seem to do by now. My current version is 2.0 Aqua Beta 3 Patch 15. Don’t ask me what that means, exactly. But it’s fairly stable.

An alternative to using NeoOffice is using OpenOffice.org directly on the Mac. This works fairly well, but requires X11 and does not provide an integrated solution. See the OpenOffice.org for Mac porting project.

Although NeoOffice works pretty stable overall, it’s not really integrated in Mac OS X. Menus are inconsistent with other Mac applications, as well as dialogs, keyboard shortcuts, etc. Some examples:

  • after confirming the print dialog (Cmd-P) another dialog is shown, asking for advanced settings;
  • there is a ‘Printer Settings’ dialog, but it doesn’t do anything;
  • default buttons don’t have the blue color they have in other applications;
  • buttons are smaller than in other apps;
  • when a file is modified, the red close icon in the window title bar does not change to include a dot;
  • when using Exposé, the dialogs are considered windows in their own right;
  • the list of recent documents is not in the NeoOffice program menu, but in the File menu; so it’s impossible to open a recently opened file without having any other file open;
  • it doesn’t use standard dialogs, such as the Font dialog;
  • it does not use the standard dictionary and hyphenation support offered by Mac OS X;
  • Cmd-RightArrow goes to the next word instead of the end of the line;
  • etc.

So although the product works quite well, it’s far from being a well-integrated Mac OS X application like any of the OmniGroup apps. Perhaps they should consider creating such a beast, although the business model for it may be hard to produce.

At openoffice.org they themselves are also working on an Aqua-port of their product. There was an announcement early February 2007 labeled OpenOffice.org Mac Porting team announces the top ten items to be fixed before alpha Aqua release. Interesting to know there are apparently some people working on it, but there’s not much information available on planning.