1466 Views Previous 1 2 Next 25 Replies Latest reply: May 26, 2006 1:26 PM by mhunter Go to original post
Without a doubt, OpenOffice.
It's free, cross platform and (mostly) MS Office
NeoOffice is an OS X version of OpenOffice. Since OpenOffice (for the Mac) is Unix based, and runs under the X11 interface, it lacks some of the "Mac" feel and the menus are a bit unusual (at least as of the last time I used it).
NeoOffice just takes OpenOffice and places it in a format that runs properly within the Mac OS X interface. So, it behaves, looks, feels, etc. Just like any other Mac program.
I think both are great. But, I think NeoOffice is probably going to be much more comfortable for novice users.
NeoOffice has finally got their 2.0 versions coming out. So, they are now incorporating all the features of OpenOffice 2.0.
Anyway, if you haven't checked it out for a while, you should take a quick look and see what you think.
I'm not telling you that you should change. Some people like the Unix and X-Windows feel. But, for those that don't, there's NeoOffice
Pages is a curious beast in many ways. It's far superior to Appleworks in that you get full use of the Cocoa features in OS X, like kerning and ligatures for text, for instance. Graphics output outshines Appleworks in every way, and of course Keynote (the other app in iWork) completely outranks PowerPoint for presentations.
However, the way Pages is a sort of combination page layout/word processor is awkward for a lot of people until they get used to it. Document sharing with Word users can be difficult for heavily formatted docs (PDF is still the best way to share from Pages, but not easily editable on the other end). The thing that keeps me using Appleworks is that Pages has no database or spreadsheet, only a small ability to create tables, and to merge from Addressbook. That's nowhere near good enough for me, compared to what Appleworks can do.
Which is best for you depends on what you need to do. I like Pages a lot for laying out brochures and such, but for my work I'm required to write in a vastly complex Word template, so I have to use Word. Appleworks is still my first choice, but it depends on your requirements as to which you'll like best.
Are there any word processors out there that are good and cheap?
This is always a hard question to answer. Depends greatly on what you mean by "cheap" and what sort of work you want to do with it. If you need to be able to do page layout work, often need to integrate photographs and the like into your documents effectively and so forth then Pages is really very good value, though, as Barbara says, it can take a bit of getting used to if you were brought up on MS Office.
If you just want to be able to write letters and basic documents then TextEdit, which comes free with every Mac, may be all you need. I actually suspect it could handle 90% of the things which most people need a WP for without batting an eyelid. It reminds me in some ways of one the programs that actually kicked off the Mac in the first place - MacWrite. You can do basic text formatting, create styles, and even insert images, but of course it is much less powerful than most of the "big" offerings.
The various "free" open source Office type offerings are good, but can be fiddly.
Even the Student edition of Microsoft Office for the Mac is pretty well priced these days, though dearer than iWork/ Pages, of course.
One that hasn't been mentioned in the thread so far, but is well worth a look, is NisusWriter. THis is a long standing favourite of linguists and others who have to work with multilingual text, but can hold its own in a regular office or home situation too. A universal binary version of it is now available. see http://www.nisus.com/Express/
NeoOffice is an OS X version of OpenOffice. Since
OpenOffice (for the Mac) is Unix based, and runs
under the X11 interface, it lacks some of the "Mac"
feel and the menus are a bit unusual (at least as of
the last time I used it).
Cool.. hadn't heard of NeoOffice.. I'll have to check it out this evening.
-- Edit --
Actually maybe not.. according to the NeoOffice site:
'This release will not work on Apple's new Intel machines. A version for the Intel machines is available through the NeoOffice Early Access Program.'
... and you have to pay for the Early Access Program. So apparently it's not free right now.
So until the free version for Intel comes out at least, I stick with my recommendation of OpenOffice.
Cool.. hadn't heard of NeoOffice.. I'll have to check
it out this evening.
The website is at:
They have had the PowerPC versions available for a long time now, and I've been using it since the very early 0.xx releases (predating 1.0), and have never had a problem with it.
The Intel version is due to be publicly available around June or July.
I personally believe this to be the best word processor / office package out there. Especially when you consider price.
Now, my opinion might be different if Microsoft Office was $50. But, there is no way I'm going to spend $200 to $600 (depending on the package) for an Office Suite. My willingness to spend for software stops at about $50 and absolutely caps at $100. Beyond that, I either will go without, or find a free tool that does the job.
Of course, I'm just cheap. I'll usually find the free tool anyway (unless there is something compelling about the commercial one).
--- responding to your edit ---
... and you have to pay for the Early Access Program. So apparently it's
not free right now.
So until the free version for Intel comes out at least, I stick with my
recommendation of OpenOffice.
Yes, the early access program is a fee based system. It grants you access before the rest of the public.
But, it will be free.
They say that the early access program grants you about a one month head-start before everyone else gets the public and free version.