I was quite surprised to discover that both releases and beta versions of LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org do crash on OS X 10.7 when you try to access the preferences screen.

I even payed to get a copy of NeoOffice which I was able to use, quite well in the last week but ended up finding an ugly bug: bibliography references from inside frames are not numbered, they just use [0] but they are listed in the bibliography list.

You end up having a bibliography like:

[1] ...
[2] ...
[3] ...
[0] ... (this was used inside a frame)
[0] ... (this was used inside a frame)
[4] ...

As the maintainers of NeoOffice ask a 100$ payment to be able to post something on their forum, I do not feel that my 10$ investment was quite well made.

Also, their codebase seems to be quite ancient, compared with OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice. Their beta version is based on OOo 3.1 !?! while now Ooo is 3.3 final for quite a while.

Now, what should I use?!

Update: I removed all the preferences files related to LibreOffice and still crashes after about 30-60 seconds from start while I am inside the config window.

The crashdump is listed at http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=BJVtsKXY

  • LO and OOO work perfectly under 10.7 for me. Did you try to delete the preference file (somewhere in ~/Library)? – nohillside Jun 26 '12 at 11:42
  • How can they charge for NeoOffice? The OOo suite it is based on is GPL. – Fake Name Jun 26 '12 at 12:36
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    @Fake Name, there are several companies that make office suites for various platforms based on OOo and/or GPL code, and either sell the products or ask for donations. That's perfectly legal for products that incorporate GPL code! There are two people who develop NeoOffice as their full-time job, so this is how they choose to make a living. NeoOffice has for many years offered customized integration with Mac OS X that is not available in OOo or LO and they believe this value-added proposition is worth asking for donations. I have supported them for over a decade. – user9290 Jun 26 '12 at 12:59
  • @Fake Name, the Neo developers comply with the GPL by making their source code available for free. Download it and compile your own release for free, or you can choose to pay $10 for a pre-built installer. – Bennett McElwee Feb 18 '13 at 9:04
  • @BennettMcElwee - Every time I have seen a company do that, there are generally places where you can download fan-built installers free. – Fake Name Feb 18 '13 at 9:51

Openoffice is effectively dead ofter Oracle bought Sun -- all the developers moved to LibreOffice, and, assuming you care about future enhancements and compatibility Libreoffice is the way to go now. I used to use NeoOffice when it was the only native port of OpenOffice for OSX, but since LibreOffice has a maintained OSX port I just moved to LO.

I am on OSX 10.7.4, LO 3.5.4 and all works fine for me.

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Here is NeoOffice's list of features that it offers that are not found in LibreOffice or OpenOffice.org:


NeoOffice supports Mac OS X 10.7 Lion's Versions, Media Browser, Full Screen Mode, Apple Core Text for font rendering, and many user-interface elements that use Mac OS X's API code (implemented by the NeoOffice development team) to replace the ported code found in LibreOffice or OpenOffice.org.

With the beta of the forthcoming version, they have announced that they have removed the use of Java and have replaced all those Java functions with their own NeoOffice code written in Cocoa.

You'll have to decide whether NeoOffice provides a better experience on the Mac for you compared to LibreOffice for Mac.

(I used NeoOffice and supported them with annual donations for the past decade. This year I finally broke down and purchased Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac to use instead, because I decided I could no longer live without some Microsoft Word features that will never be made available in OpenOffice, LibreOffice or NeoOffice. But I feel the latter three suites are the best choice for most users.)

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    The funny part is that I do have Office 2011, and found out that it is impossible to have Romanian spellcheck on it (as other hundreds of languages). Only this was enough for not using m$. Also, when sharing docs with other I do think that ODT format is better for cross-platform sharing. – sorin Jun 26 '12 at 13:54
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    The Microsoft Word features I could no longer live without are Word's Outliner mode and the way it handles paragraph styles. Most users never need these features (and they've never been "cloned" in OOo or LO) but I was paid to do a project that required them. – user9290 Jun 26 '12 at 18:50

OpenOffice is far from dead, it's just been passed over to Apache for stewardship. I would recommend OpenOffice any day, I've used all Libre Office and Open office with Lion on my wife's macbook air and have found that libre seems to be prone to crashing, whereas we've never had a single problem with open office. I also find the database program to be really easy to use and the ease of opening and editing files that I've created in MS Office 2011 on my pro seals the deal.

Just make sure you download the stable release of 3.4 on this page and you shouldn't have any issues.

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I have been using LibreOffice without problems for a while. Recently on OSX 10.7.5 it's started hanging when I click on a document to start typing. Updated to the latest version - same thing. Downloaded and installed OpenOffice which works without any problems. No idea what's going on with LibreOffice though.

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