, LibreOffice & NeoOffice on Mac Lion OSX

Image courtesy of zeeGraphix

Today I decided to bite the bullet and install the new Lion OSX on my Macs. So far so good, however when you do the upgrade and if you use an Open Source Office software product, I suggest that you immediately open them after the installation of Lion and go through any recommended upgrades.


Java will most certainly need updating for Lion OSX, so if you are not prompted to install the latest version of Java when you open any of, NeoOffice or LibreOffice, then you should go and upgrade your Java manually by going here and downloading the latest version of Java for OSX Lion.

I took the precaution of installing the Java update first before opening any of the Office applications.


NeoOffice has an update that you will be prompted to install when you run it for the first time after the Lion upgrade. They do request that you donate $10 to support ongoing development in order to access this upgrade. Alternatively, you can keep running the old version, however there are obviously some concerns about running anything less than version 3.2 as in the NeoOffice website’s own words: “save your work often”! 8-|

I installed the Java update first, and then opened OOo, and all is OK so far. I will update this blog if there are any issues that I encounter.


After installing the Java update I opened LibreOffice and so far it is running fine. If there are any issues in the running of LibreOffice over the next few days, I’ll be sure to post an update to this site.

Update: There is additional information on Lion OSX Compatibility with your Office software here, if the above doesn’t help you.

Additional Resources


  1. I didn’t know I would have to update Java before I opened OpenOffice. It wouldn’t open and I now know why. I followed your directions re Java and still can’t open the application (OO). Any suggestions about what I might try next?

  2. mrelwood says:

    OpenOffice 3.3 doesn’t handle scandinavian alphabets (umlauts) on Lion. Such excisting .xls can’t be opened, and saving corrupts the filename so that it can’t be renamed in Finder.

    • I’m not sure if this is specific to Lion OSX, however I generally find that LibreOffice works better with Mac. It supports the same file formats and the functionality is almost identical. I love OpenOffice, but on a Mac, I prefer to use LibreOffice ( or even NeoOffice ($10 donation required).

      • mrelwood says:

        I only now heard of and tried LibreOffice, and it seems almost identical to OO. Even the umlauts work fine now! Thanks for the tip!

        The umlauts worked fine on OpenOffice 3.3 on OSX 10.6.8, and the files were created that way.

        NeoOffice didn’t work that well, since it is based on an old OO, and as such missing crucial features for me.

  3. I have hundreds of word processing files done in AppleWorks 6. Can I open them (and manipulate them) with

    • My understanding is that LibreOffice and OpenOffice do not open AppleWorks files directly.

      The official line from Apple is that AppleWorks isn’t a supported option on Lion OSX, and it just happened to work in Snow Leopard. The accepted solution is to buy a copy of Pages (which should officially open AppleWorks documents, although I understand some users have problems with label formats). Another option is to download a trial of the MS Word software and use that to convert your documents prior to the trial expiring.

      There is a type of OpenOffice that is designed for Mac – it’s called NeoOffice (available from, and they have some documentation here: As this is software very similar to LibreOffice, you could try and see if the documentation instructions work in LibreOffice. Alternatively you could try downloading NeoOffice and following the instructions if they don’t work on LibreOffice.

      I hope this helps.

  4. Matt Schultz Jr says:

    I downloaden Open Office 3.3 and it handles ODS and XLS files as well as it did before. However it DOES NOT open CSV files correctly. A space in the field is opened in separate columns. Eg my name; MATT SCHULTZ JR would be opened as A=MATT, B=SCHULTZ, C=JR totally unacceptable, this bug really needs to be fixed quickly.

    • Hi Matt. Did you check the delimeters when you open the file? If it is opening them automatically without showing the import options window, then I have put together a small tutorial here to assist you in setting the import options window to suit your data.


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