As an information marketer in an information society, you want to find the best way to capture and share information with your readers. It starts with document creation. Although Dragon Dictate is great for getting your thoughts down, eventually you'll need to share it.
For those Mac marketers who are migrating to the Mac from Windows, the de facto, standard, primo way of doing this is, of course, Microsoft office. It is available for the Mac too. But you may find it overkill outside of the cubicle. Or, if you're a beginning marketer, you may find funds short to begin with.
Just as with HTML editors, various open-source software programs have sprung up to provide an alternative to the dominant player, Dreamweaver in the case of website editors and Microsoft office in the case of office application suites.
Whereas in the webpage authoring arena you have NVU, SeaMonkey and KompoZer, in the office application suite you have LibreOffice (formerly called OpenOffice) and NeoOffice.
What's the difference? As with the open-source website editors, it gets a little confusing. Both LibreOffice and NeoOffice run on the Mac and both are open-source. The interface of both look almost identical at first glance, and they both share largely the same features.
So why the redundancy and which should you choose? Well, while LibreOffice runs on both Mac and Windows, NeoOffice is Mac only. It is a special branch or fork of OpenOffice that was developed to quash some of the bugs in the Mac version of OpenOffice. So I would say, if you're going to choose one, choose NeoOffice.
In terms of features, NeoOffice (donations accepted) is huge, truly a viable alternative to Microsoft office. It includes all the basic components: Writer, the Word processing component; Calc, for spreadsheets; Impress, the presentation module; draw, for the creation of graphics and diagrams; and Base, the database component.
The spreadsheet component has some sophisticated features like Advanced DataPilot technology, Natural language formulas, an Intelligent Sum Button and a comprehensive range of advanced spreadsheet functions.
Writer is a fully equipped word processor with features like AutoCorrect, AutoComplete and AutoFormat, as well as Tables of Contents, Indexing and Bibliographical References.
Impress, the presentation environment, sports features like clip art, fontworks, special effects, animation, and drawing tools.
The draw environment lets you create diagrams and sketches with the ability to manipulate objects, rotate in three dimensions and use bezier curves.
Base, the database module, sports a built-in HSQL database engine and offers a choice of Wizards, Design Views, and SQL Views.
Of interest to info product creators is the ability to save any document as a PDF file for a quick (and free) PDF document and e-book creation. There is even a mobile version for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Although NeoOffice is good, and although it is being constantly updated, it is not perfect. It can seem a little Windows-like at times, and there are glitches. The interface is far less intuitive than Apple's iWork and many aspects of the program can be hard to figure out. I had a tough time, for example, figuring out how to create a clickable table of contents in the software. Eventually, I decided that the ease-of-use and smooth interface of iWork was worth the purchase price.