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I wrote before about how to find builds of the beta version 2 of OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X.

Not all the beta builds have had OS X versions, and some have had only Czech language support, but build 1.9.109 has lots of languages. I got an English version and it works beautifully - the fonts look nice, it’s dramatically faster than previous versions and it has not crashed at all in a couple of days of use, even with the ICE application using the same copy of OpenOffice as me to do document conversions while I am typing in it. I’m using Tiger (OS X 10.4), but this should work for earlier versions of OS X, as far as I know.

This is the X11 version which requires Apple’s X11 window manager (you can install it from your original CDs if needed). It is not the same as the more Mac-like NeoOffice which is based on version 1 of OpenOffice org. Get that one if you want a reliable tool, rather than beta software.

You can get the beta from here. Download, unpack and click your way through all the installers. You can select them all and double-click to get started.

One thing I forgot to mention last time is how you run it. Once everything is installed, start a terminal in X11 and run:

/Applications/openoffice.org1.9.109/program/soffice

But there is also another way. To make a simple application that you can double-click to open, or put in the Dock, use the AppleScript editor to create a little program like this and save it as an application. It’s a bit rough, wants you to click a button before it will start.

 tell application "X11"
 activate
 end tell


 do shell script "export DISPLAY=:0 && /Applications/openoffice.org1.9.109/program/soffice"

(Based on a tip in the macosxhints forums)


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