NeoOffice: Stop the Productivity Mind Tricks

Firing up NeoOffice and using it to write a few quick documents, the first thing I noticed was how slick and Aquafied it was — it feels like a Mac OS X native application, which is a major advantage over Open-Office-under-X11 approach that I took earlier.

I also quickly began to assemble a list of annoyances. These aren’t bugs, they’re just things I’m either not used to, didn’t encounter in Word, or miss from Microsoft’s suite. First and foremost is NeoOffice’s annoying habit of trying to suggest complete words as you type them, which is even more annoying then Word’s Clippy asking if you wanted to write a letter. While I’m sure some find this a great boon to their writing efforts, for me it was infuriating — I know what word I want to write, and I don’t need my word processor to try and second guess me. Microsoft Word will try this same stunt, but usually only for formal places or dates (which is more appropriate).

After about 20 minutes of digging around, I figured out how to turn it off by going to Tools > AutoCorrect > Word Completion and uncheck “Enable Word Completion”.

On the plus side, I discovered that NeoOffice has a hotkey (Shift-Command-V) for doing a “special paste” (which is the option you use when you want to grab text from a web page, but don’t want to pull along the formatting. That’s great, though I wish I could configure it to simply paste everything as plain text, rather then asking me how I want to paste the next.

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