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.
Microsoft Excel is a fantastic tool for analyzing scientific data. Microsoft Word is a fantastic tool for writing up scientific research. So surely Microsoft Office is the only software a scientist would ever require beyond that associated with specialist scientific apparatus? Unfortunately, that has never been the case and most university researchers would identify one big problem with the Office suite and that is why it‘s always been difficult to present formulas in Word and Excel. Even when you type a simple fraction like 3/5, it gets presented on a single line. As for Greek symbols like pi...well, that would mean many hours wasted trawling through Excel‘s Insert Symbol menu.