A quick note on AppleWorks support in Snow Leopard

A number of people still rely on or use the AppleWorks, and periodically ask about the support options for AppleWorks and AppleWorks documents in recent versions of the Mac OS.

While AppleWorks brought much needed day-to-day productivity to early versions of OS X, Apple ended support for it in 2007 with the debut of Pages and the iWork suite. Despite this, a number of people still rely on or use AppleWorks, and periodically ask about the support options for AppleWorks and AppleWorks documents in recent versions of the Mac OS.

AppleWork was ported to run in OS X using the "Carbon" API, and when it came to supporting the modern and OS X-native "Cocoa" API, Apple decided to create a new productivity suite. The last version of AppleWorks is version 6.2.9, and requires at least the following computing hardware (from this Apple knowledgebase document):

  • An Apple computer with PowerPC processor
  • 24 MB of memory (RAM) with Virtual Memory set to at least 25 MB (Classic Mac OS Only)
  • Mac OS 8.1 or later
  • A CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
  • An Internet connection to access additional templates and clip art images
  • QuickTime 4 (installed by the installer if not already present)
  • CarbonLib (installed by the installer if not already present)

The latest version of AppleWorks can be found at the AppleWorks support page: http://www.apple.com/support/appleworks/

In Intel versions of OS X, AppleWorks has been able to run with the Rosetta translator, but it is not supported, so if any problems crop up, Apple will not provide any software patches to fix them. In Snow Leopard where native PowerPC support has been eliminated, some people have claimed AppleWorks runs fine, but others have found problems when trying to run the program.

For people who rely on AppleWorks and are concerned about being able to access data, Apple has provided a FAQ for iWork that contains answers to many of these concerns, at least for those who choose to use Apple's more modern productivity suite. The FAQ is available here: http://www.apple.com/support/appleworks/faq/

Basically, iWork should open all AppleWorks word processing, spreadsheet, or presentation documents (Drawing, Database, and Painting documents will first need to be converted), though as with any file translation there are bound to be some problems with formatting and character translation. If you use AppleWorks databases, you might try converting them to spreadsheets by showing all records in a layout that will display all fields in the database, then selecting all entries and and copy and paste them into a spreadsheet. From here, you can save the spreadsheet as ASCII or comma-delimited text which can be imported into a variety of newer databases such as FileMaker or Bento.

Questions? Comments? Post them below!
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About the author

    Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.


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