AppleWorks doesn't work anymore--now what?

Apple stopped selling AppleWorks in 2007. In computer life, that is at least a century ago! It was a great program in its day. By the time Apple stopped selling AppleWorks the computing world had changed.

We wanted programs that made fancier documents. Unlike the earlier days, we often sent digital files to people. We needed links that were clickable, spreadsheets with more than one table and we wanted presentations that had transitions, build and outflows.

Apple replaced Appleworks with the iWork suite. It contains three separate programs, Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

Many people were upset when Apple did away with their favorite do-it-all program. Some users clung to older computers that could still run AppleWorks. They refused to move forward.

Now, six years later, their old computers are dying. When they replace them with a new Macintosh those users assume that they can easily move to Microsoft Office because they are still angry that Apple killed Appleworks.

Sorry, guys. It doesn't work that way! Newer versions of Microsoft office can’t even open many of the older Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

While there were companies that produced software that would translate older files to the latest formats, their business dried up long ago. Most of those companies have disappeared.

The only real answer is Apple’s iWork suite.

Start by dragging the icons for Pages, Keynote and Numbers into your dock.

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Now we need to find some Appleworks files. Start by going to the Finder menu. Choose Preferences. Click on the Advanced panel and make sure there is a check in the box “Show all filename extensions.”

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Let’s go find some files. Every Finder window has a search box. We are looking for files that end in .cwk, so type that into the box.

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Wow! It found 190 files on my computer! The next problem is that a .cwk file could be a document, a spreadsheet, a presentation or even an image file. You will have to take a guess about what the file might be. Drag it over the Pages, Keynote or Numbers icon in your dock. If the icon turns dark, that program will try to understand that file.

It worked very well for most of my files, but do you see the one named island.cwk? I know what that file is. It is a drawing of how I wanted our home builder to configure the island in my kitchen. Unfortunately, nothing on my computer will open that file.

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I often remind clients that it is important to save really important files into a format such as .rtf, .rtfd or .pdf. Those kinds of files do not rely on a specific program to open them. Fortunately, my island was completed 8 years ago. That drawing isn’t really important anymore!

--Pat





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