Updated – Convert System OS 9 AppleWorks 6 Files To OS X Pages Files [OS X Tips]

Appleworks

Cult of Mac reader Nancy S. asks, “How can I convert my Appleworks files to Page files. I have many old files that APple didn’t think were important but I could still use them.”

If you’ve been using Macs for a while, chances are that you have a few older documents that you may have created in Appleworks 5 or 6 that you’d like to open on your newer Mac, possibly running OS X Mountain Lion or above.

Here are a few things you can do to try and make this happen.

First, it’ll help if you know what kind of AppleWorks file it is. A word processing file should open with Pages, while a spreadsheet file should open in Numbers–but only if it’s an AppleWorks 6 document.

If it’s an AppleWorks 5 document, you’re best off trying to find a copy of AppleWorks 6 and opening it in there, then saving as an AppleWorks 6 file.

Assuming you can do that, you’ll want to right-click (Command-click or two finger click) on the .cwk file and choose Open in, then Pages (if it’s a word processing file). You’ll need to have Pages installed on your Mac to make this work. If you’re working with a .cwk spreadsheet file, do the same thing, only Open in Numbers.

If you have an older version of AppleWorks, you might want to export your files as either rich-text files (.rtf), or even as Word files.

Unfortunately, if you only have the documents, and they were created by an earlier version of AppleWorks, you may be out of luck. However, you might try using the right-click technique and open the .cwk file in something like TextEdit or TextWrangler. You’ll see a lot of funky characters when you open the file this way, but you might be able to get some of the content out.

I hope that helps, Nancy. Feel free to comment below if you’re having problems.

Update: Another reader, Steve, mentions that LibreOffice can be used to convert older documents to newer ones.

I just wanted to point out that another option to convert older AppleWorks documents on an Intel Mac is to use LibreOffice. As of 4.1 it now includes an AppleWorks converter, at least for word processing documents. You can open them and re-save as docx or other formats. I’ve already used it to do a handful of legacy things at our organization. It also handles older Word for Mac 5.1, Write Now 4.0 and MacWrite Pro documents.

Related
  • dcj001

    Converting the files while still using Mac OS X 10.6 is the best way to do this.

  • scophi

    Just a thought… can you convert them using Pages in iCloud.com? Upload, open, then save to the .pages format? Not sure if Pages in iCloud.com will open v5.

  • darwiniandude

    “you’ll want to right-click (Command-click”

    Control-click, please.

    You can also select the file, then select Open With from the File menu.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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