12 Replies Latest reply: May 6, 2011 1:39 PM by Simon Teale
MIKEinMICH Level 1 (0 points)

Hello. I have a fairly extensive lot of documents created in MacWrite II, that have been saved/archived for a long time

on OS 9/8 machines.  Any suggestion of the most straightforward/logical way I might migrate these docs to OSX without losing

original formatting?  I see some reference to this dating back to 2005 which suggests using "Appleworks 6" but I don't think

that'll run on later OSX versions if i'm not mistaken....Ideally would rather not have to turn them all into MS Word .docs but

preferably keep them in the far simpler, more user-friendly Apple/Mac format (which still makes MacWrite a superior app for

simple and intuitive word-processing without needless complexity). 


I have OSX ranging from Snow Leopard to Panther.  It  would just be easier to access these docs on a newer machine rather

than the old Power PC running 8.6/9.


Appreciate any suggestions!



  • Jeff Level 6 (11,445 points)

    AppleWorks 6.2.9 is compatible with Macs running OS 10.3.x (I can't guarantee compatibility with Tiger), but you need AppleWorks v. 5.0 or ClarisWorks versions 5.0 or older to open the MacWrite files.  Did any of your older Power Mac(s) ship with the bundled version of ClarisWorks?  If so, you could open the files with ClarisWorks and save them as ClarisWorks files.  Once done, the updated files could be opened with AppleWorks 6.2.9.  The alternative would be to use a third-party program like MacLink Plus, to convert them from MacWrite files to ClarisWorks files.  As for MacWrite/MacWrite Pro, the word processing portion of ClarisWorks/AppleWorks, it was a very capable, compact, and straightforward program to use.

  • MIKEinMICH Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Jeff, thanks for your help.  I have a standalone boxed version of Appleworks but not the latest version so thanks for the newer version link.... Pretty sure I have the bundled ClarisWorks floating around here somewhere and that's a good idea to try saving them in CW and working with them using the AppleWorks program. Will do some experimenting and see how it goes.  Yep, MacWrite to this date seems like the simplest most transparently easy word processor I've ever used - and as a copywriter i did a ton of scripts in that program. 


    I do have some version of MacLink Plus - I know that was handy back in the day and i guess could always batch-convert the MacWrite II stuff to a newer format but just as soon try and keep it simple and keep stuff in native format if i can.


    Will try and post my experience with this when i have a chance to test these apps on 10.3 and higher...


    Thanks again!



  • Don Archibald Level 10 (101,295 points)

    AppleWorks 6.1.2 or later can open previous ClarisWorks documents in OS 9; it may also be able to do that with MacWrite II docs unaided. It certainly can using DataViz's MacLinkPlus suite of translators.


    The earlier versions of AW6 (those earlier than 6.1.2) could only translate from AW5. For a while I had to keep both AW5 and AW6 on hand - used AW5 to open and translate docs from ClarisWorks and MacWrite II into the AW5 format, then opened those in AW6. Very tedious.


    I've found that using Snow Leopard's Pages will work to open AW6 documents from my OS 9 machine. Sometimes I need to fiddle with the doc a bit to get rid of excess vertical white space - usually a change of font takes care of that.


    AW6 in Snow Leopard opens the OS 9 AW6 docs, of course.


    Found an old MacWrite II wp doc amongst the stuff I'd brought in from my old machine to this one (new iMac running OSX 10.6.7). Tried opening it in Snow Leopard using both Pages and AppleWorks 6.2.7 (haven't updated it yet to 6.2.9) - neither of those could open it. Looks like any translating of MWII docs will need to be dome on an older machine in OS 9.


    Also found an old AW5 wp doc. In Snow Leopard, AW6 could open it, Pages could not.

  • MIKEinMICH Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for that info Don.  Much appreciated,


  • Don Archibald Level 10 (101,295 points)

    Hi, Mike -


    Some additional info, just acquired -


    AW 6.2.7 in OSX 10.6.7 had some issues with me just now. Don't know if they're version related, or related to the way I 'installed' it.


    I 'installed' it simply by copying the AW6 folder from the disk full of stuff from my OS 9 G4 machine. It worked fine upon first testing, but a few days later (just now) I noticed a few oddities -


    • I could not set margin widths in the Format > Document screen. Kept getting an 'invalid number' response no matter what I entered.


    • The pages in the Preferences > General section were mostly blank, hence unusable.


    • Some stuff in the Page Setup and Print dialogs was off.


    On a hunch I went ahead and installed the AW 6.2.9 update (I already had the updater on hand). That update fixed all of those issues.

  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 (46,560 points)

    No sure, but something to try.


    I believe that WordPerfect had conversions for MacWrite II files. You can run WP in classic mode while booted in OS X (or just run in OS 9.x) & then save as an .rtf file. Then you can open/save using an OS X app.


    WordPerfect is a word processing application. At the height of its popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was the de facto standard word processor, but was eclipsed in sales by Microsoft Word.  WordPerfect version 3.5e for Mac has been made freeware by Corel, and can be downloaded here http://main.system7today.com/software/wordperfect/wordperfect.html .


     Cheers, Tom




  • MIKEinMICH Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Don and Tex Mac...  very good info to work with and appreciate your help. Glad to know about the AW upgrade working well.  I'll go directly to that version...  


    Yep, I definitely remember WordPerfect's popularity.  Funny how these apps still stand as far more intuitive and user friendly than anything from the Microsoft Office/Word "Suite."  For writers, there's nothing better than simplicity in a word processing app to maximize creativity with minimal needless complexity and clutter to stand in the way of thought process and work-flow.


    MarinerWrite came pretty close to a new generation of MacWrite but the original MW II was always 'just right' for me.  Wrote thousands of scripts in that app.


    Thanks again



  • a brody Level 9 (65,390 points)

    You probably would have loved WriteNow!  But that's besides the point.  Wish it was still made today.


    Yes, unfortunately survival of the fittest is not necessarily the best!

  • asiagirl4ever Level 1 (0 points)

    I've got files from college that are saved in WriteNow sometime I need to figure out how to open them!

  • Don Archibald Level 10 (101,295 points)

    asiagirl4ever wrote:


    I've got files from college that are saved in WriteNow sometime I need to figure out how to open them!


    Find someone running OS 9 who has AppleWorks 6.1.2 or higher, and has MacLink Plus installed. With that combo you can open a WriteNow v.2, v.3, or v.4 document and resave it as an AppleWroks 6 document, with all formatting and styling intact. Once it's in that format, AW6 or Pages in OSX can open it.

  • asiagirl4ever Level 1 (0 points)

    I was going to use my dad's laptop, but it died.  :-(  Someday I hope to find someone!

  • Simon Teale Level 5 (4,680 points)

    If the documents are not of an intimate nature (ie. personal details, bank accounts, etc), a google search may turn up a local Mac User Group where someone would do this for you.

    If the total size is not into the GB's (unlikely with MacWrite II) then you could send by email and it could be anywhere in the world.


    Depending on the person, they may be willing to convert 20-30 documents for you as a favour. How many documents do you have ?