6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 2, 2011 11:00 AM by BPWMorro
dcosterhus Level 1 (0 points)



I find myself in the position of finally actually needing to access old Appleworks and Claris Draw documents which I saved over the past 15 years.  How can I open and/or convert these old documents into something I can read on Lion?


Thanks much!



Appleworks/Clarisworks Draw docs, Mac OS X (10.7.2), Need to access/convert old docs
  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 (75,119 points)
    • Word Processing documents can be opened directly only in Pages.
    • Draw Documents can be opened directly only in EazyDraw (the more expensive version from their website, not the cheaper one from the Mac App Store, and you will need v4.0 'Retro' not the most recent version) or Intaglio (though this appears not to be able to handle very complex drawings). (It's possible to copy Draw documents into a Word Processing document in order to open them in Pages, but you need AppleWorks to do this in the first place.)
    • Spreadsheets can be opened directly only in Numbers.
    • Presentations can be opened directly only in Keynote.


    Nothing will open AppleWorks databases or Paint documents: the only way to access them is to open them in AppleWorks and export.


    This seven-page article examines migrating from AppleWorks in some detail:



  • BPWMorro Level 1 (75 points)



    Thank you for your efforts and your documentation/post about converting old Appleworks files. I am slightly confused and ask your forbearance in answering a question you may already have....


    An older friend has purchased a new Mac with Lion 10.7.2 ("new Mac").  Thankfully the really old Mac ("old Mac") is still bootable ... we think ... maybe....sorta....hopefully....possibly....it was buried on a bookshelf when I was there yesterday -- but I suspect that even if bootable it was running only Tiger. She tells me she wrote her poetry with Appleworks -- questions as to Version 5 or 6 result in the classic blank stare. And she would like to sometimes be able to open an old poem and revise it and/or print it. She doesn't know if she has paper copies of everything. Her "formatting" consists of only tabs and spaces and returns....it's like using a typewriter for her.


    When she purchased the new Mac a third party vendor (not an AppleStore) transferred all her data....meaning the Appleworks application transferred over even through it wouldn't work. So did Office 2004, but she doesn't think she used MS Word.


    I've found some communities that are ranting about change and I don't want to go there; I just want to help this dear lady as simply as I can -- she will be very happy using TextEdit to writ poems in the future and if we have to go to Pages to open her old files I'll buy her a copy so she's legal.


    So the question -- if all we want to do is open the old and perhaps copy and paste the words without worrying about formatting, will TextEdit open both AppleWorks Versions 5 and 6?  If not, will Pages open both?  Or another suggestion?  Remember -- formatting is not a serious issue. She just wants her words back.


    Thanks, in advance

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 (75,119 points)

    You can sort-of open AppleWorks documents in TextEdit but you will get a lot of garbage as the programming codes will be displayed. You should be able to extract the actual text though it may be a bit of a tireseome job. Just drag the document onto the TextEdit icon.


    Pages will open AppleWorks 6 Word Processing documents but not AppleWorks 5 ones.

  • BPWMorro Level 1 (75 points)


    Thanks -- that was what I had gathered, but it's nice to see the answers consolidated. Sure hope she had Appleworks 6...and the old machine will boot.

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 (75,119 points)

    If the old machine will boot and you can run AppleWorks you can save the documents as RTF, which will preserve simple formatting and can be opened by TextEdit. Otherwise if you have documents but no Appleworks it's Pages, or TextEdit as I indicated.

  • BPWMorro Level 1 (75 points)


    She had AppleWorks 6 -- I got her a copy of Pages, she's happy to open the old w/ Pages but she'll just use TextEdit for writing new. Thanks for your help!