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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Exporting Data from Appleworks 6 to iWork and others

At the October 5, 2011, MacValley General meeting, I engaged in a conversation between two other members and myself.

One member said she wanted to move on to Lion, but felt fearful. She has a lot of documents in Appleworks format. She knows that Appleworks won’t work under Lion, so what will she do?

I gave her several suggestions off the top of my head for converting various Appleworks documents into contemporary formats.

I also helped another member Saturday the 2nd with a Classic program they want to run under Leopard 10.5. All in all, MacValley has a lot of members who move slowly from past into present.

So sitting at my computers and logging onto the Intertubes, this is what I found after a day of research.

First, if you want to move from Appleworks 6 to a modern format, you need conversion software.

If you want an Apple sanctioned solution, go to Apple’s iWork Website and download the 30 day trial of iWorks ‘09. For 30 days, you can see if your old Appleworks word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations will convert into iWorks formats.

From iWorks-well, Pages, Numbers and Keynote-you can then export to 3rd party formats.

Pages can export to these formats: PDF, Word (.doc), RTF, Plain Text, and ePub.

Numbers can export to these formats: PDF, Excel (.xls), and Comma-Separated-Values (CSV).

Keynote can export to these formats: QuickTime movie (.mov), Powerpoint (.ppt), PDF, just the images, HTML, and to your iPod.

Online Resources for Appleworks to iWorks conversion

The longstanding Appleworks User Group has updated to become the Appleworks/iWork Users Group. You can reach them at

Well, what about the other formats?

What about the Database format? What about the Painting and Drawing formats?

You can save Paintings in a variety of formats that OS X Preview will open, such as PNG, JPEG, and Windows BMP. So Painting is no problem.

Appleworks Drawing, though, is another matter. For that, you need Dekorra Optics’ EazyDraw 4.0. It will open up these Appleworks drawings if you use version 4.0 or before. Let me quote from their README file of their latest version, 4.1:

This version of EazyDraw (4.1) DOES NOT include support for AppleWorks, ClarisDraw, MacDrawPro, MacDrawII, and MacDraw classic drawing formats. Go to the EazyDraw support web page: for more information and a solution for converting these drawing files on your current version of OS X. EazyDraw version 4.0.0 is provided as a solution for importing these drawings on OS X version 10.4 and newer, including OS X version 10.7 (Lion).

PowerPC processors are no longer supported beginning with EazyDraw version 4.1.0. EazyDraw 4.0.0 is provided on our Support web page, it still supports PowerPC on OS X versions 10.4.x and 10.5.x.

You got that? Go to, download Eazydraw 4.0 from their support page and convert those Appleworks drawings!

The version of EazyDraw you get from the Mac App Store does NOT support importing Appleworks drawings! Go to the Web site and download the appropriate version for your needs.

If you expect to use Eazydraw for several months, buy a 9 month license for $20. This covers both version 4.0 and the newer version 4.1.

What About Databases?

Let me steal unabashedly and admiringly from Chris Breen here:

Open the Appleworks database and choose Organize->Show All Records.

Select a layout that displays every field, select all, and copy the text to the clipboard.

You can also export the database as ASCII text. If you export the database data to an Appleworks spreadsheet and then move it to FileMaker, some odd characters might appear.

Open a new spreadsheet document. This can be Appleworks’ own spreadsheet component or an Excel document (Ed. I just tried Numbers from iWork ‘09 and it worked great)

Paste the text into the spreadsheet.

In all likelihood your data won’t contain field headings-Address and Phone Number, for example. When pasting your text, be sure to plunk that text down a couple of rows, leaving room to enter the field heading titles in the first row of the spreadsheet.

Save the spreadsheet as ASCII text.

Open that file in Filemaker Pro (or another database that imports delimited ASCII text, such as Bento 2).

The data will appear in a spreadsheet layout, meaning you’lll have to recreate the original database’s layout. No, your forms do not copy over from Appleworks.

What about MacLinkPlus?

DataViz does not sell MacLinkPlus anymore. I have MacLinkPlus. We can talk at the meeting.

What if I have to run Appleworks? What are the extreme options?

Your extreme options come down to this:

You can keep Appleworks on a separate machine and link the two machines via Teleport. Teleport lets you use one keyboard and pointing device to control up to 3 other Macs. Go to the Abysssoft Web site for more information. It’s a free donation-ware program.

If you have to run Appleworks on a MacBook Pro, I have successfully tested the option of running Appleworks on the Sheepshaver PPC emulation with OS 9.04.

As for running Appleworks under Snow Leopard with a virtual machine such as Parallels/VM Fusion/VirtualBox, I haven’t tested this. Tell us what you found out.

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