Developer(s) Bob Hearn and Scott Haldaway
Initial release 1985; Template:Years or months ago (1985)
Stable release 6.2.9 (Mac OS X)/6.2.8 (Mac OS 8.1-9.2.2)/6.2.2 (Windows) / January 14, 2004
Development status Historic (August 15, 2007)
Operating system Mac OS X, Mac OS, Windows 2000 or later
Type Office Suite
License Proprietary
Website Appleworks Support

AppleWorks refers to two different office suite products, both of which are now discontinued. Originally, AppleWorks was an integrated software package for the Apple II platform, released in 1984 by Apple Computer. In 1998, the name AppleWorks was repurposed by Apple following its elimination of its Claris subsidiary, which marketed a software package for Macintosh and Windows named ClarisWorks. At one time, AppleWorks was bundled with all consumer-level Macs sold by Apple.

As of August 15, 2007, AppleWorks has reached end-of-life status, and is no longer being sold.[1] Word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications with capabilities similar to AppleWorks are currently sold as the iWork suite.

"AppleWorks Classic" (Apple II version, 1984–1991)

The original AppleWorks was one of the first integrated office suites for personal computers, featuring a word processor, spreadsheet, and database merged into a single program. It was written by Rupert Lissner and released in 1984 by Apple for the Apple II family of computers. Apple had previously published Lissner's QuickFile, a database program that closely resembled what became the AppleWorks database module. An Apple III version of AppleWorks, which used the same file formats, was dubbed III E-Z Pieces and marketed by Haba Systems.

Wary of stepping on the toes of its third-party developers, including its own popular AppleWriter word processing application, Apple barely promoted the product at all. AppleWorks nevertheless debuted at #2 on the Softalk's monthly bestseller list and quickly became the best-selling software package on any computer, ousting even Lotus 1-2-3 from the top of the industry-wide sales charts.[2]

Apple released version 2.0 in 1986, and then a year later the program was published by Apple's new software subsidiary Claris. Claris contracted with Beagle Bros to upgrade AppleWorks to version 3.0 in 1989, then turned its attention to producing Macintosh and Windows software, letting AppleWorks languish. Claris did, however, finally agree to license the AppleWorks trademark to Quality Computers, which released AppleWorks 4.0 in 1993 and AppleWorks 5.0 in 1994.

In the mid-1980s, many companies provided "add ons" to AppleWorks. One of the most successful was the TimeOut series from Beagle Bros. TimeOut developers Alan Bird, Randy Brandt and Rob Renstrom were involved in developing AppleWorks 3.0 and eventually AppleWorks incorporated numerous TimeOut functions.[3] TimeOut developers Randy Brandt and Dan Verkade created AppleWorks 4.0 and 5.0 for Quality Computers.

The 8-bit AppleWorks is sometimes referred to as "AppleWorks Classic" in order to differentiate it from AppleWorks GS as well as the later product for Macintosh and Windows of the same name. The term "Classic" in this context does not refer to the Classic compatibility environment in Mac OS X.

Versions of "AppleWorks Classic"

Version Year Notes
1.0 1984 First release.
1.1 1985 Fixed hardware bugs with printers and interface cards.
1.2 1985 More hardware compatibility improvement.
1.3 1986 Hardware support enhancements. Update cost $20.
2.0 September 1986 More features and better hardware support. Update cost $50.
2.1 September 1988 Bug fixes and hardware compatibility improvement. Released by Claris.
3.0 1989 More features. Update either cost $79 or $99.
4.0 November 1, 1993 More features. Released by Quality Computers.
4.01 Early November 1993 Bug fixes.
4.02 Bug fixes.
4.3 1993 [4]
5.0 November 1994 Code-named 'Narnia'.
5.1 Summer 1995 Bug fixes.

AppleWorks GS (Apple IIgs version, 1988–1996)

In 1988, Claris acquired an integrated package called GS Works from StyleWare and renamed it AppleWorks GS, bringing the AppleWorks brand to the 16-bit Apple IIgs, though no code from the 8-bit Apple II version was used. In addition to the word processing, database, and spreadsheet functions, AppleWorks GS also included telecommunications, page layout and graphics modules. Only one version of major AppleWorks GS was ever published, progressing as far as 1.1, although a vaporware 2.0 update was rumored to be "just short of completion" for a long time.[5]

Versions of AppleWorks GS

Version Year Notes
1.0 1988 First version
1.0v2 Bug fix release.
1.1 1989 Supports System Software 5.
1.2 (not released) Planned bug fix release, developed by Quality Computers.
2.0 (not released) Planned release, developed by Quality Computers.

AppleWorks/ClarisWorks (Macintosh/Windows versions, 1991–2004)

The modern incarnation of AppleWorks started life as ClarisWorks, written by Bob Hearn and Scott Holdaway and published by Claris (a spin-off from Apple, today known as FileMaker Inc). The file extension of AppleWorks and ClarisWorks documents is .cwk. ClarisWorks combined

All the components were integrated to provide a seamless suite that worked in concert; for example, spreadsheet frames could be embedded in a word processing document, or formatted text into drawings, etc. A common misconception is that the components were derived from the existing Claris programs MacWrite and MacDraw. In fact, ClarisWorks was written from scratch and then redesigned to match other Claris programs after the purchase by Claris.

ClarisWorks 1.0 shipped for the Macintosh in 1991 and was subsequently ported to the Windows platform, shipping as ClarisWorks 1.0 for Windows in 1993. When the Claris company was disbanded and absorbed back into Apple, the product was renamed AppleWorks; in fact, version 5 was released shortly before the product's return to Apple and was briefly called ClarisWorks 5.

The last version, AppleWorks 6, replaced the communications feature with a presentation feature (in prior versions there was only rudimentary support for presentations through the other features). It was also ported to the Carbon API to work on Mac OS X, but as an early Carbon application, it did not take advantage of many of the newer features of Mac OS X and portions of the interface still retained elements of the Platinum appearance of Mac OS 8/9.

Using Claris' XTND framework, AppleWorks could create, open, and save files in a number of file formats. For example, word processor documents could be saved in Microsoft Word format, and spreadsheet files could be saved in Microsoft Excel format.

The software received good reviews during the course of its lifespan for its interface and the tight integration of its modules. For example, like the earlier versions mentioned above, in AppleWorks a drawing "frame" could be placed in a spreadsheet document, a paint frame could be placed in a drawing document, etc. This allowed for very elaborate and data-rich layouts. However, the limitations of the product (such as its confusing and cumbersome stylesheet feature) became more apparent as the product aged. The program also only allowed for a single undo/redo, and in many cases, if a frame from one module was placed in another module, the frame would no longer be editable in any way as soon as it was deselected.

Equation Editor by Design Science was bundled with AppleWorks. Also, the MathType or MathMagic equation editors can be used. Both support automatic baseline alignment for inline equations.

End of AppleWorks

In August 2007, Apple declared AppleWorks "end of life" and stated that they will no longer sell the package. The iWork package, which includes a word processing program, a spreadsheet, and a presentation graphics program, is intended to be its replacement. While much more feature-rich, iWork still lacks some of the modules and the tight integration of AppleWorks. AppleWorks will not run on any versions of Mac OS X later than Snow Leopard because it is written in PowerPC code.

With the advent of system 10.7 ("Lion"), AppleWorks is no longer supported by the Macintosh operating system.[6] AppleWorks word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation files can be opened in the iWork applications Pages, Numbers, and Keynote respectively. There is no Apple-supplied application to open AppleWorks database, painting, or drawing files without converting them to a different format.[6] Some versions of EazyDraw software support the import of the AppleWorks drawing formats. This software runs on Mountain Lion and older. [7] There is an Apple works user group. [8] and there is an article on migrating away from AppleWorks [9]


BYTE's reviewer in December 1984 called AppleWorks "easy to use, genuinely user-friendly, and well documented". She called the word processor "my favorite part ... well above average" and the spreadsheet and database "good but certainly not standouts". As a package for novice and casual users, the reviewer concluded, "Appleworks is excellent".[10]

See also


External links

  • Apple: iWork
  • A Brief History of ClarisWorks - A history of ClarisWorks/AppleWorks from one of the original developers, Bob Hearn.
  • Apple II History: AppleWorks - Chapter of an Apple II History dedicated to AppleWorks.
  • "Apple II User Interfaces"
  • AppleWorks 6.2.9 Update for Macintosh
  • ArsTechnica: RIP Appleworks

Template:Office suites

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