AppleWorks 6




AppleWorks 6 was released in early 2000, as the first major upgrade since ClarisWorks 5 in 1997. Apart from a few updates (mainly bug fixes) it hasn’t really been changed since. This page keeps a close eye on any new information about AppleWorks.

Enhancement Pack
for AppleWorks


If AppleWorks 6 doesn’t have what you need, maybe it’s in the Enhancement Pack, which adds Table of Contents, Dashed Lines, Web Publishing and Comparing of word processing and database documents and dozens more extra features.

Tell us


If you have more information or news about AppleWorks 6, reviews, or related articles, please let us know.


Enhancement Pack
1.7 released



The past few months have seen several updates for the Enhancement Pack for AppleWorks. Improvements since version 1.4.1 a few years ago include: Mac OS X compatibility, many new methods for the Database Replace command, Import of CSV and tabbed files with autosensing of return/linefeed and CSV/tab filtering (of quotes and superfluous space), inproved installer (including support for Swedish, Italian & Japanese versions of AppleWorks 6), quicker Paste Plain text, improved web publising of text and databases, various bug fixes.


Older Info


The information below is from 2001 & earlier.

AppleWorks 6
bundled on G4 Cube


“In an effort to increase its value and sell more of the lower-priced and new 500MHz G4 Cubes, Apple has added AppleWorks 6 to the Cube software bundle.”

New AppleWorks
product manager


“Jeff Ferber, AppleWorks Product Manager... joined Apple in May. Jeff worked at EDS/NewEnergy in Atlanta and before that, he worked as an Application Engineer in the robotics software division of Adept Technology”

Speculation about
Apple’s lost vision


“Somehow AW6 got massively off track during development. Apple is not full of idiots. The problem didn't happen all at once. But with an idea here, and the loss of an important person there, and the introduction of a new personality somewhere else, the AW vision was lost...”

New Suggested Features Forum


AWUG started a new discussion forum for suggesting new features for AppleWorks. AWUG sends on the suggestions to Apple, but we have as yet seen no feedback from Apple on the forum. The topic changes each month. This month’s the topic is database features.

Enhancement Pack
1.2 released



BareFeetWare upgraded the Enhancement Pack for AppleWorks to provide: Replace database field with a value, increase or apply a formula, Find Duplicate records, Open CSV (comma separated values) files, Frequency statistical function, Renumber References (such as “Figure n”), Table of Contents can match font styles (eg bold), Dashed Lines supporting arrows; Web Publishing can summarize just the visible records from a database and translates leading tabs from word processing.



Do you need some extra functionality that AppleWorks does not provide? Check our list of third party extras.

Find and Help
fail in Mac OS X


AppleWorks 6 launches as a native (“Carbonized”) application in Mac OS X (Public Beta). However, some features such as Help and Find don’t work or quit the program.



Supercharge Your Software: “AppleWorks... does have ... AppleScript support, which comes in very handy for automating many AppleWorks tasks, making it so that you hardly need to lift a finger... Installing AppleScripts in AppleWorks is easy. Just drop the compiled script (or applet) into the Scripts folder... The next time you run AppleWorks, your new scripts will show up in the Scripts menu. Enhancement Pack for AppleWorks: This collection of 40 AppleScripts (by BareFeetWare) works with AppleWorks 5 and 6... They add tons of abilities to AppleWorks...”

Translators for $40


The book “AppleWorks 6, The Missing Manual” includes a voucher to buy MacLink Plus translators (so you can convert documents between AppleWork and MS Word and other formats) at the upgrade price of $39.95 (instead of the usual $99 purchase price). You can also buy at the upgrade price if you have a copy of Mac OS 8.0, which included MacLinkPlus.

Database Ghosts


Most database users have discovered a glaring bug that displays (but does not actually enter) the data from the previous record when creating a new record. You can work around it by hitting the “Enter” key and/or moving to the previous then forward to the current record or layout. David suggests that it might only occur in low memory situations, so increasing AppleWorks’ RAM allocation might help.

Mac OS X and


MacCentral briefly discusses AppleWorks and mail applications in Mac OS X.

Spell Checker fails
in Mac OS X


When run under Mac OS X, AppleWorks 6’s spell checker does not locate the dictionary, even when told where to find it.

Scripts menu
in MacOS X


“AppleWorks should continue to be able to show a script menu under Mac OS X. A non-appearing menu may be a bug. Until we get that fixed, use the Script Runner application provided in the Beta install: Applications > GrabBag > AppleScript > Script Runner. This application is designed to launch scripts saved in a compiled format.”

in Mac OS X.


“... AppleWorks is one of the key scriptable apps for Mac OS X. I've been scripting it and the QuickTime Player to create automated call sheets and with Adobe Illustrator to auto-generate headlines for the web. I'll be featuring it in all my Mac OS X scripting demos and will continue to push it and its issues to the fore whenever possible.”

Enhancement Pack
1.1 released


BareFeetWare released version 1.1 of the popular Enhancement Pack for AppleWorks, which adds 40 features to AppleWorks 6 (and 5). Improvements include: fixed bugs in earlier releases and AppleWorks AppleScript support; Replace (DB) does checkboxes; Web Publish (DB) can publish static web page summaries of a database and include raw HTML; Dashed Lines supports rectangles; Text Along Arc is faster and more accurate; Draw Cell Borders asks for width; Negative Cells Red also blackens positive cells; Small Caps only changes lower case characters; Convert Labels can remove style; Index is 30 times faster; Table of Contents does not require defined styles; Web Publish (WP) joins consecutive tables and remembers settings per document.

MacFixit reports
bug saving to server


MacFixit reports on a bug that many users have seen. AppleWorks 6 does not lock a document when opened with write access. So another person can open the same document (eg if it’s on a file server) and both make changes. Only the last save is kept, overwriting previous changes.



In the September issue, MacWorld published a “Tricks for Six - Make the most of AppleWorks 6” article. They point out that you should use the latest version (6.0.4) to address various problems. The RTF translator is better at exporting than importing, but MacLink’s RTF translator supports more features such as user styles. MacLink does not yet directly support AppleWorks 6 formats so first converts to AppleWorks 5, lacking support for new features such as tables. You can’t copy your old XTND translators from AppleWorks 5. The scripts menu contains a subset of the Enhancement Pack for AppleWorks by BareFeetWare, which includes “Export for XPress (exports paragraph style names, bold and italic character styles and some other information), Linear Regression [with figure] and Text Along Arc [with figure]. The AppleScript support in AppleWorks 6 is an improvement on previous versions. If you are interested in creating your own scripts, BareFeetWare presents a growing series of AppleScript Tutorials using AppleWorks... also maintains a useful AppleWorks 6 news page.”

Antony Nispel


AppleScript support for spell checking is removed in AppleWorks 6: “I have been working on a killer AppleScript project that saves a students mispelled words after each spell-check. Although AW5 allowed me to perform an automatic spell-check, AW6 does not provide this object for scripting.”

Simon Hayman


Simon Hayman lists his initial experiences after finally taking the plunge with the upgrade to AppleWorks 6. The button bar fits all the buttons he needs, icWord takes care of translating MS Word documents. He likes the citation assistant, tables. No trouble on his G3 with screen size, speed or stability. Graphing Calculator is a viable alternative to the supplied old version of Equation Editor.

Computer User
Must have items
for AW6


“... if you want to pump up AW, you can purchase the latest version and a handful of enhancement-adding utilities and still spend slightly less cash and consume lots less RAM than you would with Office 98... sports more than 100 new features and a revamped look... adds a presentation component... However, AW 6 has drawn mixed reviews from the Mac community...” This well balanced article continues to point out that AppleWorks 6 can be enhanced by several utilities.

David Pogue
in MacWorld


“In the July issue of Macworld, David Pogue - the Desktop Critic, Mac advocate extrodinaire, lambastes AW 6 for ALL the reasons we have pointed up. The article is not available online @ Macworld yet, hopefully soon.”



AppleWorks Scripts add many new features to AppleWorks.



“... the thesaurus in AW6? Now there's an improvement worth touting! It now has a dictionary component!...”

AppleWorks 6 with
cheaper than ClarisWorks 1.0


AWUG Editor, Warren Williams, points out that the cost of AppleWorks 6 and MacLinkPlus is a bargain.

Disappointment at
lack of new features


Now that the dust has settled on the AppleWorks 6 release, some users (eg Bill Wood, 2, Louise Cole, Lor, Tony Wayne, Christopher) lament the loss of translators and more efficent palettes, GIF export and support for PhotoShop plug-ins, are disappointed with the lack of long requested core features, are frustrated by some reproducible bugs, and wonder where Apple is heading.

Enhancement Pack
updated to 1.0.3


The Enhancement Pack for AppleWorks (version 5 and 6) has been upgraded with better international compatibility, speed and bug fixes. It adds 40 new features to AppleWorks.

AppleWorks 6.0.4



Apple released the AppleWorks 6.0.4 updater that “addresses a compatibility issue with AppleWorks 6.0.3 and DataViz translators”. It also fixes some problems with large spreadsheets, web features, links from some help buttons, error -14 in the 6.0.3 updater log, some crashes editing presentations spelling and thesaurus.




Gary Kampel points out the need to set GlobalFax to grayscale (not fine quality) to fax properly from AppleWorks 6.

MacAddict Reviews
AppleWorks 6 as a
”mixed bag”


MacAddict says “Apple has added some useful new features, it can't seem to break its recently acquired habit of making counterproductive interface changes”. They omit mention of workarounds such as option clicking for screen resolution presentations, but imply that old features, such as text wrap around pictures, are new. Discusses lack of pop-up font and size menus, without mention of their reinclusion in AppleWorks 6.0.3.

Select “All” to
List all file types.


AppleWorks 6.0.3 changes the Open and Insert dialog box default formats from “All” to “AppleWorks”. So many users (eg 1) are frustrated to not see their image, text or other file listed, as if AppleWorks won’t translate it. You need to change the Format pop-up menu to “All”, then the files appear in the list. We suspect that Apple did this to reduce the delay displaying the Open dialog box in AppleWorks 6.0, but this a poor user interface.



Get the most out of the AppleWorks 6 Scripts menu and add more features to AppleWorks. The first tutorial shows how to use and customize some sample scripts, by simply selecting menu items. The subsequent tutorials show you how to write your own scripts from scratch and, best of all, actually understand what you’re doing :-)

Use MacLink
translators from
AppleWorks 5


One of the AppleWorks team suggests using the MacLink Plus translators from AppleWorks 5 with AppleWorks 6.

Button Bar:
Needs improvement?


Compare the AppleWorks 5 and new AppleWorks 6 buttons bars for flexibility (eg multiple rows of buttons). We have also posted a prototype replacement to provide some of the missing features.

Missing Assistants for
“Other Countries”


The AppleWorks 6 “Other Countries” installer omits the “Address List” and “Home Finance” assistants. Hey, in non USA countries we still need to keep track of friends/associates and money :-)

MacWorld Review
AppleWorks 6.0


In an article that seems to be slated for their July 2000 issue, MacWorld gives a poor evaluation of AppleWorks 6, with no mention of 6.0.3. If only Apple had told us all a few weeks ago (when MacWorkd were writing) that 6.0.3 was coming, they could have save delayed bad publicity in printed magazines. Sigh.

About This
Particular Mac


One of the best and most detailed examinations of AppleWorks 6. “Apple has no clue why AppleWorks was so popular in the first place, and fear that Apple really truly believes that style is more important than good software design. The product is still good, but the trend is not.”

Web Publishing


AppleWorks 6 only slightly improves the web page (HTML) exporting. Some bugs and tips are documented here.



MacFixit readers reports are generally glowing about 6.0.3.

MacOS Daily


Rob Stevenson provides speed comparisons of AppleWorks 6.0 against 6.0.3.

Rotated text is
no longer jagged


Older versions of AppleWorks allowed rotation of text, but would print with jagged edges on a non-PostScript printer. This is fixed in AppleWorks 6 by enabling “Fractional Character Widths”.

Improved QuickTime
support for scans


The AppleWorks 6 documentation only mentions “improved support for QuickTime” without detail. One improvement we’ve found is that AppleWorks 6 can accept inserted QuickTime compressed images (eg JPEG) without converting internally to PICT. For instance, if you drag and drop a JPEG image file compressed from 2MB down to 200k, AppleWorks only requires the smaller amount of memory.

New bugs
in AW 6.0.3


There are reports of (only) a few new bugs in AppleWorks 6.0.3. The installer log notes an “Update Error: -14 -> ... AppleWorks 6”, but seems to install OK. Saving using a MacLinkPlus translator seems to instead save as ClarisWorks 4, requiring saving as AppleWorks 5 and direct translation with the MacLinkPlus app.

Discussion forums
are happy with 6.0.3.


So far, everyone seems happy with the 6.0.3 update, such as Glen 2000.05.03 (GoMac, Now Utilities compatibility, remembered additions to spelling dictionary).



Now that the major bugs are fixed with the release of AppleWorks 6.0.3, we’ve restarted our focus on this new version. See our AppleWorks scripting problems page to see what’s improved in AppleWorks 6.0.3 compared to 5.0.

AppleWorks 6.0.3
Updater 2000.05.02


At last! Apple has fixed most of the glaring problems in AppleWorks 6 with the release of the AppleWorks 6.0.3 updater. It fixes the long delays in launching, displaying palettes, open and save dialogs, greatly improves stability, adds an RTF translator, fixes the font display of calculated fields and the occasional Save As of the wrong document, restores pop up font and size menus (not user style) and even fixes a few AppleScript problems.

MacOS Daily


Rob Stevenson gives a two part review of his experience with AppleWorks 6: installation and initial use. The second part includes a table comparison of AppleWorks 5 vs 6 speed.

CarbonLib 1.0.3


Apple released an update of the CarbonLib extension which “addresses several outstanding customer issues and improves system stability when using Carbon-based applications, such as AppleWorks 6”. (This is superseded by Carbon 1.0.4 included in the AppleWorks 6.0.3 update, above).



Discussion continues in earnest on Apple’s Discussion forum, with a notable absence of Apple replies. Some users, such as David 2000.04.13 have posted useful steps to make AppleWorks 6 run smooth and stable. James Earl 2000.04.27 posted a summary of what he sees missing in AppleWorks 6, compared to 5.



SunSpot reviews AppleWorks 6, with quotes from the product manager about the likelihood of addressing user concerns.

Hands On



A well thought, balanced, truthful, though brief review of AppleWorks 6 by someone who has hands on experience. Unfortunately, he doesn’t mention the scripts which, for example, would satisfy his need for Small Caps.

Mac OS Rumors


There is a rumor that AppleWorks 6.1 seeding is beginning. Perhaps Apple is listening and will fix the problems with AppleWorks 6.



Some constructive comments and requests, from people such as John Chapman 2000.03.07. Apple is responding and taking heed. Sidney (2000.03.13) solved problems by disabling all non Mac OS Extensions.

Mac News Network


Mac News Network (MNN) has posted its own page of comments about AppleWorks 6 from readers.

Mail List


The AppleWorks/ClarisWorks mail list has some interesting and some detailed comments from AppleWorks 6 users: Christopher Nye 2000.03.03, 2000.0310 (regarding palettes), David Binnion 2000.03.03 (not too slow, styles awkward), Apple: 2000.03.03 (Option click play to show presentation at other resolutions), 2000.01.11 (how features work, such as presentations, downloading clip art, clippings palette, auto save, fixed “Helvetica bug”, translating to AppleWorks 5), Warren Williams 2000.01.11 (translating to old formats, using the clippings palette to grab images from web sites, table cells and auto save) 2000.01.07 (summarizes the MacWorld announcement and mentions an 8 page review in the February AppleWorks Journal).




Macintouch has started posting some detailed comments about AppleWorks 6.



MacFixIt lists some bugs, conflicts and first impressions.



VersionTracker lists AppleWorks 6 as shipping, along with a survey form.



MacCentral says that some have been informed that AppleWorks 6 is now shipping.

AppleWorks 6
Announced at


In his keynote address at MacWorld Expo 2000, San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced AppleWorks 6. He only mentioned it briefly, taking 25 seconds of the full presentation. The AppleWorks product manager, Kate Wormington, was scheduled to run a workshop on AppleWorks “Maximizing Your Experience” on Tuesday 12 - 7pm, and a presentation for education on Thursday 11am PST.

Home Page


Apple has updated their AppleWorks home page again (early February).



Macintouch has a brief review of the AppleWorks 6 announcement.

AppleWorks 6
Data Sheet


Apple has added to their site a 4 page outline of the new AppleWorks features. 1004kB.

Apple Insider


Before the announcement, Apple Insider leaked some information about AppleWorks 6.

Should match
system features


“Apple should beef up its application offerings with products that spotlight the Mac OS to the fullest... AppleWorks should be at the top of this list... should be updated along with every major update of the Mac OS. When possible it should incorporate and spotlight new features of the Mac OS. After all, what other application is in a better position to do this.

With a Carbonized AppleWorks, Mac OS X, and a Web browser shipping on a new Mac, an end user will have all the basic tools to for productivity.”


Keep watching


Keep an eye on this page. We are adding review information (at the top) as it becomes available.