Web Page Publishing from AppleWorks






AppleWorks can save a word processing document as a web page. It converts text formatting to HTML tags, tables and spreadsheet frames to HTML tables, graphic objects to image files. But there are some quirks in the process.



We use the HTML converter to produce our whole web site. It is assisted by an AppleScript based program that removes some of the errors and another that manages the site.

This is a revised list of some HTML export bugs and wishes in AppleWorks 5 and 6. Unless specified otherwise, each issue applies to AppleWorks 5 and 6.

A few things to remember when setting up a word processing document to output as HTML.

    1. Avoid using floating graphics. You should paste graphics in the text body (ie with the text tool active), not in the drawing area (ie with the pointer tool active). A floating graphic is embedded in the HTML text at a position that is hard to predict. If the graphic consists of multiple objects overlapping but not grouped as one, then they are separated in the output and sometimes repeated.
    2. The converter ignores tabs and multiple spaces. Use option-space to create multiple spaces in the output.

Russ Conte posted a How to make your first web page with AppleWorks tutorial.
You can publish an AppleWorks database with its own search form and search engine using our Database Web Publish script.

AppleWorks' standard HTML translator (ie when you Save As HTML) has several bugs and misses some critical features.

Export Freezes
Making changes to links in an Appleworks document, such deleting rows in a table that contain links, can sometimes corrupt the AppleWorks document. It saves and opens okay, but when you save as HTML, AppleWorks just keeps adding to the HTML file (I’ve seen it go over 2GB) until you force quit. To fix this problem (after reopening the AppleWorks document), show the Links palette, double click each link in turn. AppleWorks should reveal the linked text in the document. If it doesn’t, that link is unattached so delete it. Save the document and try to save as HTML again.

Link Starting With /
A link starting with a slash should go to the top level of the site. But AppleWorks 5 replaces with “/”, which is meaningless. Also affects links starting with a slash. This bug is fixed in AppleWorks 6 and by our Web Publish script.

Links in Spreadsheet Frames
Links in spreadsheet frames are lost when exporting to HTML.

For example, the center cell below contains a link, but does not appear in the HTML output.

  BareFeetWare AppleWorks  

Links in graphics
Links attached to part of a graphic object (eg region in a painting or some graphic objects within a larger graphic) are lost when exporting to HTML.

For example, the circle in each of the graphics below has a URL attached to it. The left graphic is a drawing, the right is a painting.

Links Inherit Formatting
A link following formatted text inherits some of its formatting (eg large font) or does not turn off some formatting (eg blue text) at its end. Work around by inserting an unformatted paragraph containing just a period.

No Blue Border
AppleWorks should not place a blue border around linked graphics. Our script removes borders from images so they don’t appear with a blue outline.

Table Borders
An AppleWorks table or spreadsheet frame borders’ color and width are not exported in the HTML table. Our script sets border width to zero, which looks better in most cases (such as the header of this page) but still not ideal.

Title, Keywords and Description
The document properties or summary (in the File menu) information should be exported as the corresponding HTML META tags. This would be extremely useful for search engines that look for this information to build their indexes and relevance ranking. Our script does this for AppleWorks 6.

Graphic Format
Need to specify graphic type (JPEG, PNG or GIF) per graphic. Or perhaps a global option to auto choose so that drawings are saved as GIF/PNG, paintings as JPEG.

AppleWorks 6 removed the option to save web images as GIF (due to the new Unisys patents), and introduced PNG. PNG is great in theory but few browsers support them, especially old ones that can’t be upgraded on old computers. JPEG is good for photos but lousy for drawing (graphics) especially when viewed on a 256 color screen. For maximum flexibility, we need the PICT option that was provided in ClarisWorks 4. It saves images without loss of quality, which can then be post processed into any required format.

There is no way to enter raw HTML coding. In ClarisWorks 4, the HTML exporter would export any red text as raw HTML. Perhaps the best method would be to use some style such as "HTML Raw" that would export as HTML, and have the option to be invisible on screen for previewing and printing from AppleWorks. We are looking at providing this in our Web Publish script.

No Blue Linked Text
Don’t save blue font color for a link in the HTML. Leave the display up to the browser settings. Removed by our Web Publish script.

Background Image Per Document
AppleWorks allows you to specify an image file to be used as the background for all saved HTML documents. It would be more useful to allow a different background image for each document, without needing to change the preferences each time. Perhaps the background image could be supported as a property of an AppleWorks document.

Monospaced font export.
In ClarisWorks 4, the following paragraph would have exported with a monospaced tag, since it was created in Monaco font.

This text is monospaced, useful for text tables and email quotes.

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