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Apple acknowledges iWork '09 file incompatibility

updated 02:55 pm EST, Thu February 19, 2009

iWork file compatibility

Apple has acknowledged file compatibility issues with the new iWork '09 software suite that was debuted at the Macworld Expo early in January. Users running iWork '08 will not be able to open files saved in the iWork '09 formats. The issue also applies to Numbers '08, Keynote '08 and Pages '08 documents that are opened and saved using iWork '09.

The company suggests that users save files as iWork '08 documents from within iWork '09. The software will provide a prompt if the file was made with an earlier version. A copy of the file can then be saved as an iWork '08 or Microsoft Office document.

Apple has not yet announced additional details, including the possibility that future software updates will alleviate the problem.






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Oneota

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Umm..duh!

    It's been this way with every version of iWork. Why would '09 be any different?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -12

    not good

    This is a problem worthy of Microsoft. It's really disappointing to me that Apple has these problems so often lately. What happened to their quality control department? This is not a minor thing.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -11

    not good 2

    Upon further review, it appears iWork 09 will open iWork 08 documents, just not the other way around. So I guess it's only half bad - still unacceptable from Apple.

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +9

    whatever

    And Final Cut 5 can't read a file from Final Cut 6. Same with all adobe products... try opening an illustrator CS3 file with CS2 (did they really change that much)... or after effects.

    At least iWork'09 has a "save as '08 option"
    no such luck on after effects or final cut.

  1. mjtomlin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +14

    Uh, Hello.

    Am I the only person not new to software updates? This has been the case since people started writing new versions of software. An older version of an application has never been able to understand features or data from a newer version of the same software.

    As long as I've been using computers we've always had to do a "Save As" and choose an older version or other file format. How exactly is this news?

    The best they could do is write an update to the older version and have it ignore certain unsupported data and still open it, but there would be missing data. I suppose to give someone else something to complain about.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +10

    Nothing new

    The term is "backward compatibility," which as been the standard since the beginning of computing. It's very simple. In order for a format to provide new features then "forward compatibility" must be broken. This is common and normal. The solution is to provide a means of saving files without the new features. This means that any file making use of the new feature will lose that feature when saved in the previous version format.

    The fact that you need to specify that you want that to happen is also normal.

    The only "transparent" solution would be to save "fat" versions of the file, which essentially contains multiple version of the file format. This is just wasteful.

    Apple did the right thing in my opinion. They provided the means to save in either format.

    And beside that. If you just want to send someone a copy of the file, send them the PDF version and they don't even have to have iWork at all.

  1. Rocha

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Uh?!

    I just don't get it. This is not a bug or anything. This is normal for any software out there.

  1. eggman

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Must be a slow news day

    This is such a non-issue.

    It would be a problem if the iWork applications didn't provide a "Save As" option to create files compatible with older versions.

    But it does.

  1. cwsmith

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    not exactly news.

    Photoshop 7 can't open Photoshop CS1 files.
    Quark 3 can't open Quark 4 files.
    Digital Performer 4 can't open Digital Performer 5 files.
    Office 2004 can't open Office 2008 files.

    This has been common practice for as long as I've been using computers and software of any kind. The fact that iWork 08 can't open iWork 09 files is nothing new.

    The workaround to "save down" to an earlier version of the same program has also been in place for as long as I can remember. At some point, older versions drop off the support map (Digital Performer 5 can't save down to DP 2.5, for example). Again, this is not newsworthy.

  1. cwsmith

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    not exactly news.

    Photoshop 7 can't open Photoshop CS1 files.
    Quark 3 can't open Quark 4 files.
    Digital Performer 4 can't open Digital Performer 5 files.
    Office 2004 can't open Office 2008 files.

    This has been common practice for as long as I've been using computers and software of any kind. The fact that iWork 08 can't open iWork 09 files is nothing new.

    The workaround to "save down" to an earlier version of the same program has also been in place for as long as I can remember. At some point, older versions drop off the support map (Digital Performer 5 can't save down to DP 2.5, for example). Again, this is not newsworthy.

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