Mass Conversion of Two Years of Docs from AppleWorks (CWK) to Plain Text?
January 15, 2004 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Due to stupidity, I have more than two years' worth of work written in AppleWorks and saved as .cwk files. The application is no longer bundled with OS X, and I'm not paying for it, so what's the best and quickest way to convert the files to plain text?

I should maybe add that the files in question have no fancy formatting, just paragraph breaks - all I want to do is convert them for quick reading/searching in a text editor without all the AppleWorks-specific gobbledegook messing things up.
posted by jack_mo to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
have you tried just changing the .cwk to a .txt file? If you are in OSX, have you tried opening it with TextEdit? If it does open you could quickly reformat it using WordService. I'd try it if I had an old Appleworks file, but alas, I don't.
posted by grimley at 8:30 AM on January 15, 2004


AppleWorks still comes with all the iComputers. It may be more reliable for your files to send them to someone who has AppleWorks and have them saved as RTF or something for you.

Also, I'm able to open my old .cwk files in TextEdit. I lose some formatting, but the important stuff is in there.
posted by ahughey at 9:36 AM on January 15, 2004


Ditto on the TextEdit trick. BBedit will also open nearly anything to extract text. Maybe your local Apple Store will let you show up with a firewire drive and convert them all proper-like.
posted by Dick Paris at 1:28 PM on January 15, 2004


Thanks for the tips everyone.

Maybe I wasn't too clear - I have no problems opening the files in TextEdit, SubEthaEdit, BBEdit, Word, etc. but the files have line after line of stuff at the head and foot like this: q&^^jhi^%%'''AS,,,***dsg

So, I haven't actually lost anything now that I don't have AppleWorks, but I'd prefer it if I could quickly strip all of that muck away and be left with nice clean .txt files. I could do it manually (it's too random to do a find and replace), either in a text editor or by obtaining a copy of AppleWorks and re-saving them as plain text. But there's thousands of files...

I guess my question should have been: Is there an application or script to batch convert AppleWorks documents to plain text files?
posted by jack_mo at 2:17 AM on January 16, 2004


Assuming OSX truly has a full BSD behind it, why not try strings on the file? It will strip the crap out for you.
posted by shepd at 2:43 AM on January 16, 2004


Hmmn - strings seems to add more crap at the top and bottom (including absolutely tons of XML stuff that looks like .plist files do), removes all the punctuation marks, and adds line breaks at odd points. But that's just me not knowing how to use it.

Thanks awfully for the pointer, though - looks like I might be able to fathom it out. I wish man pages for linux things actually, you know, clearly told you what something does and how to do it, with examples.
posted by jack_mo at 3:27 AM on January 16, 2004


Possibly TextSoap might be easier. $20 shareware.
Also, MacLinkPlus should do it, but it's $79.
posted by milovoo at 12:50 PM on January 16, 2004



Maybe I wasn't too clear - I have no problems opening the files in TextEdit, SubEthaEdit, BBEdit, Word, etc. but the files have line after line of stuff at the head and foot like this: q&^^jhi^%%'''AS,,,***dsg


Why don't you run it through a spell checker?
posted by rdr at 3:13 AM on January 17, 2004


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