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Apple details compatibility issues between iWork '08 and '09

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Apple has acknowledged a problem with its productivity suite, iWork, in which the previous version known as iWork '08 cannot open files created by iWork '09.

Posted earlier this week, the support article advises users of a workaround but makes no mention of any forthcoming corrective updates to iWork '08. The latest version, iWork '09, was unveiled at Macworld last month with updates to Keynote, Pages, and Numbers along with a new online service called iWork.com.

Apple instructs users to save their documents as iWork '08 files if they need compatibility with the older version. While Apple used Keynote '09 as an example in the screenshots, the same issue affects the entire suite.

"If you save your slideshow as an iWork '09 document, you will not be able to open it with iWork '08," according to Apple. "This applies to Numbers '08, Keynote '08, and Pages '08 documents you open and save using iWork '09."





The Cupertino-based Mac maker warns users that any attempts to open iWork '09 documents with iWork '08 will result in the following message:



Anyone who is merely upgrading to the next version can take consolation in iWork '09's backward compatibility, meaning the new version can still open their existing iWork '08 files.

Ironically, Apple released an update to iWork '08 earlier this month that promised to address "general compatibility issues" without specifying what issues were being corrected.
post #2 of 47
I know bugs are to be expected with software updates, but one would think that compatibility is one of the major things they check for.
post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPrtmn4evr View Post

I know bugs are to be expected with software updates, but one would think that compatibility is one of the major things they check for.

But this isn't a "bug" per se.

I take issue with this article in that it implies that there is some kind of "new issue" with compatibility and that Apple has just issued a "warning" about it or something, when in fact this is the expected (and already known) behaviour and functionality of the product isn't it?

Why is this being framed as some kind of scary problem, when this is almost standard procedure in the software world for years and years???
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post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPrtmn4evr View Post

I know bugs are to be expected with software updates, but one would think that compatibility is one of the major things they check for.

It does seem quite daft on Apple's part.
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post #5 of 47
What's the problem? I see this as a non-issue. Why is it news worthy that a previous version of some software can't open files from the new version? Now, if you saved in `08 format from within `09 and `08 couldn't open the files, that'd be interesting. But this is a complete non-story.

- Jasen.
post #6 of 47
Could iWork '06 open files saved in an iWork '08 format?
post #7 of 47
I think Apple really should try to figure out a standardized file format and not have new formats for every version of iWork. People may have many different opinions on Office, but at least a .doc created in Word 2007 can be opened in Word 97. Yes .docx changes things, but realistically .doc is still the most popular format, principally because of the compatibility issue, and it's possible to update older versions as far back as Word 2000 to open, save, and edit .docx files natively.
post #8 of 47
This is stunningly stupid on Apple's part. And further fragments an already-small market segment.
post #9 of 47
I bet they forgot to test their OWN software. SAD SAD SAD APPLE.

I expect bugs between Apple and MS. NOT Apple and Apple...

What happened to the beta testers? Oh wait, we found the problems because we are the testers. Apple needs to spend a bit more in R&D and a little less on Ads. Its making them look bad...

This isnt the first software glitch. Its many of many for 2008/2009

They are getting just as bad as Microsoft...
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post #10 of 47
Seriously, who uses Numbers'09 anyway beside Mom and Pop's?
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Seriously, who uses iWork anyway beside Mom and Pop's?

Me.

My guess is that this is not a bug, but rather, a change in the XML format that they use for iWork documents.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

What's the problem? I see this as a non-issue. Why is it news worthy that a previous version of some software can't open files from the new version? Now, if you saved in `08 format from within `09 and `08 couldn't open the files, that'd be interesting. But this is a complete non-story.

- Jasen.

I fully agree...

why release a new version if you are not allowed to break compatibility with an old version.
as if they can anticipate every possible function they MIGHT be implementing in the future.

As jasen said, if they didnt include an option to save in 08 format or if 08 can't open an 08 saved file, then there's an issue.

btw, you can't open any file created with office 2007 in office 97 unless you've saved it for that version or earlier (which most people do by default because otherwise nobody can open their files...)
post #13 of 47
hmmm this is very Micro$ofty feature to have. I hope Apple can do better than that. And by that I mean Micro$oft....that.
=)
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post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Seriously, who uses iWork anyway beside Mom and Pop's?

But in a way, I guess I am a "Mom and Pop." I work as a freelance copywriter. I write most of my copy in Pages, but import and export client material in MS Office. Pages is cleaner and far more stable than Word, even if it lacks Word's features.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpf1952 View Post

But in a way, I guess I am a "Mom and Pop." I work as a freelance copywriter. I write most of my copy in Pages, but import and export client material in MS Office. Pages is cleaner and far more stable than Word, even if it lacks Word's features.

Actually I meant Numbers '09. I've changed my post.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

hmmm this is very Micro$ofty feature to have. I hope Apple can do better than that. And by that I mean Micro$oft....that.
=)

At least Microsoft ensure that it works within all their updates LOL

Apple doesn't even test it to see if it works within their own Apps... SAD!!!!
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post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has acknowledged a problem with its productivity suite, iWork, in which the previous version known as iWork '08 cannot open files created by iWork '09.

Um... that's a problem?

Backwards compatability for dummies:
  • New versions of software can open files saved by all previous versions.
  • Old versions may not be able to open files saved with a new version.
    • New versions typically have a "Save As..." option to save in the old format.
      Use it if you need to share your file with someone running an older version.

Apple fulfilled their obligation for backward compatibility here - this isn't news.
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by voretaq7 View Post


Apple fulfilled their obligation for backward compatibility here - this isn't news.

Maybe so but a standardized file format, or at least some kind of easy conversion process (a plug in?) would make sense and go a long way not to piss people off that find themselves being told that to open the file they just got sent they have to pay $'s. By the way, is it possible to see an 09 document with Quickview without actually having 09?
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

But this isn't a "bug" per se.

I take issue with this article in that it implies that there is some kind of "new issue" with compatibility and that Apple has just issued a "warning" about it or something, when in fact this is the expected (and already known) behaviour and functionality of the product isn't it?

Why is this being framed as some kind of scary problem, when this is almost standard procedure in the software world for years and years???

Yep, this is a non-issue. I thought they were stating the opposite for a minute there.

Older Office versions (maybe just Windows versions) usually eventually get an add-in to open newer file format. That's only when the Office team gets around to it. I'd hope Apple would eventually do the same as a convenience and courtesy for its user base (Edit: with a warning that newer features won't come over.).
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

At least Microsoft ensure that it works within all their updates LOL

Apple doesn't even test it to see if it works within their own Apps... SAD!!!!

a) You've had a VERY different experience with Microsoft, Office/Word/WordPad and doc/docx than I have

b) You didn't read the article. The new version DOES work with the old version. There is no bug, nothing to fix, and no failure to test. The article is just a reminder to you to save as iWork 08 if you wish to open in iWork 08. (An obvious step, which iWork 09 not only CAN do, it offers to do so automatically.)
post #21 of 47
Actually Microsoft Office has generally opened files regardless or origin for quite some time. In fact there no issues going from 2003 to 2002 (except for the Outlook PST file, which only you would use with 2003 (as it stores your emails etc) unless migrating back to 2002). In addition I think generally for the most part Office 2000 had no issues with 2002 or 2003.

When the new docx format arrive in 2007, Microsoft was very quick in creating a plugin for 2003.

You would think they would atleast create some compatibility with the last version. Most users don't document what version their file is, just they just attach it to a file. Which is exactly why this is a stupid over sight and why Microsoft quickly created the docx plugin as most people aren't going to go choose a compatibility mode, they are just gonna hit save.

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post #22 of 47
Since there is no mention of iWork '06, can we assume it will open natively saved iWork '09 files?

Seriously people, this is a no-brainer. If you want access to 09 files you get the 09 version of the software, otherwise you get your coworker/friend to save the document as an '08 version.
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post #23 of 47
I'm confused. It's not unusual at all for old versions of a product to not recognize a file written by a new version of the program. A New version should read all old stuff, but the opposite is almost never true.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by voretaq7 View Post

Um... that's a problem?

Backwards compatability for dummies:
  • New versions of software can open files saved by all previous versions.
  • Old versions may not be able to open files saved with a new version.
    • New versions typically have a "Save As..." option to save in the old format.
      Use it if you need to share your file with someone running an older version.

Apple fulfilled their obligation for backward compatibility here - this isn't news.

If that's the kind of company Apple wants to be, good for them (bad for us).

As pointed out, even Microsoft released a plug-in immediately (at least for Windows, it was later for Macs) when they changed formats in Office. Yeah, legally Apple can totally isolate 08 (like they did with iMovie HD) - but that's not the kind of company they need to be.

I expect Apple to not have these issues - as mentioned in the story, they recently released an update to iWork 08 - why couldn't they have fixed this then? I think they probably thought they fixed it, but screwed up. Probably within a few weeks they'll update 08 again.

You can apologize for Apple's actions all you want, but I expect more from them.
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Seriously, who uses Numbers'09 anyway beside Mom and Pop's?

Seriously,...

I use it daily at work for all my spreadsheet needs, and just love the easy layout/multiple tables per page paradigm. The easy way creating a printing layout is handled. Way more intuitive than the bloated beast called Excel IMHO. More than enough functions for my needs (I use igor pro / matlab for serious number-crunching/graphing though). Anything specific you miss/dislike in numbers
post #26 of 47
Anyone posting to this thread complaining about this "bug" has just been filed under "troll" in my brain.

You can save documents in iWork `08 format. If you need to open the doc in `08, save in that format. Why is that hard?

- Jasen.
post #27 of 47
"Apple details compatibility issues between iWork '08 and '09"

Wow. I hate to criticize, I really do. But this has to be the most misleading headline I have ever read here at AppleInsider. The headline should be more like: "Apple states the obvious between iWork '08 and '09".

What a waste of time. And just think, for a moment I actually thought something was wrong with iWork '08/'09.

But hey...I guess AI's bogus headline worked. They got me to click on it at least.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPrtmn4evr View Post

I know bugs are to be expected with software updates, but one would think that compatibility is one of the major things they check for.

it isn't like every other software out there makes sure that the older versions of their software can read what it made by a newer one. Like Microsoft thoroughly checks that a doc made in Office 2007 can be opened by 2003, 2000 etc.

it is in the nature of the game that compatibility of files made by a newer version with a prior version of the software is not guaranteed.

the only 'bug' needing to be fixed is lack of knowledge by the users.

as for the 'no update' comment. yes there was an update to iwork '08. it's called iwork '09.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

but at least a .doc created in Word 2007 can be opened in Word 97.

actually that is not totally true. the originator had to edit in 'compatibility' mode so that none of the 2007 exclusive features were in the document. it was not automatically compat (if you had 2003 there was plug in to avoid the mode issue but you still had to install that so again, not native)

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post #29 of 47
Here's something not mentioned in all the stories up to now:

Previous versions of iWork stored their files as packages. Apparently this created problems with emailing documents for some people.

The new version stores files as one flat file. But what is interesting is that the file is really the old package in zip format. Change the extension to .zip and unzip with the Finder, and you get a Folder containing the same file structure as previous versions of iWork.

Given that previous versions didn't save files as zip files, how is this current issue a bug?
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post


You can apologize for Apple's actions all you want, but I expect more from them.

Apple isn't doing things any different than most every other company. the only reason Microsoft originally released that plug in was user complaints. they didn't do it because they wanted to. they wanted to sell the newer software. and keep in mind that their software is 2-3x the cost of iwork.

if you dislike that, don't buy Apple. easy as that.

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post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post

I think Apple really should try to figure out a standardized file format and not have new formats for every version of iWork. People may have many different opinions on Office, but at least a .doc created in Word 2007 can be opened in Word 97. Yes .docx changes things, but realistically .doc is still the most popular format, principally because of the compatibility issue, and it's possible to update older versions as far back as Word 2000 to open, save, and edit .docx files natively.

True, but when you do document in, say, Word 2007 and save it as .doc instead of docx, you might loose some features (much as I know, only some visual candy, like graphs will loose shaded 3D look etc). Even if you install compatibility patch for Office 2003, visuals will be lost on opening .docx file (containing those visuals).

Bottom line is, you can't always fit new ideas in existing format. I don't see anything wrong with that. CorelDRAW, for example, is also using same file extension for all it's documents - regardles version - but of course, you can't open .cdr created with X4 on older versions of Corel. You can save it from X4 as required version .cdr file.
post #32 of 47
Have you lost your minds, AppleInsider? Changes in file format for a new software version, with the ability to save in the old format for users of older versions, is about the most normal, everyday, expected occurrence there is in software. iWork's choice of saving in '08 or '09 formats is obvious and clear throughout the program's workings.

If you think that's news, though, try this new headline: "Apple acknowledges problem with 'z' key on Macs: Users must press 'z', not 'y', to type a 'z'."

I hope you fine folks are doing all right over there... I'm a little concerned now.
post #33 of 47
This is just a typical business practice. I'm baffled why Apple would pursue it though since they've recently made so much headway into the market, but, it isn't "a bug" and it isn't "an issue". MS Office 2007 files (the "x" files anyway) weren't compatible with any previous Office version. It's a pain in the arse, but not an issue or a bug.
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post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by italiankid View Post

I bet they forgot to test their OWN software. SAD SAD SAD APPLE.

I expect bugs between Apple and MS. NOT Apple and Apple...

What happened to the beta testers? Oh wait, we found the problems because we are the testers. Apple needs to spend a bit more in R&D and a little less on Ads. Its making them look bad...

This isnt the first software glitch. Its many of many for 2008/2009

They are getting just as bad as Microsoft...

If they forgot to test their own software, why did they include the option to save under the old format?
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post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

Here's something not mentioned in all the stories up to now:

Previous versions of iWork stored their files as packages. Apparently this created problems with emailing documents for some people.

The new version stores files as one flat file. But what is interesting is that the file is really the old package in zip format. Change the extension to .zip and unzip with the Finder, and you get a Folder containing the same file structure as previous versions of iWork.

Given that previous versions didn't save files as zip files, how is this current issue a bug?

I've not noticed till you brought this up. This solves a long standing issue of using file bundles with SVN.

SVN, when coupled with WebDAV, can be a very convenient tool for remote version-ed backup solution. The problem is that SVN tends to put .svn files into every directory to record extra version information. Since SVN knows nothing about bundles, it assumes that an iWork file is a directory, littering every sub-dir with .svn files and treat all contents as version-ed individual files. When saving files, iWork 08 will replace everything on the directory level (it is a bundle to iWork after all), clearing out all the .svn information and make committing to SVN very troublesome later.

Now that we can have iWork 09 files stored in SVN without much hassle, I am all hands for the new feature and won't care if iWork 08 can open iWork 09 files or not.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Maybe so but a standardized file format, or at least some kind of easy conversion process (a plug in?) would make sense and go a long way not to piss people off that find themselves being told that to open the file they just got sent they have to pay $'s. By the way, is it possible to see an 09 document with Quickview without actually having 09?

There is no such thing as a standardized file format. Companies make up their own formats so they can change them at will to handle new features and ideas. (And that's all I'm saying on the matter, but I may make a blog post about it later 'cuz it's interesting to me)

Apple has provided a conversion process (Save as an '08 document), and it's free -- they don't HAVE to provide that option (just because it's generally accepted practice doesn't mean they couldn't be dicks about it), but they're following the accepted industry custom. If they didn't offer that option believe me I would be the first man on the lawn at Cupertino with my pitchfork and torch.

They are not forcing you to buy the '09 suite, but you may have to ask the people sending you files to save them in the old format if you don't.

Is it convenient? Not terribly - you have to send an email and wait.
Is it inconvenient? Not terribly - it takes 5 additional mouse clicks to save a copy of your work in the old format.
Is it a bug/problem/flaw? Absolutely not!
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Must be a slow news day? What's the problem? I see this as a non-issue. Why is it news worthy that a previous version of some software can't open files from the new version? Now, if you saved in `08 format from within `09 and `08 couldn't open the files, that'd be interesting. But this is a complete non-story.

- Jasen.

I say this weekly on here, but the next douche bag to say "must be a slow news day" needs to be beaten with a rubber hose. Man that gets old. Almost daily someone says that. OK. We understand you don't like the story, but making that same lame ass statement is about as "douchebaggery" as saying "first" when being towards one of the top spots while commenting on a blog.

Back to the article... Compatibility between recent updates in an application is typically expected and for both not to work hand in hand is somewhat unusual for a company (especially of Apple's stature) not to address.

What I find more interesting is the fact that Apple's made not one mention of iWork.com since MacWorld. I'd venture to say that the number of signups is dismal to say the least. The cloud is definitely where computing is going, but people aren't just going to flock there without a reason.
post #38 of 47
I am surprised this is seen such a major issue! It is totally normal for a newer version to 'convert' a file to open in the new version with tons of software. Making a back up before converting is a good idea. Opening up a movie project in Final Cut Pro made in the latest version with an older one can't be done either. This is totally logical, any newer version most likely adds features that earlier versions didn't have. I suppose an ability to export data would be useful as opposed to the save format and this may be possible, I haven't tried to be honest. Same in FCPro if it had to be backwardly converted an EDL could be made.

I missed voretaq7's post .. so there is a 'save as iWorks 8' export option he states. Problem solved!
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post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateKylie View Post

Actually Microsoft Office has generally opened files regardless or origin for quite some time. In fact there no issues going from 2003 to 2002 (except for the Outlook PST file, which only you would use with 2003 (as it stores your emails etc) unless migrating back to 2002). In addition I think generally for the most part Office 2000 had no issues with 2002 or 2003.

When the new docx format arrive in 2007, Microsoft was very quick in creating a plugin for 2003.

You would think they would atleast create some compatibility with the last version. Most users don't document what version their file is, just they just attach it to a file. Which is exactly why this is a stupid over sight and why Microsoft quickly created the docx plugin as most people aren't going to go choose a compatibility mode, they are just gonna hit save.

Sure, from about Office 97 to Office 2003 the file format stayed the same because the suite had reached maturity, and there was no need to change the file format. There were no significant new features outside the user interface. But before Office 97 every single version of Word saved a .doc file that was compatible only with the most recent version. They were constantly adding features and capabilities to it. No one ever expected Microsoft to make a file converter until Office 2007.

The iWork file formats have undergone some significant changes which would mean a rather significant amount of work to upgrade the older version. They added document linking, single-file documents instead of using packages, third-party embedding, etc. iWork 08 would have no idea what to do with these features built into iWork 09. Apple could add these features to iWork 08, but then it would be iWork 09.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateKylie View Post

Actually Microsoft Office has generally opened files regardless or origin for quite some time. In fact there no issues going from 2003 to 2002 (except for the Outlook PST file, which only you would use with 2003 (as it stores your emails etc) unless migrating back to 2002). In addition I think generally for the most part Office 2000 had no issues with 2002 or 2003.

When the new docx format arrive in 2007, Microsoft was very quick in creating a plugin for 2003.

You would think they would atleast create some compatibility with the last version. Most users don't document what version their file is, just they just attach it to a file. Which is exactly why this is a stupid over sight and why Microsoft quickly created the docx plugin as most people aren't going to go choose a compatibility mode, they are just gonna hit save.

Why doesn't everyone check the facts before commenting. I just ran iWorks 09 apps and they have a SAVE AS iWorks 08 function!!!! HELLO

This entire article and the replies are a waste of time as it is based on the premise there is no backward compatibility and there is!
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