ClarisWorks documents are the most common files associated with the .cwk file extension. ClarisWorks, from Apple is also known as the AppleWorks productivity suite. Apple acquired Claris Corporation in 1998 and renamed the software. The ClarisWorks .cwk file can be any type of document created by the suite, including a word processing document, spreadsheet, presentation, or drawing project. These documents can be opened and edited with either the AppleWorks or ClarisWorks suites. Both packages are available for Windows and Mac, although they have not been actively supported or updated for several years.
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The .cwk files can be shared between the Mac and Windows platforms, but Apple recommends that users not try to open them on the opposite platform by simply double clicking the file. Instead, users should use the "open" option from the file menu. When planning to open a Mac .cwk on a Windows machine, the .cwk file extension must be added manually by re-naming the file. Apple also recommends that when sharing .cwk files between machines, both machines should be running the same version of AppleWorks or ClarisWorks. Files from different versions can cause data errors when opening the files.
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More Info Regarding File Extension Cwk
MacLinkPlus Deluxe is a commercial software product that allows those in the Mac world to convert and cross convert dozens of file formats between the Macintosh and Windows platforms. MacLinkPlus Deluxe can open and convert .cwk files from most versions of AppleWorks and ClarisWorks. docXConverter is another commercial package that will open and convert the .cwk file to another more usable format.
One more commercial product to open and convert .cwk files is Conversion Plus from DataViz. On the Mac platform they support ClarisWorks versions 1.0 to 5.0, and AppleWorks version 5.0 and 6.0. On the Windows side Conversion Plus supports ClarisWorks 1.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0, as well as AppleWorks 5.0. This software allows the user to open files, print them, and convert to any of the other supported formats. Conversion Plus is also now available for Windows Vista.
There have been some reports of .cwk word processor files being succesfully opened as standard text in a word processor, but in this case only the text can be retrieved. Any formatting or embedded graphics that were in the document will be lost when using this method. Other errors may occur when converting, requiring the user to manually edit the new file. Generally these errors are with page formatting, particularly when dealing with older .cwk files.
The .cwk extension is also a specialized format related to a software package called CattleMax. This software package from Cattlesoft Inc. is a management tool for large and small scale cattle operations. The .cwk is a data file containing the information from the records created within the software. Because it is a specialized format, these files cannot be opened with any other software. Errors with these .cwk files are confined to corrupted data. They should never cause conflicts withe the general operation of the computer.
A third association for the .cwk extension belongs to GraphiCode's GC-Prevue software. GC-Prevue is a program used to view and print CAD generated designs of printed circuit boards. In this case, the .cwk file is simply a working file rather than a data file saved for later retrieval. As with the previous Cattlesoft product, this .cwk is a specialized format that has no use outside the GC-Prevue software. Since it is a working file however, corrupted .cwk files in GC-Prevue can cause operational faults with the software. No specific information regarding these operational errors is available, but they most likely would be confined to software lock up, system freezes, and lost data.