Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Updates iWork Suite

I’m still going through to see how many of the (many) bugs and feature requests I’ve filed in the past year have been taken care of, but Federico Viticci’s post on the update also pointed out that the apps have gained a new file format again:

Apple’s iWork apps for OS X had been criticized in the past for removing power user functionalities and introducing incompatibilities with their new file formats, and today’s updates confirm that Apple has been listening to its user base. The OS X updates to iWork feature various AppleScript and file format improvements – notably, files generated by the apps should play nicely with Dropbox and Gmail now.

In truth, it’s not actually a new format; it’s simply a zipped version of the previous format:

Nicks-MacBook-Air:Desktop nickheer$ file NewFormat.pages  
NewFormat.pages: Zip archive data, at least v2.0 to extract  
Nicks-MacBook-Air:Desktop nickheer$ unzip NewFormat.pages  
Archive:  NewFormat.pages  
 extracting: Index/Document.iwa      
 extracting: Index/Tables/DataList.iwa  
 extracting: Index/ViewState.iwa     
 extracting: Index/CalculationEngine.iwa  
 extracting: Index/DocumentStylesheet.iwa  
 extracting: Index/ThemeStylesheet.iwa  
 extracting: Index/AnnotationAuthorStorage.iwa  
 extracting: Data/Hardcover_bullet_black-13.png  
 extracting: Index/Metadata.iwa      
 extracting: Metadata/Properties.plist  
 extracting: Metadata/DocumentIdentifier  
 extracting: Metadata/BuildVersionHistory.plist  
 extracting: preview.jpg             
 extracting: preview-micro.jpg       
 extracting: preview-web.jpg         

Looks pretty familiar, doesn’t it? This is pretty familiar — the difference between iWork ’08 and ’09 formats was pretty much the same thing. The big difference this time is that it still uses the totally impenetrable protobuf-encoded .iwa files.

Update: Because this iWork update isn’t available for Mavericks users, iWork files created on Yosemite are backwards incompatible. There is a setting to change this, but then you lose Dropbox compatibility.