How to Open a CWK File

By Mara Shannon

The file extension CWK stands for ClarisWorks, a widely-usedword processing program and productivity suite for Mac and Windows in the mid-1990s. ClarisWorks was later renamed AppleWorks, and then replaced by iWork. You may find a CWK file if you're looking through files saved from an older computer. Since Apple no longer supports ClarisWorks or AppleWorks, without using a few tricks you may have trouble opening CWK files, unless you still have the program installed.


Step 1

Purchase an install CD-ROM for AppleWorks. Although Apple no longer sells or supports the program, you can find old copies through online retailers.

Step 2

Insert the install CD-ROM into your computer's CD drive. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the program.

Step 3

Right-click the CWK file. Click "Open with," and then "Choose default program." Select AppleWorks and click "OK" to open the file.

Microsoft Word

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word 2010. Click "File," and then click "Options."

Step 2

Click "Advanced." Under the "General" section, click "Confirm file format conversion," and then click "OK."

Step 3

Click the Microsoft Office button, and then click "Open." Choose "Recover Text from Any File" from the "Files of type" drop-down menu.

Step 4

Navigate to the folder where the CWK file is and then double-click the CWK file to open it. Word will attempt to recover the text from the CWK file, with luck allowing you to read the file. However, any formatting and images will be lost.