I just purchased a new Mac Mini, replacing an ancient iMac with AppleWorks. I use that software for email, web-browsing, word processing, spreadsheets and an occasional database.

Is there a package like Appleworks?

All I'm seeing is Pages, Numbers, etc. What can replace these functions?

  • 7
    So YOU were the person who used Appleworks...
    – eykanal
    Nov 4, 2012 at 0:50
  • 2
    Do you look for a replacement of AW in general or for specific functionality? If the latter what exactly do you need?
    – nohillside
    Nov 4, 2012 at 15:48
  • Nancy, you could select an answer...
    – Everett
    Dec 6, 2012 at 16:32

2 Answers 2


There isn't a perfect fit for a unified Appleworks replacement - but each of the 5 functions is available directly from Apple either pre-installed or on the App Store.

Apple now has the iWork suite, which used to be a single package you can buy, but is now separate apps on the App Store. It is made up of Pages (word processor), Keynote (presentation software), and Numbers (spreadsheet). If you want a database consider Bento or FileMaker Pro. All five are made by Apple (the databases are made by FileMaker, an Apple subsidiary). Bento equates to Access, and FileMaker equates to MS-SQL (roughly). Of course the mail app is the fifth item you will use to fully replace Appleworks.

Edit: Bento is no longer an option. FileMaker ceased production/support of Bento. There are other options like TapForms at http://www.tapforms.com.


Here's the advice offered by me in September 2012 to a colleague whose daughter wondered about office suites.

… If ever she needs to work with Microsoft Office formats, without Microsoft Office on her Mac: 


Free of charge. Donations accepted.


If not using Mountain Lion: slightly outdated NeoOffice 3.2.1 for Leopard, Snow Leopard or Lion on an Intel Mac is free of charge: https://www.neooffice.org/neojava/en/mirrors.php?file=NeoOffice-3.2.1-Intel.dmg

Current NeoOffice 3.3.x for Snow Leopard, Lion or Mountain Lion on an Intel Mac requires a small donation of £6 or more (less than the cost of Microsoft Office).

If you require support from the (few) developers of NeoOffice, it's more costly – "… £60 … or more within the last year …". Developer responses in this area are excellent (far better than Microsoft responses to issues with Office) so the cost is not unreasonable, but I shouldn't rush to recommend this level of investment to an everyday user of an office app/suite.


A key difference, until recently:

  • NeoOffice can read and write .docx
  • some versions of OpenOffice.org (in some ways a predecessor to LibreOffice) could read but not write .docx files.

The current version of LibreOffice can both read and write .docx :-) – I haven't investigated its ability to do so with great fidelity for all uses of that Microsoft format, or other MS formats, but the developers of LibreOffice are generally well regarded.


Try LibreOffice, it's free and should do no harm.

To prefer .docx as a default for text documents, see screenshots at http://www.wuala.com/grahamperrin/public/2012/09/26/a/?mode=gallery

If LibreOffice isn't good enough, aim for a reduced cost copy of Microsoft Office.

Some of what's above related to Snow Leopard, which you'll not find on a new Mac, but I'm quoting the broad advice exactly as given in September.


Apache OpenOffice

Articles such as LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice, Not Always Simple « Power corrupts in proportion to its disequilibria remind us that some use cases may benefit from this Apache Incubator project. In particular, the closing paragraph:

… I think that OpenOffice might have had a greater focus on MS Office document compatibility, while LibreOffice has focused on advancing features. I’m afraid my employer needs are squared directly over MS Excel compatibility vs. new features.

  • Graham, Thanks for adding the Open Source alternatives (+1). I just wanted to make sure you know that the "iWork" suit from Apple handles MS docs (you can import and export .docx, etc.) I don't know if you could convert an Access database to Bento though. Never had need to try.
    – Everett
    Nov 4, 2012 at 16:12
  • 1
    Apparently you can convert Access to Bento: jabakobob.net/mdbviewer/docs/v2/en/pages/migration/…
    – Everett
    Nov 4, 2012 at 16:15
  • @Everett thanks – your answer is voted up but here, I excluded iWork because apps such as Pages can not Save in a format that is broadly compatible with other suites. Nov 4, 2012 at 21:35

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