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Thursday, February 19, 2009, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple details compatibility issues between iWork '08 and '09

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."

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

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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.