In early days of personal computers, a series of “Works” applications were released with a few ideas in common. Software packages such as Microsoft Works, AppleWorks GS (for the Apple II GS), and ClarisWorks, all contained a package of simplified applications sold as a set and usually were accessed through a launcher application. For example, when launching AppleWorks, a user would launch the application and decide if they wanted to create a word processing file, a spreadsheet, a drawing document, or a database by clicking the appropriate icon.
ClarisWorks has a complicated history. In general, it began as AppleWorks (with earlier versions under different names), switched to ClarisWorks, switched back to AppleWorks, and was replaced by iWork.
This CD is an installer for ClarisWorks 4.0. Although undated, its version number places it in 1996.
A fascinating history of ClarisWorks/AppleWorks is available from Bob Hearn on a page published by MIT. I wholeheartedly agree with the author who writes, “RIP ClarisWorks, ‘the best-loved application for the Mac,’ 1991–2007.”
Interestingly, this history is somewhat preserved by Apple’s iWork concept. Currently, Apple’s three productivity apps—Keynote, Pages, and Numbers—are referred to collectively as iWork. Although the apps are separate, their user interfaces and behaviors make the apps function very much as a set. This may also be the reason so many users incorrectly refer to iWork as “iWorks.”
My collection of Apple CD and DVD media includes operating systems, applications, software collections that shipped with devices, promotional media, diagnostic tools, and educational content. In general, Apple-branded CD or DVD examples in original packaging have been presented separately, while single discs or collections of discs are presented chronologically.
AppleShare IP 5.0 (Version 5.0.2, Z97073-108A, 1997)
AppleShare IP 5.0 Companion CD (Version 5.0, Z96073-104A, 1997)
AppleShare IP 5.0 CD (bundle, 1997)
Mac OS 7.6 (Version 7.6, Z97073-038A, 1997)
AppleShare IP 5.0 (Version 5.0.1, Z96073-103B, 1997)
Apple Network Administrator Toolkit 2.0 (U96073-026B, 1997)
In 1997 Macintosh computer system software was able to fit on a single CD. For Macintosh computers, Apple used a standard white CD envelope with a white cloth-like back and a clear plastic front. Since Macintosh servers required several CDs, Apple used a clear plastic CD book with space for a thin, square book at the front and pages with white backs and clear plastic covers. Each page held a single CD. The design of Apple CDs began to change in 1997 from the older black and silver design (with red accents) to a design with a single background color, black or white text, and with some CDs using few additional accent colors.
Claris describes itself as “a subsidiary of Apple Inc.” The company began in 1987 as a software company Apple “spun off” to make software for the Apple II and eventually the Macintosh. In 1988 Claris purchased a popular database program FileMaker Inc. In 1998 Claris changed its name to FileMaker and returned its popular ClarisWorks product to Apple (changing the product’s name to AppleWorks). In 2019, FileMaker Inc. went back to the Claris name by rebranding as Claris International.
ClarisWorks for Kids was released in 1997. It had similar features as ClarisWorks, but with a simplified interface aimed at early elementary school students.
This pencil features the ClarisWorks for Kids logo, characters, and a bright yellow eraser. I have seven of these pencils in my collection.