Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format Apps
The new iWork '09 suite includes a new file format that packs all the data into a single file, rather than using a package bundle, as did iWork '08. This format can be convenient when moving between Mac and Windows computers, since Windows reads it as a single file instead of a folder, but there is a downside.

When using a service such as Dropbox or Mozy, this can dramatically slow down backups -- a single change to your iWork document means the entire single file must be updated again. Using the old format, the backup updater can read each piece of the file as a separate entity, so if only part of the file is modified, it can back up only those parts that need to be changed, making it much more efficient. This is especially noticeable with large Keynote documents, which can be hundreds of megabytes.

To get the old formats back, simply go into Preferences in each iWork application, and under the General tab, check the box that says Save new documents as packages.

Note that when saving as packages, there is no longer an easy way to recover individual versions of the file using Dropbox. That's because the file is treated as a folder with individual files inside; you could theoretically revert each individual file manually, but it would not be as easy (Time Machine's versioning is not affected). Also, I do not know of a way to convert existing iWork '09 documents to the package format.

[robg adds: There's more discussion on the new iWork file format in this hint and associated comments. You can't convert one document to the old format using Save As; I tested it with Pages, and even after changing the prefs, it still saved as a single file.]
  • Currently 1.00 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (4 votes cast)

Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format | 8 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format
Authored by: AnotherMacDev on May 05, '09 08:10:01AM

At the end of the page in the iWork Programming Guide (Apple Developer Docs), there are some hints how to permanently disable the compression of the Keynote and Pages files and set them to use bundles:

The Article states:

Both Pages and Keynote have several preferences you can set that make it easier to work with their XML files:

defaults write SaveCompressionLevel 0
defaults write SaveCompressionLevel 0

When the SaveCompressionLevel default is set to 0, the XML file will not be compressed. The normal value is 3.

You can use to make these changes, after quitting Pages/Keynote. Simply copy and paste the relevant commands to a Terminal window and press Enter.

Afterwards, if you save a file (i.e. from Keynote), you get a .key file. Simply change .key to .gz and double click the file in the Finder to decompress it. You will get a new folder containing all the relevant files used in the Keynote presentation. Then you can add .key to the name of this folder, which in the end keeps the state of the presentation file as Bundle. Even if you add new slides to the presentation and save it again.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format
Authored by: arcticmac on May 05, '09 08:24:31AM

I don't have iWork 09 yet, but for converting existing 'single-file' documents to the package format, have you tried ticking the "stationary pad" box in the get info window of the single-file document so that it opens as a copy, and you can save fresh?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format
Authored by: macintown on May 05, '09 09:54:13AM

A new single file format is an archive. It's a simple ZIP file. Add ".zip" extension to your existing file, then double click to open and it will become a folder. After that just add ".pages" or ".key" extension to the folder and it will be your old Pages or Keynote file (which is a package now).

[ Reply to This | # ]
Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format
Authored by: gjm25 on May 05, '09 11:54:25AM

I understood that Dropbox only uploaded changed portions of the file, so that theoretically it would not need to upload the whole file again if just some changes were made.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format
Authored by: unforeseen:X11 on May 05, '09 02:58:38PM

rsync and unison (using rsync) do exactly that.

this is not the sig you`re looking for.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format
Authored by: ptone on May 05, '09 12:05:21PM

Yuck - I didn't know they made this switch. My guess is it was problems attaching files in things like gmail - which has problems with packages.

However this also has implications for working with these files on network servers - since every save of an edit presumably zips and saves the whole file including any media, in our org I'll certainly be globally setting the default to use the old package format, and hope Apple keeps it around indefinitely.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format
Authored by: Skurfer on May 05, '09 01:03:10PM

This wouldn't be ideal, but you could try creating a sparse image on your dropbox. Sparse images are broken up into 8MB chunks and only the parts that change would need to be transfered. But it also keeps dropbox from knowing about the files inside, so you lose the ability to roll back, share, etc. on individual files. You'd also lose the ability to share with Linux and Windows, but maybe that doesn't matter to you.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Some tradeoffs with the new iWork '09 file format
Authored by: scip on May 06, '09 02:58:01PM
Dropbox and Mozy both use binary diffs to minimize upload bandwidth and server storage space, so this hint is not necessary if that is the only concern. I've tested it with large ZIPs and DMGs and it works as advertised.

[ Reply to This | # ]