Making iWork ’09 the default


A few days ago, Mac OS X Hints published this tip: Make iWork 09 the default and avoid update nagging Apps which is very simple yet very useful for those people who still prefer using the old versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

I’m one of those people. While I’m pretty indifferent to Numbers and Keynote, I use Pages a lot, and after trying the newest version I quickly went back to using iWork ’09 version 4.3. (Among other things, Pages 4.3 seems to be much faster than the latest version at opening certain documents — such as large Word and PDF files — at least on my system.)

The downside to sticking with the older iWork suite for me isn’t much the frequent nagging to update to the newer versions, but the fact that — as the author of the hint writes — it is impossible to make the older apps the default. “The old Get InfoChange All trick doesn’t work.”

The solution is simple. I tried this on my MacBook Pro and it worked:

First, make a backup. Then install the latest iWork apps. Your older versions get moved to a subfolder called iWork '09. That’s why you have the backup.

Next, move the NEW apps to an external disk or other partition. You can then restore the 09 apps to the /Applications folder. Or leave them in the subfolder if you prefer.

Having the apps on different volume from the system disk lowers their priority, so the 09 apps in your /Applications folder remain the defaults for your documents. What is more, any further updates will update the newer versions on your external drive, leaving your 09 apps untouched.

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