MacWrite is the oldest text processing program on the Macintosh, and remains a format that all applications running on the Mac can open. Therefore, the format of the version 4.6 (or even 5), which was freely bundled with all Macintosh computers up to the model SE, remains a very useful format, even with the size limit (MacWrite 4.6 files can't exceed 64 KB).
Please note also that MacWrite 4.6 files must have a correct signature (see also our page on Macintosh signatures) to be recognized by MacWord, Xpress and PageMaker, because it is pretty difficult to ascertain programmatically the format.
It may nevertheless be astonishing to know that no text processing program on the PC can open MacWrite files. Users have to export files in plain Ascii from the original program or use special text conversion utilities. This latter solution is the only way to go if you work on the PC or if there are too many files.
A demonstration version of our MacText utility is available on this site.
When the software division of Apple was token over by Claris, a new (commercial) version of MacWrite was launched. As it was not free any more, competitors appeared (WriteNow, Nisus, even Word). As a matter of consequence, MacWrite II could not register the same success.
MacWrite II (and the next version, MacWrite II Pro) are still plagued with the same problem: these formats are still ignored on the PC side of the fence. Our MacTexte utility handles MacWrite II files, but not yet MacWrite II Pro.