How to Open a .Pages Format File in Windows & Microsoft Word

Jul 16, 2014 - 59 Comments

Pages The Pages app is the Mac word processor similar to Microsoft Word on the Windows side of things, and by default any Pages document is saved as a Pages format file with with a “.pages” file extension. Typically that’s invisible to Mac users, but if you send a Pages file to someone on a Windows computer, the .pages extension is visible and the file format is unreadable by default by most Windows apps and by Microsoft Office. At first glance that may seem like Windows can’t use the file, but that’s not the case.

Fortunately there’s a super simple trick to open the .Pages format from Microsoft apps in Windows, including Word, and it involves convincing the PC that the pages file is not pages format, but rather a zip (yes, like a zip archive). This is done with a simple file extension modification from the Windows file system, and though it’s not an ideal solution (a better method would be to simply re-save the pages file to be compatible with word from the get-go), it does work:

Opening a Pages Format File from Mac in Microsoft Windows

Be sure to save the pages file somewhere easily accessible to Windows Explorer, then do the following:

  1. Make a copy of the .pages file just in case you mess something up
  2. Right-click on the .pages file and choose “Rename”
  3. Delete the “.pages” extension and replace it with “.zip” extension*, then hit the Enter key to save the extension change
  4. Open the newly renamed .zip file to be able to open and access the Pages format content within Microsoft Word, Office, or WordPad

* Note that you may need to have file extensions visible in Windows to be able to properly change the extension of the pages document. They may need to be made visible first through the Folder Options > View > Uncheck ‘Hide extensions for known file types’ – You can safely ignore any file extension warning change warning.

That’s pretty easy and it works when you don’t have another option to either convert the file from pages to .doc, or to re-save it as a compatible file format ahead of time. There can be some formatting issues with this approach if the pages doc is particularly complex, so it’s best used as a last resort when there’s no other choice but to work with the file from Windows. This will not work to force open a pages file that has been password protected, however, in that situation, it would need to be unlocked first.

This great solution was found on the Microsoft Community, so try it out the next time you or someone you know is struggling in Windows to work with a Pages formatted file created from a Mac. It’s usually easier than returning to OS X to change the saved file.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Tips & Tricks


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  1. ryan says:

    You can also use and open the file in Pages on the web, then save it or copy/paste the data from Pages in iCloud to Word in Windows. I’ve had to do that before, but I didn’t know about the zip trick.

    Pages can also just save and export the file as .docx too, which is a more compatible file format than pages format saved from Mac OS X.

  2. Darragh Kasakoff says:

    PDF was created to deal with this very problem!

  3. Chris Cheng says:

    I like RTF for this reason, compatible and portable on everything. Formatting has to be simple though.

  4. Andrew says:

    7-Zip (and presumably others such as WinRar) can open the .pages file as an archive without any renaming shenanigans.

  5. Carlos Bernardo says:

    Just for curiosity I’ve tried but didn’t work (MS Word 2010).
    Is there a specifique MS Word version to make this work?

  6. Robert Petersen says:

    I must be missing something here. Wouldn’t it be simpler just to export the Pages file to Word? I work in an all Windows office and I don’t have MS Office for Mac installed on my MacBookPro and I use Pages for word processing and Numbers for spread sheets without problems.

    After I save a document in Pages I then export the file (either as a PDF or a DOCX file) using the File command menu.

    • Paul says:

      Yes absolutely that is the ideal solution, but often users are stuck working with a .pages format file without having the option to have it saved again from the Pages app to a more compatible format. This is really a workaround intended for the latter situation.

  7. Max says:

    Wow, so many people not understanding the need for this.
    Yes, Pages exports as Word, WE get that but there are many Mac users out there that may not. It may be the case that you forgot to change the format, or didn’t know you needed to.

    A PDF. Genius. What if you’re sending someone a file so they can edit it?

    Again, wow at 75% of these comments.

    A very useful trick.

    • Grey says:

      No, it’s not “so many people not understanding the need for this” — rather so many people not understanding that unless the recipient needs to be able to edit the file, it should always be exported to PDF, regardless of whether it was authored in Word or Pages. Always. I work with Windows and OSX people every day in my tech support business, and I can testify from that experience that this simple procedure, and its value to obviate all of this application- and / or platform-compatibility bullshit, is something that never occurred to the vast majority of them. This is largely due to the fact that almost everyone, ‘PC’ or ‘Mac’, is habituated to Office — but also because PDF is mostly a foreign object to them…they really don’t understand what it is, nor appreciate its inherent value as a universal filetype.

      • ap says:

        In a perfect world, sure, but this world (and its inhabitants) are far from perfect. Regardless of why people don’t use .pdf, the fact remains that these workarounds are and will continue to be required.

        • suavenico says:

          I can’t stand when I get documents as pdfs, because I cannot edit them or use text from them easily. I actually tend to find it annoying — unless they’re being shared with me so that I can print or share them and the formatting needs to stay exactly the same. Otherwise, I would far prefer to get documents in editable form.

    • natasha says:

      I love PDF docs. but my boss who travels a lot and uses her mac, often sends files (to edit) in the middle of the night to me on my PC. Sometiems she forgets to change the format so that I can do this, and I have the need for workarounds like this.

  8. shaza says:

    I tryed it and it came with PDFI do need it in Word can you please explain to me how to export the page file to doc ?

  9. shaza says:

    I manage to find it thanks

  10. Joh says:

    Please I need help. What do I do if the person I have sent the files to uses pages but for some reason cannot open the files. Could there be any solutions to that? Urgent help please

  11. Laslo Frischmann says:

    **Open Pages files in Windows?**

    Use Google Docs and Cloud Converter. FANTASTIC – Just working.

    Step 1. Open or register your Gmail account.
    Step 2. After you have signed in, go onto Google Docs (link underneath).
    Step 3. Upload your file to Google Docs. (it`s your private storage)
    Step 4. Then click “Open with” and then choose “Cloud Converter”.
    Step 5. You are happy…


  12. apm74 says:

    This does not work. Windows 8.1, MS Word 2010. 7-zip.

  13. Tim says:

    This works awesome for Windows 7. Saved me quite the hassle.

  14. Brad says:

    I tried the .zip extension trick but all I get are .jpeg previews (and only of the first page). I do not see a .pdf preview anywhere.

  15. Marta Wetmore says:

    This worked so well! Thanks so much!

  16. Lucy Sawyer says:

    Brilliant! Saved our bacon on the last day of recruiting. Oh the wonders of the internet.

  17. Dan says:

    Okay, that’s way too simple.

    Thank you my friend.

  18. larry p says:

    I guess I’m missing something. It flat out didn’t work. I have Word 2010. I could “extract” the .zip file and got a .jpg preview of the document, but that’s pretty useless, as it only shows a picture of the first page. What am I missing here? Why haven’t Mac people learned to use some universal format, like .rtf?

  19. SashaJ says:

    Help me. It isnt working. I’ve been trying all these things you guys have suggested and all Im getting is either a blocked page (thanks a lot education queensland :/ ) or a jpeg in the file.

  20. Mark says:


  21. greg says:

    if you use the .zip extension you get jpeg previews not pdf, so you cannot copy/paste any data.

    the icloud method is the best.

  22. trahajje says:

    I really think this only applies to Pages ’09 (and perhaps prior versions). If you use the newer Pages format, there is no PDF generated. I suspect that’s why it’s working for some people and not for others. Since this article was dated July 2014, I had hoped that the author had discovered a way to view the newer file format on a PC. Yes, works, but that assumes the recipient already has an iCloud account, or is willing to create one. In some sense, you’re still dependent on Apple for that to work. When there was a PDF embedded in the file, it wouldn’t matter if Apple didn’t exist. You could still get to your data. I prefer it that way.

    • coolstory says:

      It’s 2015, you can still open Pages in Word or on Windows. It’s not hard, read the article. It works in 2016 too.

      • trahajje says:

        I don’t know if you didn’t read my comment or didn’t understand it. I am aware that it’s not difficult to open Pages files today. If that is the only concern someone has, that’s great. My concerns, however, go deeper than that. My point was that the way it used to work in Pages ’09 didn’t require Apple for a solution. You could take any Pages file and open it on any computer by extracting the PDF. Yes, there is another simple way to read a Pages file now. Wonderful! I simply preferred the way that was not dependent on Apple. Even if Pages and ceased to exist (not saying they will), you could still read a file that was created with Pages ’09. As long as computers can unzip files and read PDFs, Pages ’09 documents will be readable. It’s not dependent on a solution from a single company.

  23. mary says:

    Your iCloud trick saved me! I tried the other option first and could only see it as a jpg which meant I was going to have to retype it, but then I saw the iCloud tip and it worked. Thank you! You saved me at least an hour :)

  24. Nick Spence says:

    That worked great for me–in a way. Once I changed the .pages file to a .zip, it opened just fine as several files all zipped up. Inside were several files, one of which was named preview.pdf. That file opened in acrobat correctly.

  25. KarenM says:

    Another solution if you have an iOS device with access to the file is to open the file on that, click share button and send it to an email address. It seems to automatically send as a PDF.

  26. Sandeep Ronak says:

    Thanks you

  27. jithesh says:

    thank you dude

  28. Jessica says:

    Changing to a zip extension worked great! There was a .jpg of the document inside that let me read the contents. Thank you :)

  29. George says:

    I emailed the file to myself and opened the email “.pages”attachment on my iPhone. It opens in pages there and you can view there. If you want to take a step further, using the share icon (the little box with the up arrow on it) select the “Save as a PDF in iBooks” which will then open it as a PDF in iBooks. Then using the same share icon in iBooks you can email it back to yourself as the now PDF version.

  30. Reda-Morocco says:

    Thank you so much..
    i m sitting with my diplom project and could not do anything, to work on it because of that pages/word conflict :-)
    thanks again.

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