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

Jul 16, 2014 - 13 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

13 Comments

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  1. ryan says:

    You can also use iCloud.com 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.

  8. shaza says:

    Hi
    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…

    **Links**:

    https://mail.google.com
    https://docs.google.com

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