How to Save Pages Files as Word Document Format from a Mac

Aug 6, 2014 - 19 Comments

Saving Pages files as Word format The Microsoft Word document format is widely used in many corporate and educational environments, particularly where the Windows platform is dominant. For Mac users who work with the Pages app for word processing, a simple option to improve cross-platform document readability and compatibility is to save (or export) a Pages file as a Word .doc or .docx file. Fortunately, the Pages app makes saving as Word files very easy, and there are several compatibility choices available during the export process.

This process covers exporting a file as a Word document using the latest version of Pages. Prior versions of Pages also support saving as Word .doc format, but they handle the process slightly differently – for the most part it’s similar enough that this walkthrough will continue to make sense, even if the Mac is running a fairly ancient version of Pages app. With that said, Pages is now offered as a free Mac app from Apple, so if you have an older version, you can update to the newest version with the latest features from the Mac App Store. Having the newest version of Pages is also recommended for improved compatibility when saving the Word documents, particularly as .docx format.

Exporting a Pages File as Word Format from the Mac with Pages App

  1. Open the Pages file you want to convert / save to Word format into the Pages app for OS X
  2. Go to the “File” menu and choose “Export To”, then select “Word” from the submenu list
  3. Pages Export as Word format

  4. At the “Export Your Document” screen and under the ‘Word’ tab, click the triangle next to ‘Advanced Options’
  5. Export Pages files as Word formats

  6. Select the appropriate Word file format to use: “.docx” for compatibility with the newest versions of Microsoft Office and Word, or “.doc” for greater compatibility with older versions of Word – then click “Next”
  7. Give the new Word file a name as usual, select a destination to save the file to, and choose “Export”
  8. Pages saving a Word docx file for Microsoft Windows support

Your newly created Word file, either in .doc or .docx format, will be saved wherever you specified.

For the most part, Pages app will produce very compatible word files without any effort, and the resulting .doc or .docx file will open without incident in Microsoft Word and look basically identical as it started.

If something doesn’t look right with the saved file, it’s usually due to complex formatting, an unique font, or the usage of stylized ascii, Emoji, and special characters that are unique to OS X and the Pages app. With that in mind, it’s good practice to keep the saved/exported files fairly simple and using standardized fonts that are available across-platforms, and avoiding any unusually complex document formatting whenever possible. That’s typically not an issue for a text-heavy document or a simple report, and the converted file should open flawlessly in Microsoft Office whether on another Mac or a Windows PC.

Finally, if you or the recipient is using a Windows PC and is unable to access Pages to re-save the file into a Word compatible format, another option is to open a .pages format file in Windows using this renaming trick, but while that method works in a pinch, it’s not necessarily ideal, as it sometimes strips unique formatting or leads to odd formatting issues within the Pages file that gets loaded into Word on the PC. For that reason, if you (or the document recipient) do have access to a Mac, it’s best to just re-save the file as Word to begin with.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Rich says:

    Pro tip: Set up a custom keyboard combination for Export to>Word and it’s even easier.

  2. Amir says:


    When I export a Pages file to Word, it cones with a blank/gray/ugly icon !
    Is there anyway to change it to Pages or Word icon?


  3. martin adams says:

    When I make a pages doc on my ipad then send it to my Imac running 10.6.8 and word, it wont open. How can I get it to open. All the answers here dont work and/or apply to the other way round or to windows machines

  4. Paula says:

    Thank you for this great tip. I was literally about to buy Microsoft Office (I only need MS Word so I can send docs to PC users) but when I saw their subscription pricing model, which is very expensive, I decided to look for an alternative. As usual, Apple has it covered.

  5. BKent says:

    Is this overly complicated or am I just mis-reading something?
    When I need to save a Word version in Pages, I click “File” – “Save As” …and in the lower-third of the window that pops-up I check the box “Save Copy As Word Document”.
    The saved file shows up as both a Pages doc and a Word doc.

  6. miluhe says:

    Can the exported docs from Pages be edited as if they are normal Word docs?

  7. kitty says:

    this is the most helpful way i found comparing to youtube, thxx, u save my life

  8. Dreuxsgirl says:

    Any thoughts about converting many documents at the same time? I have several policy books that I have been asked to tweak for an organization, but I am having to convert each document singularly. Is there a way to find the documents, highlight them, then convert all at the same time?

  9. Dave says:

    This would be great except for the fact that Pages takes a 200 kb file and converts it into a bloated 1.5 MB file! This bug has been in pages since 5.2 and they STILL haven’t fixed it.

  10. yoshi says:

    Poor me, as I am forced to use Apple at work.

    Is there any way to change the settings, so that it saves it automatically as a word-file every time?

    To the ones who said ” great, apple has it covered” etc, this whole pages-thing seems way more complicated than it needs to be. Even OpenOffice seems like a gem compared to it!

  11. Dinah says:

    “When I need to save a Word version in Pages, I click “File” – “Save As” …and in the lower-third of the window that pops-up I check the box “Save Copy As Word Document”.
    The saved file shows up as both a Pages doc and a Word doc”

    Well…not in the latest 5.5.2 Pages version. The whole procedure of Exporting To leaves my computer with loads of double docs- terrible

    • Brian says:

      I believe there is only one reason folks are getting double documents (Pages and Word). When you create a document and Save As in .doc or .docx format don’t Save it as a Pages format when you Quit Pages. It appears to always ask when you close Pages. Just click Don’t Save.

  12. Graham says:

    When I convert from Pages to Word, and then read the conversion, the page breaks are not in the same place. The conversion in .docx has more lines to the page than the original. In reading the .docx I am of course converting it back to Pages, since I don’t have Word installed, but I assume that the .docx version also has more lines to the page than the Pages original.
    Inserting page breaks in the original does not help (and would not be much of a solution for a document of any size).
    .pdf gives an exact copy, but sometimes I need to export to Word

  13. mehdi says:

    thanks :)

  14. Sean says:

    Thanks 😀

  15. Taylor says:

    If you export the document once, and then edit it do you have to export it again? Or once its exported it’s fine to resend to my usb?

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