How to Open a .Pages Format File in Windows & Microsoft Word
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:
- Make a copy of the .pages file just in case you mess something up
- Right-click on the .pages file and choose “Rename”
- Delete the “.pages” extension and replace it with “.zip” extension*, then hit the Enter key to save the extension change
- 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.
Note: 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, the file would need to be unlocked first.
This great solution for modifying the file extensions for Pages documents 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 a Mac to change the saved file output, though you can certainly do that too and directly save a Pages file as a Word DOCX file if needed.
Finally, another option worth considering is using iCloud, because icloud.com has a web based version of the Pages app available which can be loaded on any web browser on just about any computer or PC, whether it’s a Windows PC, Linux, Mac, or whatever else. The primary downside to the iCloud.com approach is that it requires an Apple ID login (however, anyone can create an Apple ID for free at any time), but the plus side to using iCloud.com is it’s widely versatile and you can export directly from the Pages iCloud.com app to a Windows compatible format like Microsoft Office and Word DOC / DOCX file formats.
If you know of another method or a better way of opening Pages files on a Windows PC, let us know in the comments below!