How to open .pages files without iwork

Updated July 20, 2017

iWork is an office suite that Apple sells for Mac computers and the iPad. Apple introduced iWork in 2005 and released iWork '09 in January 2009. The iWork suite includes Pages, Keynote and Numbers, which are programs for word processing, presentations and spreadsheets. Pages saves documents with the default file extension of .pages. Pages files are not compatible with most other programs, but Pages also embeds a PDF file in each document. PCs and Mac computers don't need iWork to open the PDF file and access the text of a Pages document.

Save the Pages file to your computer's desktop.

Click on the file and change the file extension in the file name from ".pages" to ".zip." On a Mac, you can right-click on the file and select "Get Info." Change the file extension in the Name & Extension field in the Info window and close the window.

Double-click on the "zip" file to unzip it. This will create a folder on the desktop with the same name as the original Pages file.

Double-click on the new folder to open it. Inside the folder there will be another folder called "QuickLook."

Double-click on the "QuickLook" folder. Inside the QuickLook folder, there will be a PDF file with the same name as the original Pages file.

Open the PDF file in any software that reads PDFs to view the Pages document.


Pages allows users to save documents as DOC files with the .doc extension. If you are expecting a document from someone who uses Pages, ask them to save it as a DOC file instead. Copy the text from the Pages PDF file and paste it into a word processing document if you wish to edit it.

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About the Author

Rose Nagel has been writing since 2005 and currently is a freelance writer and copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in politics from Queen's University, where she was published in the "Queen's Journal," "Diatribe Magazine" and "The Queen's International Observer." Recently she has written advertising copy for brands such as IBM, American Express and ING Direct.