Open Pages (.pages) file without Pages

For a long time people would send Microsoft .doc files to users assuming the recipient could open the .doc file. Fast-forward ~15 years and that habit never went away, but technology adapted and many tools were created or modified to be able to open those Word Documents.

Of course, this problem repeated itself a few years ago when MS released it’s docx format. Sure it was supposed to be “open” but as many have pointed out, even MS didn’t follow their own standard. Not only that but the tools they released were flaky if not flat-out dysfunctional.

Apple has created a similar incompatibility with their Pages application. While you can “save as” a Word Document, if you make a change and hit save, it again saves it as a Pages document. Not only that, but without Pages nothing on a Mac (or PC) can even open the document.

The common “solution” suggested is to tell the user who sent you the file that they suck should send you the file as a PDF (or Save As… a .doc.) But they already have…

The Solution

  1. Take the .pages file and change the file extension to .zip – so if it was Document.pages rename it to Document.zip
  2. Now extract the file. On a Mac or in Windows, double-clicking the file should start the process
  3. Next, in the newly extracted folder (directory) locate the QuickLook directory and you will find Preview.pdf

With this PDF, you can open the doc and copy and paste the content into something more useful.

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