How to Open a .Pages File on a Windows PC

How to Open a .Pages File on a Windows PC | June's Journal image 2

Got a call today from an attorney who created a .PAGES file on her Mac and she was getting an error (“The required index.xml file is missing”) when trying to open the file.  So she e-mailed the .PAGES file to her secretary who has a Windows PC.  But the secretary did not know how to open the file.

I figured out how to open the .PAGES file on the secretary’s Windows PC after learning that .PAGES files are merely compressed files, just like zip files.  In short, simply rename the file to end in .zip instead of .pages, then open the zip file.  Inside will be a QuickLook folder.  Then inside that folder will be a file called Preview (preview.pdf).   This is the file that someone wants you to see.   If needed, step by step directions are below.

What is a .PAGES file?

By the way, in case you’re wondering, .PAGES files are created on an Apple Macintosh computer, often using iWork’s Pages program, an Office-like program that does word-processing, spreadsheets, and presentations.  Mac users can share files created in iWork with their PC buddies by going to FILE / EXPORT / WORD.  But sometimes without thinking they send you a .PAGES file forgetting you are not on a Mac like them.  But in the case of my caller, she couldn’t reopen the .pages file she created on her Mac.  And the document contained important changes that she needed to file with the court as soon as possible!

What Worked:  Step by Step

Working at a Help Desk, I know some people prefer step-by-step directions.  So below are those steps, and I even created a video of these steps that you can watch below.  Please comment if it works, or doesn’t.


  1. Put the file on your desktop or some place you can easily find it if it’s not already.  (For example, if the .PAGES file was sent to you in e-mail, this means you need to save the attachment to your desktop.  If you use Microsoft Outlook, this is done by right-clicking on the attachment in your e-mail and selecting SAVE AS.)
  2. Right-click on the file and select RENAME.  Rename the file to whatever you want as long as you end it with .ZIP instead of .PAGES.  After renaming, your computer may ask, “Are you sure?”  Select YES. You are sure.  Now you’ll have a Zip file on your desktop instead of a Pages file.
  3. Double-click the .ZIP file.  On most Windows computers, you can open zip files by simply double-clicking it. (Note:  If your PC can’t open .ZIP files, no worries, just download and install either Universal Extractor or JZip.  Both are FREE.  And a cool thing about Universal Extractor is that it often opens .ZIP files that Windows file compression sometimes can’t; for example, .zip files created using the newer versions of WinZip).
  4. Open the folder called “QuickLook.”  Once you double-click the ZIP file to open it, you may see a few different files and folders inside.  You are looking for a folder named, “QuickLook” inside of the Zip File.  This is the folder you want to double-click. (I show you what this folder looks like in the video below, or click here for the video.)
  5. Open the file called PREVIEW.  The preview.pdf file is the document!  Just double-click it to open it (or right-click on the PREVIEW.PDF file and select OPEN.)  You now have the document open that was created by the person who used iWORK on a Mac.  (PDF files can be opened by both Mac and PC users.)

Can’t Open the PDF file? If you’re unable to open the PDF file, download and install the FREE Adobe Reader.  After installing Adobe Reader, you’ll be able to open PDF files.  Or, if you have a G-mail account, e-mail the PDF yourself.  Then you can view it inside of your G-mail, even if you don’t have anything installed on your PC to open PDF files.  Cool, huh?  In fact, you can e-mail the .PAGES file to your G-mail account and you’ll be able to view and print it out from G-mail. They will do the decompressing for you and automatically yield you the PREVIEW.PDF file to view!

Need the PDF to be an Editable Word document?  At my job we use Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 7 to edit PDFs, and I gotta tell ya, it does a SWEET job converting PDFs to Word, Excel or PowerPoint formats.  Just do a FILE / SAVE AS and change the filetype on the bottom to Word Document (.doc*).  Nuance does this much better Adobe Acrobat Professional, and Adobe is the original creator of the PDF format.  There’s also a dozen or so apps online that will convert PDFs to Word documents if you do a Google search.

And that’s it!

Watch a Video Tutorial

Below is a video I created that shows you the same thing.  Or you can watch it on YouTube.

Question:  Did you find this tip helpful?  Was it easy to find and understand?  What can make it better?  What other tips do you think would be helpful to have online?   You can leave a comment by clicking here.