- A .pages file is a type of file created by Apple’s ‘Pages’ application, which is a word processor and Apple’s alternative to Microsoft Word.
- Pages is known for being a simplified alternative to Word, with more intuitive formatting and automatic syncing with iCloud.
- To open a .pages file on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, no additional steps are needed. But on other operating systems, you can export the file as a PDF or Word document, upload it to Google Drive and convert it, or upload it to iCloud for viewing in its native format.
- Converting a .pages file to a .zip file allows you to extract its contents and view them, but you’ll need to use a tool like Adobe’s online converter to convert the extracted PDF file to a Word document.
If you’re wondering what a .pages file is, the answer isn’t too complicated. In simple terms, a .pages file is a type of file created by Apple’s “Pages” application. Released in 2005, Pages is a word processor and Apple’s answer to Microsoft’s ever-popular Word. Whenever you create a document in Pages, it’ll be saved as a .pages file by default. Just as with a Word file, Pages files can be relatively simple, just containing text, or consist of other elements such as pictures, charts, and tables. Whereas Word files have had a variety of file extensions over the years (e.g., .docx, .doc, and .dot), Pages files always have the .pages extension.
Why Use a .Pages File?
While Word remains the most commonly used word processor (with Google Docs trailing closely behind), Pages is known for being a simplified alternative that’s easier to use. Formatting documents in Pages is arguably more intuitive than Word, and they’re synced with iCloud automatically. Another benefit is that Pages is free to use across all compatible Apple products, whereas the Microsoft Office suite requires a one-time cost or repeating subscription to access.
Most of the time, the number one reason to use a .pages file is simply because you have Pages already downloaded on your system and you like using the word processor. But many users prefer the simplicity of Pages, as well as the fact that the files tend to be smaller in size than the alternatives.
How to Open a .Pages File
Of course, if you’re using a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, opening a Pages file will be very simple, as the format is natively supported. However, if you’re using another operating system, such as Windows, you may be wondering how you can open and access a .pages file. Luckily, there are a few solutions for this. We’ll get into these next.
Export the .Pages File as a PDF or Word Document
One of the simplest ways to make sure your .pages file is accessible is by changing the format as you’re saving it. Similarly to Word, Pages gives you the option to export a document either as a PDF file or even a Word file as you’re saving it. However, this is only applicable if you have access to the original document and the Pages word processor. If you’re trying to open a file somebody else has sent you and asking them to change the format isn’t an option, then this won’t help.
Upload to Google Drive
Another trick for opening .pages files is to upload the file to Google Drive. You’ll then be able to use CloudConvert to convert the file to another format. To do this:
- Upload the file to Google Drive.
- Double-click, and then click the arrow next to “Open with Pages.” Select “CloudConvert” from the list.
- Select your Gmail account, and enter a password, and register if you haven’t already.
- Click the drop-down arrow next to “Convert” and select your desired file type.
- Click “Convert”, wait for the file to be converted, and then retrieve it from your Drive.
Upload to iCloud
Alternatively, if you use iCloud for storage, you can upload your file there instead. It will then be viewable in its native format. Use these steps:
- Upload the file to iCloud.
- Click the “Pages” tab in the menu on the top right.
- Click the cloud icon to upload your file.
- Once uploaded, double-click the file to open and edit.
Convert to Zip and Extract
The previous methods are probably the easiest and most useful if you have a cloud service because they allow you to edit the file quickly. However, you can also get an overview of what’s in the file by converting it to a .zip file. The steps below show you how to do this.
- Either right-click on the file or double-click on the name to enable renaming. Remove the “.pages” extension and type “.zip” instead.
- Double-click the .zip file to extract the contents, which will include a PDF file and a JPG file. You can open these to check the contents, but you’ll need to convert the PDF, such as to a Word document, using a tool like Adobe’s online converter.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.com.