Can you use older versions of Apple’s Pages on macOS Sierra?

Don’t like the current version of Apple’s word processing app? You’re not alone.

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Juanita Roushdy has a question about continuing to use a version of Pages she prefers:

I have an iMac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 and uses Pages ’09 (version 4.1), which I absolutely love and use for all kinds of newsletters, etc.

She also has a MacBook Air with macOS Sierra and the latest Pages (version 6.1) installed, but she hates it. She’s not alone. Many people didn’t like the switchover, which Apple built from the ground up a few years ago. It’s really a different software package with largely similar features, but different interactions for many tasks.

She asks: “Can I update my iMac to Sierra and still run Pages version 4.1?”

The short answer is: yes. Whether by intent or not, Pages ’09 has continued to work for several releases past Apple’s shift to Pages 5 and then 6. I regularly have to fire up the old version of Pages for some tasks I don’t like in Pages 6 or can’t perform in it.

Pages ’09 doesn’t properly recognize which files it can open, however, so if you try to open a file created in Pages 5 or 6, you’ll receive an error that reads, “The required index.xml file is missing.” (Pages 5 and 6 can export files to Pages ’09 format, however, and can open Pages ’09 formats and convert them.)

I’d also recommend updating Pages 4.1 to the latest version Apple released in that series, which is 4.3, but it doesn’t appear as if 10.6.8 will allow the update to be installed. You should be able to perform that update in Sierra.

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