View Pages files in Windows

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While you can export Pages documents to Windows-friendly formats, you might sometimes get caught in a bind and be able to send only the original .pages file to one of your Windows-using co-workers. But an anonymous Hints reader found a workaround:

Pages '09 files are actually archives containing a number of files. You can view those files if you change the extension of the Pages document file from .pages to .zip.

You can then unzip the file and view its contents. It will contain a QuickLook folder (which, logically enough, contains files required by Mac OS X's Quick Look utility). If you open up that QuickLook folder, you'll see a file named Preview.pdf, which is a PDF version of your Pages document. Your Windows-using friends can't edit that file without a PDF editor, but they can read it and print it just fine.

This trick works with Keynote and Numbers files, too. But note: It works only if the Include Preview in Document box was checked when you originally saved the iWork file. It's usually checked by default, however, so unless you unchecked it yourself, this tip should work.

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Warns you if you are going to overwrite a shared file that someone already saved changes to
    • Mail merge works with Numbers spreadsheets
    • Excellent Numbers chart integration
    • Handy Full Screen and Outline modes
    • Seamless integration with popular third-party academic programs


    • No global update for embedded charts
    • Can’t preview mail merge documents beforehand
    • Some mail merge operations were not intuitive
    • No “shared file” warning if you open a document someone else is editing
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