What Is a PAGES File?

How to Open, Edit, and Convert PAGES Files

PAGES Files
PAGES Files.

A file with the PAGES file extension is a Pages Document file created by the Apple Pages word processor program. It might be a simple text document or more complex, and include several pages with pictures, tables, charts, or more.

PAGES files are actually just ZIP files that include not only the document information necessary for Pages but also a JPG file and an optional PDF file that can be used for previewing the document.

The JPG file can preview the first page only while the PDF can be used to see the entire document.

How to Open a PAGES File

Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why. Fortunately, PAGES files are not usually a concern.

Apple's word processor, Pages, is normally used to open PAGES files, and it works only on macOS. The same application is available for iOS devices.

However, one quick way to view PAGES files in Windows or another operating system, is to upload it to Google Drive. See how to convert the PAGES file below if you need to open the document in a different program or if you don't have Pages installed.

Another method is to extract the preview documents from the PAGES files, which can be done with any file extraction tool that supports the ZIP format (which is most of them).

My favorites are 7-Zip and PeaZip.

Tip: If you're downloading the PAGES file online or through an email attachment, before you save it, change the "Save as type" option to "All Files" and then name put .zip at the end. If you do that, the file will exist in the ZIP format and you can double-click it without needing a third-party file unzip tool.

Once you've extracted the files from the archive, go into the QuickLook folder and open Thumbnail.jpg to see a preview of the first page of the document. If there's a Preview.pdf file there too, you can preview the whole PAGES document.

Note: There isn't always a PDF file built-in to a PAGES file since the creator has to choose to make the PAEGS file in a way that supports adding that PDF in there (it's called creating it with "additional preview information" included).

How to Convert a PAGES File

You can convert your PAGES file online using Zamzar. Upload the file there and you'll be given the option to convert the PAGES file to PDF, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, PAGES09, or TXT.

Pages can convert the PAGES file too, to Word formats, PDF, plain text, EPUB, PAGES09, and ZIP.

Google Drive should be able to save the PAGES file to a new format too.

More Information on PAGES Files

When the user chooses to save the PAGES file to iCloud through the Pages program, the file extension changes to .PAGES-TEF. They're officially called Pages iCloud Document files.

Another similar file extension is PAGES.ZIP, but they belong to versions of Pages released between 2005 and 2007, which are versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.

PAGES09 files are produced by versions of Pages 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3, which were released between 2009 and 2012.

Still Can't Open Your File?

The first thing you should do if you can't open your PAGES file is to take note of the operating system you're using. If you're on Windows, you probably do not have a program installed that can open the PAGES file, so double-clicking it likely won't get you far.

Also remember that even if you do intend to open the file as a ZIP file, you have to either rename the .PAGES section of the filename to .ZIP or open the PAGES file directly with a tool like 7-Zip.

Something else to consider is that some file extensions look awfully similar but that doesn't necessarily mean that the formats are the same or that they can open with the same software programs.

For example, although their file extensions are nearly identical, PAGES files are not at all related to PAGE files (without an "S"), which are HybridJava Web Page files.

Windows uses a file called pagefile.sys to assist with RAM, but it too has nothing to do with PAGES files.