File compatibility issues arise when you’re working in a mixed environment of OSes – like Macs and Windows. There are files that can be opened by Macs only and files that can only be ran using Windows. An example is viewing Pages files. When you transfer them on Windows, you get to see the “unknown file” icon and you’re not able to view the contents. It’s a good thing that the term workarounds exists.

Pages files are similar to Microsoft Word files. This tip will let you view these type of files on a Windows system but you can’t edit them. First make sure you’re able to view extension names (filename.extension name). To do this, open a folder, click Tools > Folder Options… and click on the View tab. Uncheck the box that says “Hide extensions for known file types” and click Apply then OK. Below is a snipped image of the Pages file with the unhidden extension.


Pages File

Pages File

Replace your Pages file’s extension name to “.zip” and if Windows tells you that the file will be unusable after changing the extension name just select Yes to continue. Using a zip utility like 7-Zip, extract all files. Open the QuickLook folder and view Preview.pdf. You’re now able to view or even print the file. If you have Adobe Acrobat, you may export the PDF file to Word to be able to edit it.

If you’re a Windows 7 and 7-Zip user, you may immediately extract the files without changing the extension name.


Check out the free Pages converter for Windows. It converts Pages documents into text files.