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I have a Pages (iWork '08) document I'd like to work on on my laptop, but my laptop doesn't have iWork. When I try to open the document, it turns out to actually be a folder with several things inside, but everything seems to be meta information. Is there a specific file in there I can open in Textedit and work on, and if so, which one?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

iWork '08 saves it's files as bundles which will appear as a folder with files within it. iWork '09 unless you turn on "Save files as packages" in the preferences saves it as a flat file now.

The index.xml.gz file is a gzip'd version of the text and formatting rules (in xml) of the file). It's possible to unzip this file, make an edit and then rezip it back up but I would advise against it as the work unzipping, rezipping and handling the xml is not really worth the hassle.

Without access to iWork there isn't much you can do - you could export from Pages as an .rtf as TextEdit will be able to edit and work with those as well as Microsoft Word documents.

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as you already have noticed, the iWorks file is a archive file containing multiple other files, your images etc. the text part of this file uses XML for formatting.

more details can be read here:

as a concequence, you're unable to open it Textedit, however, there are two different ways you can go from here

  • You might want to try opening it with Writer, which should support an iwork-pages document.

  • If your document only contains test without any type of markup, you might want to save it as a plain text document instead of an iwork pages document note that this will remove all formatting from your file thisĺl allow you to open the text document with Textedit

share|improve this answer doesn't seem to support the file format, and preserving markup is really important to me. Any other suggestions? – waiwai933 Aug 3 '09 at 21:47
can you say: vendor lock-in? another reason to use in the first place, but the oly solution i can give you here... is to spend money ;) – alexanderpas Aug 4 '09 at 0:02

This works at least with iWork09's pages documents. Replace .pages with .zip and unzip the file. In the unzipped folder you will find quicklook-folder containing common pdf-file.

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