Easily reading a .pages file on a Mac without iWork (or under Windows or Linux, etc.)
Aside from a Windows laptop my employer forces me to use our family is 100% Macintosh (both PowerPC and Intel). I received a .pages file today from a neighbor. I needed to access the information in the document but the trial copy of Apple's iWorks had expired.
When people email me Microsoft Word .doc files Gmail quite conveniently provides a link to view the document as HTML. No such luck for a .pages file.
Personally, I wish people would just use open file formats, rather than proprietary ones. If I need a text editor I usually use vi. If I need to typeset something I'll use either LaTeX or ConTeXt. But I didn't want to ask the sender to convert it to another format; I was just grateful she sent the information I needed in a timely fashion.
I briefly did some Google searching; when I didn't see anything that seemed remotely relevant on the first page of search results I suddenly had a hunch: perhaps a .pages file is a .zip archive?
michael$ unzip -l June\ 09.pages Archive: June 09.pages Length Date Time Name -------- ---- ---- ---- 70187 07-19-09 11:10 QuickLook/Thumbnail.jpg 20084 07-19-09 11:10 QuickLook/Preview.pdf 335 07-19-09 11:10 buildVersionHistory.plist 361897 07-19-09 11:10 index.xml -------- ------- 452503 4 files
No need for iWork; I just unzipped the QuickLook/Preview.pdf and I could easily open that. The .xml file, especially when pretty-printed with extra whitespace and appropriate layers of indenting, was also quite humanly readable.
So, if you need to read a .pages file under Linux, Unix, Windows or on a Mac without iWork, just run: unzip -j document.pages QuickLook/Preview.pdf
—Michael A. Cleverly
Sunday, July 19, 2009 at 11:50