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Aug 26, 2009

Tutorial – Save a Pages Document in Word Format

by Stephen Ashby

It’s easy to share your Pages documents with others, even if they happen to be using Microsoft Windows or Word.

IntroRegardless of where you stand on the Mac-versus-PC debate, you’re unlikely to put an end to the discussion. We have to face facts: some people will always use Macs and the rest will use PCs. This age-old squabble doesn’t have to get in the way of sharing, however, with more and more cross-platform applications available and increasingly friendly methods of communication on both systems. When it comes to page layout and word processing, however, there have always been some serious issues. Of course, plain text documents read as well on any computer, but when it comes to the smooth designs found in Pages templates or even beautiful formatting in its written documents, things sometimes go awry. In this tutorial we will show you how to not only save a Pages document in a Word-friendly format, but also explain how you can speed up the process by dropping your file into an email ready to impress your PC-using friends with your bi-partisan methods.

 Tutorial: Save a Pages Document in Microsoft Word Format


Tutorial - Save a Pages Document in Word FormatStep 1: Prepare Your Project

If you’ve just created a new project and haven’t yet saved it to your computer, head up to the File menu and select Save… to see your options.

Step 2Step 2: Make A Copy

Name your document as something memorable and then check the box labelled ‘Save copy as’. Make sure you select Word Document from the drop-down menu to save your file in the location specified.

Step 3Step 3: Exporting

If you are trying to save a current Pages file as a Word document, the Save… option won’t be available. Instead, head up to the File menu and choose Export… to create a duplicate of this document in a Microsoft Word format.

Step 4Step 4: Export Options

You should now see a selection of options for your export, including PDF and ePub, but if you just want a Microsoft Word format choose it here. You will then need to name your file and choose a location to export it to as normal.

Tutorial - Save a Pages Document in Word FormatStep 5: Speedier Sharing

For an even faster way to share a document compatible with Word you can email it directly. Simply select Send Via Mail from the Share menu and choose Word. This will automatically add a Word format file to a new email.

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    • Patricia Grantham

      I unfortunately have Pages 06 and do not have the option of changing it to a word document. I had to save it as a pdf. Makes it difficult for my class work.


    • Evan

      Did the same thing with Pages 09 to Word. After the ‘Save copy as Word doc’, I get a perfectly saved Word, but the Pages document is saved but still named ‘blank.pages’, both in the Pages window and tthe chosen folder. Confused!

    • Charlie

      Amazing. Easy to follow and works brilliantly. Thanks.

    • Pingback: Deon’s handy Mac hint #1: Saving Pages documents in Word format | Travelearning()

    • Bill

      I wish I could save to word format as a default, because I have to share everything with word-only users.

    • Zayenn

      There is another way, if you would only like to switch document types!
      File > Export
      Choose the type of document.
      This is what worked for me, I hope it helps.

    • Foinah Jameson

      It does indeed port to a word document, but it loses any formatting for headers and footers!

      How do I save a .pages file as word WITH the headers? Novel manuscripts need these. Any help with figuring this out is appreciated!

    • Kyle McGyle

      When I tried typing doing this tutorial, it didn’t show up as save as. It only say “save a version”. I started to experiment a bit with the softwaren until i found export. I did this by either going File>export or Share>export Anyone else have this problem?

    • Stephen Ashby

      Hi Kyle,

      I’m afraid this tutorial was written before Lion was released, and it has now changed the functionality of Pages. You can now save Versions of your work which you can then flick back through to see the changes you’ve made (kind of like with Time Machine).

      Export is now the best port of call if you want to save in a different format, but you’ve already found that one! If you have any problems with it just let us know 🙂


    • Samantha

      I can save my Pages doc in Word format, but text boxes move around and disappear. A whole page disappears. And I get an error message saying certain aspects are not supported (character boundaries? text wrapping?) and therefore removed. What am I doing wrong??

    • Freddie Harrison

      Hi Samantha,

      There are a few discrepancies when it comes to saving Pages documents in .doc format, especially when it comes to text boxes. Have you tried exporting any other documents in Word format? If you’ve had the same problem it may well be one of these export issues but if it works fine it might well be something document specific. The only other thing we can suggest is that if you’re exporting your document to Word format so, for example, a Windows user can read it, that you export it to a PDF. This should preserve all of your text boxes and formatting in a universal document format that everyone can open and read.

      Hope this helps!


    • Amazing.

      That works well.

      Thanks very much

    • Nicole

      I am having issues with exporting page documents to word documents. An error box comes up and says unable to export. What do you think is wrong?

    • Freddie Harrison

      Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for getting in touch – unfortunately, there could be a number of reasons why your Pages document isn’t exporting, so we’ll have to try and whittle this down a little. First off, what operating system are you running? The most recent one for Mac is OS X 10.7 Lion, you can find this out by clicking the Apple logo in the top-left of your screen and then ‘About this Mac’. It’d also be useful to know what version of Pages you’re using. This can be found by clicking on ‘Pages’ in the menu bar when the app is running and then clicking on ‘About Pages’. Is this an issue with every document you try to export?


    • Christopher

      The new Pages in Lion OS doesn’t save in .docx but in .doc when exported. It no longer has a “save as” option and it’s driving me crazy. My professors only choose to view the formatting in word documents and I while Pages does not export the format settings. I love Pages and dislike the educational system because it is all Windows based.

    • Cynthia

      Thanks all – I clicked Share then Export and could save it in various formats. I have Lion and to just click FILE you don’t get an option to save it – other Save a Version….Thanks again

    • Thanks very much. Very simple and easy to follow!

    • Paul

      Yet again the Apple version of doing something is complex, unintuitive and cumbersome. I could not follow this at all. PCs are so much easier – everything about using them is obvious. I really hate my Apple computer. Worst thing I ever bought.

    • Stephen Ashby

      We’re sorry to hear that you found out tutorial hard to follow, Paul. Which part are you having a problem with, specifically? Let me know and I can try and help out.

      It’s a shame you aren’t enjoying your Mac, too, but we would say that most users find they are actually much more straightforward than using Windows machines, and that they are, in actual fact, much more intuitive than the competition. Still, we understand that they aren’t for everyone – the great thing for you is that Macs hold their value much, much better than PCs, so if you do want to sell it you should get an excellent price for it, so you can get enough back to get a pretty powerful Windows machine!


    • Brooke

      Hi, is there a way of saving a ‘bulletin’ i made in pages so that i can use it and edit it as needed on a pc?

    • Marion

      I like Pages, and Numbers, but am baffled by the apparent lack of the ‘save as’ option and also version control. I frequently have to work with people who need to work in Word/Excel and we need to share the same document. I haven’t worked out a neat way to create a document, save it as Word, send it, receive it back and then be able to edit the same document. I could cope with it not opening as Word (as I don’t have Word on the machine) but often it opens an Untitled document – I just keep losing track and end up with lots of versions. I need a workflow for these situations. I can normally work these things out for myself but the Pages logic is escaping me, though I understand that it is probably all there somewhere.

      Otherrwise, I am doing a lot of work I would have normally used a page layout programme to do such as Quark Express – simple layout things such as press releases etc.

      Anyone else got around this problem?

    • Freddie Harrison

      Hey Marion,

      OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion has re-introduced the Save As feature to apps like Pages, so that should solve one of your issues. Unfortunately you can’t save your document in Word format directly from the Save As menu (you’ll still need to do this via the Export menu), but it certainly does help when it comes to working with pages documents. The system for working with and exporting Word documents in Pages is a little on the confusing side, but from our experience (we do this a lot in the office!), we tend to find that we only ever need two files:

      1) When we’re sent a Word document we’ll open it in Pages, this opens the document in Pages format, so there’s now the original Word document and a second Pages file that’s unsaved
      2) Hitting Command + S as we work on our document will save it as a Pages document (still only two files; the Word document and the, now saved, Pages document)
      3) When we’re done and want to send this back to someone working in Word we head to the Export menu and save the document with the same name as the original Word file (thus overwriting it)
      4) We then delete the Pages document we’ve been working on so we’re only left with the edited Word document

      Hopefully that makes sense and helps!


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    • Jim

      I just purchased Pages for my new MacPro Book. I am having difficulty figuring out how I can export redacted (changed) documents to those using PC or Macs with Word. The documents go through but do not show the deletions and additions, any suggestions? Thanks

    • Freddie Harrison

      Hi Jim,

      Have you updated to the latest version of Pages? The most recent update includes some compatibility updates for displaying document changes when exported for Word.


    • Jim

      I just downloaded Pages ’09 4.3 (1048). The tutorial and guide that you can link to makes it clear you can save additions and deletions so others using Word can look at your edits but I cannot figure out how to do it. I can easily send my Page documents but they come thourgh as though all my changes were Accepted. Any ideas?

    • Jonathan Mor


      Another (hopefully) quick question you may be able to answer.

      One you have exported it to a Word document, are you able to carry on editing it (the now word document) and then save using cmd+S.

      I have found that when i do this (Carry on editing the word document) and press cmd+s that i get a new pop up save as screen when i would have just wanted it to be saved to the current saved word doc??

    • Stephen Ashby

      Hi Jonathan,

      Sadly it’s not possible to keep saving with that shortcut, as exporting creates a separate document alongside the Pages document that you Mac thinks you’re creating. The best choice in your situation is to save your document throughout the creation process as a Pages document to ensure you have a backup (Pages should do this automatically but it’s good to be safe). When you have finished the document entirely, export it as a Word document and delete the original Pages document that you were using as a backup. This way you know you’ve always got a saved version if something goes wrong, and you don’t have to waste time exporting the document regularly! It’s not perfect, but it’s the best option for speeding up your workflow.


    • Norma

      Hello — thanks for confirming I was doing this correct. I’m applying for a job that requires “word”, so I’m hoping this save as word option or export will “fake it out”! Please tell me if there is a way to determine the version of word it saves to? They’re asking…. On the application options are Word 2001, Word 2003, Word 2007/2010. I have Lion OS-X.

      I do love it, but it is proving difficult and uncompatible to load some programs for working with various voice files. I’ve dug out my old PC for that and working with the two machines is a bit cumbersome! Look forward to hearing asap — have to submit the application.

    • Stephen Ashby

      Hi Norma,

      The exported file will be compatible with all the types you specify. The exported document is in a .doc format, which is the format used by all versions of Microsoft Word in the last ten years. If you export it from Pages as a word document the people you’re applying to will have no problems opening it!

      I hope this helps! Let us know how you get on with the application 🙂


    • Dave Carr

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for this very useful info re saving as a word document.
      The process for working and regularly saving word documents (in pages) is very
      frustrating. At least your comments support my own experience. I’d have preferred
      not to have to flip flop between pages and word (as you kindly suggest above) but
      I guess it’s either that or buy Word for Mac. Shame!

    • Susan

      I am suddenly having a problem with exporting as a Word document from Pages. The Pages document is in regular 8.5 by 11 letter size. But the Word document is a wide, landscape page, even a couple of pages to accommodate the sideways text. I have spent hours trying to figure this out. Can you help please? I have an MacBook with Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5 (11G63). The exported Word document says it is Microsoft Word 97 – 2004.

      How can I fix this, please? I edit and write for a living and all my clients need their documents in Word. Now. Should I go out and buy Word or something? I can’t have all my Track Changes and Comments showing up bizarrely or not at all.


    • Silver’s Reviews

      I can’t find the choice to save as an iWork’08 or Word Document. Please help.

      I downloaded the NEW pages.

      To save a document for use with iWork ’08 or Microsoft Word:
      Choose File > Save As, or choose File > Save.

      Type a new name for the document in the Save As field.

      Choose where you want to save the document.

      Select “Save a copy as,” and choose iWork ’08 or Word Document from the pop-up menu.

      Click Save.

    • Rachel Alexander

      well I’m new to mac I’m not even sure of it all but if you get kingsoft office it is a free office suite and is completely compatible with any ms office suite and can do pdfs to it will convert them straight away and can be read on any computer there is a mac version too. just download and that will be problem solved.