13 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2014 10:27 AM by VikingOSX
fronesis Level 1 (10 points)

I'm still having recurring issues crop up surrounding Apple's changes to the file format of Pages documents since the shift toward iCloud in Mountain Lion. First off I should say that I'm running the latest version of ML on my Macs (OS X 10.8.2) and the latest version of iOS on my iDevices (iOS 6.0.2).


Here's the issue and the steps to replicate it:


1. Open Pages, Create a New Document, and save it to iCloud. Then close the document.

2. Select (or click) Open Document. Then from the file viewer (with iCloud selected) select the document you just created, click share at the buttom and choose to send it through messages to another user.


The problem is this: the file will be sent as a Zip file. It will Open on the Mac version of Messagse because it can unpack the zip file, but on an iOS device the file will come through as an unrecognized docuemnt and it can't be opened on an iOS device.


Now, I am calling this a "bug" because you can send Pages files back and forth through Messages with no problem as long as you choose Pages documents saved directly to your computer's HD (and not to iCloud). Indeed, you can test this by opening the same Pages File above, then selecting "Move To..." (from the little triangle in the title bar) and moving the file to your desktop. From there, control click on the Pages file and choose "Share" and then send the Pages file through Messages. It will come through as a Pages file that does not need to be unzipped on the mac and that can be opened direclty on iOS.


I've replicated this on two iMacs running 10.8.2. Are others seeing this behavior as well?

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 (34,577 points)

    Are you running Stuffit on your computer by any chance?



  • KarenSelena Level 4 (1,960 points)

    To open it up on an iOS device, you need to have Pages for iOS installed on the iOS device.  You would simply launch pages on the iOS device, and look in the "document chooser" screen, for a copy of this document. 


    Zip files are not supported on an iOS device, so it would not work in this fashion.  Even if it could unzip a file, you would stil need Pages for iOS installed on the iOS device, to open it.

  • fronesis Level 1 (10 points)

    Two clarifications:


    1. No, I'm not running stuffit.


    2. I'm not trying to open the document on MY iOS device. I'm trying to send documents from one user's Mac to another user's iOS device through Messages. (And I'm testing this out through my machine and my wife's.)


    My iOS devices DO have Pages installed, and I fully understand that Zip files aren't supported on iOS devices. But you see, THAT is exactly the problem. I'm sending a Pages File from my Mac through Apple's share services, using Apple's Messages app, between users that both have iCloud accounts and are running Messages. Yet Apple's own Share service is sending the file as a Zip file, even though Zip files are not supported. That's what I see as a bug.


    As I documented in my original post, there IS a workaround for this (move the Pages file to the Mac and then send from there). But I still can't believe that Apple's software engineers wouldn't see this as a bug. There's no reason why the Pages iCloud document should ever be converted to Zip (and it's NOT converted to Zip if you work solely on an iOS device or solely on a Mac with the file stored on the local HD).

  • KarenSelena Level 4 (1,960 points)

    If you feel this may be a bug, then you can go to www.apple.com/feedback and choose either Messages, or Pages, or event the iPhone, which ever you feel is a better choice. 


    This feedback goes to Apple's Engineering team, (the people who develop the software, their updates and features).  They are always eager to hear about features you feel may improve their software. 

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 (34,577 points)

    I only asked about Stuffit because in the past it has revealed Pages' packages as .zip files when saved to the desktop.


    I can't test or confirm this bug for you but from your description you seem to have been fairly thorough.


    I suggest filing a bug report with Apple and see if they do anything.



  • VikingOSX Level 6 (15,818 points)

    With a little detective work, I have this sorted.


    When you save a Pages document to local storage, it actually is saved as a single regular file. Perfect for Sharing, as it won't get zipped. It is one item.


    When you save a Pages document to iCloud, it is saved as a document package (special directory) with a hidden extension (.pages-tef) that contains multiple files and sub-folders. Since it is not a regular file, attempts to Share this document package force it to be zipped. And for even more revelation, the files that you see in the iWork area of iCloud.com, are really png graphic icons that link to these iCloud document packages. Pages and iCloud do all the magic behind the scenes.


    You can verify this for yourself.


    In Finder, navigate to homedir/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~Pages.


    There are two folders in there: Documents and iWorkPreviews.


    Change into Documents. Pick any document and perform a Get Info. Notice it offers to show Package Contents? Do that, and you will see that these special packages have contents, hence the reason they get zipped on Sharing. Look in the iWorkPreviews folder. Notice the png file extensions.


    There isn't any Pages or iCloud bug. You cannot Share any package bundle or directory of files without first zipping them. The Sharing process knows this and takes the appropriate action.

  • fronesis Level 1 (10 points)

    Yes, what Viking says is all correct, but there's still more to it than this. A few points:


    1) iCloud documents shared over email do NOT arrive as zipped files, even when received on iOS devices.


    2) iCloud documents that I haven't updated since November, can be shared and arrive on iOS devices as Pages files – no zip problems at all.


    This is only effecting recently-created or recenlty-updated Pages files, saved in iCloud and shared in Messages.


    So it's NOT just that all Pages documents stored in iCloud get shared as Zip files, because Pages documents stored in iCloud used to be shareable directty as Pages files, and even current Pages documents on iCloud can be emailed directly as Pages documents.


    The issue here is that Apple is using a Package File (with multiple files inside) but that Package is NOT supposed to be visible to the user; it's all supposed to happen behind the scenes so that the user always only sees a file that's in "Pages format." The OS (both OS's, in fact) is supposed to seamlessly convert these files back and forth, and most of the time it does.


    Right now that conversion process is failing, but it's only failing when there are a combination of conditions:

    • New Pages Documents
    • Saved in iCloud
    • Shared through Messages


    One final bit of information. So far as I can tell, if you take a newly-created document that fails to send through messages on the Mac, THEN open that document in Pages on an iOS device and make changes, and THEN try sharing that document, the file format will come through (correctly) as Pages.

  • Jeff Shenk Level 4 (2,737 points)

    Actually, the "single file" that you get by saving a Pages '09 document locally is a zipped package. If you add .zip to the filename in the Finder and then double click it, Archive Utility will unzip it and produce a package with the same name as the original Pages file. You can right click on the icon of that package to show the package contents. This can be useful for extracting the pdf preview if you have to salvage a document with a corrupted index.xml.

  • TheDailyGothic Level 1 (0 points)

    i get the same problem, if i am logged into iCloud, and i use Pages (from the browser) to send a file to my iPad, the file gets auto zipped, i am not doing anything but clicking "send copy" once i do that i wil get an option as to what format i want, pages, word, pdf. i choose pages, once i do that, i get a file that has the .pages.zip file ext on it, and it wil not open correctly on my iPad.


    side note, one iCloud account works fine, i am able to send documents this way no problem, my second iCloud account adds the zip ext file every time??

  • Haddy234 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have similar issues.  Whenever I email a numbers document on my ios, it automatically sends in a zipped file.  Then when I try and open the file on my ios, I can't, because it is zipped.  When I open on my mac, I need to unzip and then open.  This all started with the pages 3.0 update I beleive.  Why can I not just email it as a numbers document and not zipped!?!

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 (34,577 points)

    All the iWork 2013 Apps files are zipped packages.


    This isn't revealed unless you send via a 3rd party eMail client or server.


    Use Apple's Mail.



  • Haddy234 Level 1 (0 points)

    I do use apple's mail.  I use Numbers, Mail, everything Mac.  I do not do anything else.  When sent from Numbers on a ipad, it always appears as a zipped file. 

  • VikingOSX Level 6 (15,818 points)



    A Pages v5 document is presented in the Finder as though it were just a document, though as we know, the Finder really thinks it is a Package. In the Terminal, a Pages v5 document is just an uncompressed directory. The specific document content (*.iwa) within is compressed into an Index.zip file.