3 Replies Latest reply: Nov 9, 2013 5:13 AM by Magnus Lewan
Magnus Lewan Level 4 Level 4

The new Pages 5 file package format contains binary .iwa files that, as far as I can tell, are unreadable by other applications. This makes it very difficult or even impossible to recover file content if you are on a computer without Pages 5 or if Apple one day abandons the program. This is a big shift from the previous XML based file structure, which at least could be read by text editors, and which in theory could be recovered.


To me, already before Pages 5, the main reason not to use Pages was the proprietary file format. I do not have a single Pages file on my hard disk without a backup in more widely used formats, like doc, docx, rtf, txt, PDF or whatever makes most sense for the file.


Pages 5 in general has been a step forward to me with some useful new functions, even though some other people disagree.


However, the new file format makes it doubly important not to use Pages to create files for long term storage. To anyone interested in my opinion:


Never, ever, repeat, absolutely never, create a Pages file without a backup in another file format.

  • Jeff Shenk Level 4 Level 4

    I can understand what you are saying, but I think it is a little bit of an over-raection.


    Pages can open the proprietary format; if you can save a copy of the document, you can also save a backup of the application. Twenty five year old software can still be run (in emulation) on at least Mountain Lion, so I don't expect to outlive my ability to run Pages if I have to. And Pages is a personal format; if you are producing documents for others in Pages, you would normally produce output in pdf or print.


    Many of the documents I produce in Pages are temporary items that I only want to have around long enough to produce a pdf or printout; I don't even want to save them to disk. And very few of the documents I create are anything that I would want to open three or four years down the road.


    If you are producing documents that you want to be accessible to posterity, your advice is on target. In that case, though, I think the proprietary aspect is irrelevant. That sort of information should always be preserved in multiple formats, on multiple kinds of media, and in multiple locations.