Can Apple Pages open docx files natively?

Categories: Software for WritersBy Published On: September 19, 20202.2 min read

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What happens when an Apple Pages user needs to open a docx (MS Word) file, but does not have Word installed on her computer? Can Apple Pages open docx files? The answer is yes, but how? We’ll show you in this article.

Microsoft Word is available for Apple products, including Mac, iPhone, and iPad. I personally have it installed on all three, although I find that I don’t use the mobile versions as much as the Mac version. I use both Pages and MS Word, depending upon what my project is.

Opening MS Word files in Apple Pages is very simple.

Why convert between MS Word and Apple Pages?

Many writers who prefer Apple products over Microsoft choose to bypass MS Word in favor of Apple Pages. They write their blog posts, book manuscripts, or other writing in Pages, then send it to editors or other people who convert their file into Word so they can do their work on it.

The original Pages file may be sent back to the writer after it has been converted to MS Word. There are several ways to open that MS Word file in Apple Pages. Let’s start with the simplest.

Easily make Apple Pages open docx files.

These methods begin when Pages is closed.

If Pages is in your Dock, simply drag the Word file that you wish to open on top of the Pages icon. It will automagically open for you.

Here’s the next easiest way:

  • Right click the file.
  • Choose Open With….
  • In the list that appears, select Pages.app.

Pages will open, then load the MS Word file. Basically, one action on your part opens Pages and loads the file.

The third way does just what the previous method did, but in reversed manual steps.

  • Open Pages.
  • From the box that opens, find and select your chosen file.

If Apple Pages is already open

If Pages is already open:

  • Open the File menu
  • Choose Open… to find and select your MS Word file.

Note: A mild warning

When the file initially opens, you may see a warning that some formatting will be lost. In my experience, whatever was lost was so insignificant that I sometimes couldn’t detect exactly what it was. In some cases, it may be something as simple as a font that is being substituted. I’ve never run into any problem reading a Word file in Pages.

Apple Pages and Microsoft Word are both very capable pieces of software. A person can write in either app and have a useful file when he’s finished. You can even use a mix of Apple Pages and another app. Open source software such as LibreOffice and cloud services such as Google Docs can open and save files to and from the MS Word docx format on a Mac. Those .docx files can then be open in and exported from Apple Pages.

I would take the following into consideration if you use an app like LibreOffice to produce the MS Word file, then convert to Pages. If you create a complex document, such as one with large tables, odd font mixes, images, etc., it is possible that your file may look a little different when opened in MS Word. Likewise, it may not look exactly how you envisioned it when it is opened in Pages. However, if you are using the LibreOffice or another app just to write books, articles, or blog posts, you should have no trouble at all successfully opening and working with a file created in that software, saved as a docx file, then opened in Apple Pages.

Can I convert a Pages file to MS Word?

What if you’ve written a 75,000 word book in Apple Pages, then learn that your editor requires MS Word files? You try to convince the editor to take your Pages file, but she refuses. What then?

It’s a very simple problem to resolve. We’ve covered that in another article here.

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About the Author: Tom Buford

Tom enjoys technology and at several years north of 60, he finds it more enjoyable and interesting than ever. He has been happily married to his bride for more than 47 years and enjoys living with her and the cats that adopted them in rural Tennessee. Tom is also a published fiction author.