Manual iWork Conversion

Written on September 5, 2015

Here’s how to open iWork’14 (Yosemite) Files in iWork’13 (Mavericks) without resaving them as Package in iWork’14.

Update

The following is no longer applicable for opening iWork’15 (El Capitan/Yosemite) files in iWork’13 (Mavericks)or iWork’14 (Yosemite). Instead, first head to CloudConverter or iCloud.com and convert iWork’15 files to Microsoft Office files, then open them in iWork’13 (Mavericks)or iWork’14 (Yosemite).

Original Tutorial

If you are one of the guys still rocking OS X Mavericks, and you exchange iWork (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) documents with your friends, you’ve probably encountered this annoying dialogue.

The prompt says: “You need newer versions of OS X and [iWork app] to open this document.”

There’s no documented way of directly opening them on Mavericks. The official workaround requires re-saveing them on a Mac that runs OS X Yosemite. This can be done through choosing File > Advanced > Change File Type and select the type as “Package” format, rather than “Single File” format in Yosemite.

But sometimes, this workaround just wouldn’t be feasible. You probably don’t have access to a Mac with OS X Yosemite at the moment. Your friend is probably asleep, or annoyed that he(she) needs to resave his document every time, just for you.

Luckily, there is a way.

First, right click the incompatible file, click “Get Info”. Change the extension from “.key” to “.zip”.

Then double click to uncompress the file.

It would look like somthing similar to this, consisting of three folders and a few thumbnails.

The next step requires packaging the Index folder without compression. The easiest way is to use BetterZip. The trial version will do the trick just fine.

Simply open BetterZip. It will automatically present a new, empty view. Drag the Index folder into the view. It would look something like this.

Then hit save. If the advanced options do not reveal itself, hit the downward arrow to unveil them. Go to “Compression”, and change it from “Normal” to “No compression”.

Hit save. You’ll get something like this.

Trash the “Index” folder, but leave the “Index.zip” there.

Go back to the expanded folder. Right click on it, click “Get Info”, and add “.key” at the end of its name if it is a Keynote file, “.pages” if it is a Pages file, “.numbers” if it is a Numbers file. It would look like this:

Close the “Get Info” window.

Double click your manually-converted iWork document. It should open and work properly!

Try it yourself now!