Pages has crashed, my file is now corrupted and I'm trying to get the text from this file.

if I Right click on the file > Show package content > open index.zip , I can see a bunch of .iwa files which seems to contains my original text, especially "Document.iwa".

If I "$ nano Document.iwa" (because "$ file" only returns "data") I can see some of my text, but the overall seems crypted.

Does anyone know how to decode/read this kind of .iwa file or recover corrupted files?

  • If you open pages, you get no option to restore the file to the last readable state?
    – Rob
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 9:24
  • No unfortunately
    – Stéphane
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 9:28

2 Answers 2


At GitHub obriensp/iWorkFileFormat there exists some work on reverse engineering the format and they have published results there.

Basically, the .iwa files are Protobuf streams compressed using Snappy.

There was also a question on Stack Overflow about the format:
Reverse engineering iWork '13 formats


I previously had an issue with one of the new Pages docs that I was able to 'fix' by opening it at iCloud.com. You might try that. The new format is a pain being binary though it does make the syncing between iDevices and Macs easy.

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