When using a newer version of iWork software such as on Yosemite to open older documents and presentations, Pages reports "This document can’t be opened because it’s too old. To open it, save it with Pages ’09 first." and Keynote reports "This presentation can’t be opened because it’s too old. To open it, save it with Keynote ’09 first." How can I open these files without finding and installing an old version of iWork?

Edit: The latest update, version 6.6 (2550) (as of October 16, 2015) opens Keynote '06 and '08 version files. I verified this on a file from 2007 and it works properly.

  • Welcome - try not to post identical answers to two questions. When that happens, we typically close one as a duplicate of the other in cases where truly the same answer applies to both situations. Let's make this about keynote and link it to the pages answer. That answer as well should be about pages and not keynote.
    – bmike
    Mar 12, 2015 at 15:53
  • @bmike Thanks; if you're going to edit answers, though, please double-check they have the correct content.
    – Dan
    Mar 12, 2015 at 16:21
  • 1
    You can revert it, but the edit was more a suggestion leaving it obviously broken so that you'd hopefully come back and fix it. Don't mistake moderation for being a subject matter expert. :-) I did uproot just about all the relevant posts since I appreciate your breathing new life into this issue and alerting us to the duplication of questions. (the beauty of wiki / community editing is that everyone can and does pitch in little efforts to make a polished artifact over time).
    – bmike
    Mar 12, 2015 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


This solution requires using Terminal. Do the following:

  1. Make a backup copy of your file
  2. Open Terminal.app
  3. In the Terminal window, type cd (that's with a space after the cd) then drag your file to the window. It should insert the full path of your file (e.g. /Users/me/Documents/My\ Great\ File.pages).
  4. Copy and paste the following command as a single line and press Return: gunzip --stdout index.apxl.gz | sed 's-:version="72007061400"-:version="92008102400"-g' > index.apxl
  5. If you don't see any errors (such as No such file or directory), now type rm index.apxl.gz and press Return
  6. Type exit and press Return and try to open your file. It may give you a compatibility problem report but should open.


The file index.apxl.gz is a compressed XML file that holds information about your document. The command in step 4 uncompresses the file and runs it through a search-and-replace program which looks for the version 72007061400 and replaces it with the version 92008102400 (I don't know what these versions mean but it appears to work). It outputs to an uncompressed version of the file, which is why in step 5 you remove the original, compressed file (iWork will used compressed or uncompressed files).


If step 4 gives you a No such file or directory error, it's possible the index.apxl or index.apxl file is uncompressed, in which case you can replace the step 4 command with sed 's-:version="72007061400"-:version="92008102400"-g' index.apxl | gzip > index.apxl.gz, and step 5 with rm index.apxl.

This solution could be adapted to an Automator action by someone motivated.


This method is adapted from a comment on this Google+ post.

  • Sounds like this would be a great little AppleScript droplet or app. Mar 12, 2015 at 15:31
  • D'oh! Copy and paste error. Fixing.
    – Dan
    Mar 12, 2015 at 16:10
  • Latest update (2015-10-16) says it opens Keynote '06 and '08 version files.
    – mankoff
    Oct 17, 2015 at 1:34

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