I recently moved my some keynote documents into backup HD. And I found I can't open some of those someday. It showed that "xxx.key can't be opened",and then I just try open it in PDF preview, it showed that "It may be damaged or use a file format that Preview doesn’t recognize."

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But something weird was that those fail-to-open files remained normal size. Right now I'm not sure whether it is error of writing files in HD or keynote software itself.

Any other ideas as to how these documents can be repaired?

  • Were these Keynote files stored on a Windows server, or transferred via ftp, Dropbox, or Google Drive on a Windows machine?
    – IconDaemon
    Mar 22, 2015 at 15:05
  • I have another windows laptop, and sometimes I need store files from windows into my HD as well as Mac, found that files in Mac can't be written into HD, so then I downloaded NTFS to fix it, so I usually plug and transfer files with this HD both in Mac and Windows.
    – user119132
    Mar 22, 2015 at 15:23
  • I've tried to upload files on cloud and download it again, but that didn't work. And another important thing is that not all keynote files failed to open but some of these, till now there are 3 in the same folder.
    – user119132
    Mar 22, 2015 at 15:26

2 Answers 2


Try this:

Rename a copy of one of the broken presentation to have an .zip extension: Bad_Presentation copy.key > Bad_Presentation copy.zip.

Then right-click on Bad_Presentation copy.zip and choose Archive Utility from the Open With> command. This will unpack the presentation into a folder named Bad_Presentation. Take this folder, give it a new name, (Bad_Presentation_Fix) then right-click and Compress the folder back to a .zip formatted file. Lastly, rename the resultant .zip file Bad_Presentation_Fix.key. See if you can open this in Keynote.

iWork documents are not what they seem. They are actually a set of bundled resources in a folder that looks like a single document in the Finder. Sometimes the bundle format can be messed up when transferring iWork documents into and out of file systems which cannot handle this format.

Good luck!

  • Error comes when unpacking Bad_Presentation copy.zip, it shows "Error 1-Operation not permitted."
    – user119132
    Mar 22, 2015 at 15:39
  • And I use The Unarchiver to unpack it, it shows "There is a problem while reading the contents of the file: Data is corrupted."
    – user119132
    Mar 22, 2015 at 15:42
  • It seems like broken, so any ways to repair this file? just open it no matter how much data will lose.
    – user119132
    Mar 22, 2015 at 15:46
  • Your only hope is if you can get back to the original files saved on a Mac volume, before they were transferred to the external HD. If you must store Keynote documents on a Windows-formatted drive or volume, right-click > Compress and save as a .zip. Note: both Dropbox and Google Drive OS X apps allow the iWorks apps to open/save seamlessly. I have many Keynote & Pages files in both cloud storage locations.
    – IconDaemon
    Mar 22, 2015 at 16:15
  • When the Keynote document was copied onto the non-OS X filesystem, it was seen as a folder of items, not as a single file. Unfortunately, some of the items in the folder are not copied between OS X and the other filesystem, and the file becomes essentially corrupted. At this point, I would have to say the file contents are lost.
    – IconDaemon
    Mar 22, 2015 at 20:51

I was able to right click on the keynote file that wouldnt open and chose 'Show Package Contents' and then it showed me another keynote file inside the Keynote bundle. This inner file opened in Keynote for me.

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