I am needing to convert about 100 .pages documents to either pdf or docx. With the AppleScript script below, I am able to open .pages documents from the folder that I select. However I receive the following error when trying to export.

Question: What is causing the error and how do I fix it?

Error Message with personal information replaced:

error "Pages got an error: Can’t make alias \"Macintosh HD:Users:Path:To:File:foo.pages\" into type document." number -1700 from alias "Macintosh HD:Users:Path:To:File:foo.pages." to document

Line of code producing the error:

export this_file to exportFileName as PDF


set exportFileExtension to "pdf"
set this_folder to (choose folder with prompt "Pick the folder containing the files to process:") as string
tell application "System Events"
    set these_files to every file of folder this_folder
end tell
repeat with i from 1 to the count of these_files
    set this_file to (item i of these_files as alias)
    set this_info to info for this_file
    tell application "Finder"
        set {fType, nExt} to ({file type, name extension} of file this_file)
        set documentName to the name of this_file
        set exportFileName to documentName & "." & exportFileExtension
    end tell
    if nExt contains "pages" then
        tell application "Pages"
            open this_file
            export this_file to exportFileName as PDF
            close saving no
        end tell
    end if
end repeat

###Update###: I have added this script to github with the hopes of it benefiting others as it continues to be improved. Contributions appreciated.

  • Yes, indeed :) Never touched AppleScript before the major copy/paste from multiple sources exhibited here. I'm not using fType, but I am using nExt. can I just set nExt to (name extension of file this_file)? Regarding naming conventions, agreed. This is from the multiple sources that I copied from. I will clean that up. Thank you. Commented May 17, 2017 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


Replace the line of code producing the error with the following:

export front document to file (this_folder & exportFileName) as PDF

There were two issues here:

  • export takes a document, so you need to pass it the document as opened by Pages.
  • You gave the file name, but not a containing folder to put the file with this name, so concatenate this with the containing folder path so Pages knows where to export to.
  • Thank you. I was able to successfully export using the changes that you suggest. However, my code opens all 100 files before executing and does not close them. Commented May 16, 2017 at 23:21
  • 1
    @BrianWilson, Re: your comment... change close saving no to close front document saving no Commented May 16, 2017 at 23:52
  • hmm. Now set this_file to (item i of these_files as alias) is causing error message: error "Can’t make «class cpkg» \"Macintosh HD:Users:Path:to:file.pages:\" of application \"System Events\" into type alias." number -1700 from «class cpkg» "Macintosh HD:Users:Path:to:file.pages:" to alias Commented May 17, 2017 at 0:42
  • Thanks for the help in answering the original questions with followups. The code is still very buggy, but the original problem has been solved. As a service to humanity, I am putting the script on github. link Commented May 17, 2017 at 14:42
  • Here is a better link to github. I have included a text file so it is not necessary to download the .scpt file to see what is going on. Commented May 17, 2017 at 14:58

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