This is why I hate Apple - "Document too old, cannot open"

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mildredop, May 21, 2015.

  1. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    I've just tried to open a couple of old Pages and Numbers documents and have been met with the error "This document is too old and cannot be opened. To open it, save it with Pages '09 first."

    But I don't have Pages '09. Apple deleted it when I upgraded - I've got Pages 5.5 and Numbers 3.5. So it seems all my old documents are lost.

    I can understand an old program not being able to open a newer document, but the other way around? Why? Why can't the new version of Pages/Numbers read all older formats?

    It's like Photos. Why did downloading Photos cause iPhoto to disappear?

    Attached Files:

  2. Pakaku macrumors 68020


    Aug 29, 2009
    Don't old versions of iWork get moved into a folder in the apps folder?

    If it's totally deleted, then I guess I can't be surprised.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I had an old copy of iWork and I don't believe those got deleted. Did you try right clicking on the document and seeing if the context menu shows the older version of Pages when you say open with?
  4. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    I've never knowingly deleted Pages 09, but it's not on my Mac. But why have Apple created a version of Pages which is unable to open old documents? Word will happily open my Word docs from 20 years ago. Pages can't open this one from 2008.

    Right click just offers Pages or the App store - which suggests Pages.

    Attached Files:

  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    The Open With dialog does not necessarily show all apps. Just look in your Applications folder.

    That being said, the way Apple has handled the iWork update has been awful.
  6. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    Thanks, but there's nothing other than Pages in Macintosh HD/Applications. iWork isn't in there if that's what you're suggesting.

    Oddly, hitting spacebar opens the document in preview, so it can read it somehow.

    Why on Earth would I continue using Pages and Numbers now I know this? Documents I'm creating now will be lost in a few years judging by this.
  7. Partron22 macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2011
    Because those apps'll easily sync across all the devices in your Apple world.
    Having had docs messed up by the badly handled switch from AppleWorks to iWork I've found this latest debacle the perfect excuse to switch to Libre Office, which at least offers some promise of long term stability.

    I lose the auto-cloud-sync stuff, but don't really need or want that anyway.
  8. Mildredop thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
    Actually, I don't have an Apple world. I used to, but this is one of many incidents that have happened in the past.

    Endless "Cannot connect to Apple TV" made me ditch Apple TV.

    Problems syncing calendar to iPhone and a number of other quirks made me ditch the iPhone after the iPhone 4.

    Thought the iPad was over-priced so have an Android tablet.

    The Mac is the only thing in my "Apple world".
  9. HobeSoundDarryl, May 21, 2015
    Last edited: May 21, 2015

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    1. Look in your Applications folder again. There should be a folder in there called iWork '09. Open that and you should find your old version of Pages in there. Open THAT Pages and then open the files. Don't try just double clicking on the Pages files themselves as that will result in them trying to open in the newer version, and thus giving you the error. The key is to open the old version of Pages first and then using it to open these files.

    If there is no such iWork folder and you didn't manually delete it, I'm going to guess these troublesome Pages files were created on another Mac. Do you still have that one? If so, fire it back up to be able to open these file.

    If successful (in opening them in old Pages), I suggest using Export to save them as a Word document just in case the next version(s) of OS X make the old version of Pages no longer work. If the content itself is what is important (and not being able to edit them), you might also want to print them as a PDF file.

    2. Anyone who embraces Apple custom software should create boot disk snapshots of their systems from time to time. For example, I own an external, bootable hard drive with Snow Leopard installed so that I can go back to compatible software that no longer works (or works reliably) in newer versions of OS X.

    2B. You might be able to buy a used Mac with Snow Leopard still in charge and it might have iWork on it.

    3. Know anyone with an old version of Pages on their Macs? Can you temporarily get on their systems, open the files and then export them as a Word doc?

    4. Open in Preview, save as PDF and then you'll have a way to at least access the content of them in the future.

    5. Head for Amazon and/or Ebay and buy an old edition of iWork 09. They are still out there. Install them and they still function on current OS X versions. Then see #2 before you upgrade OS X to the next version(s).

    I hope this is helpful.

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