How to Open a Pagemaker Document in Microsoft Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Opening a Pagemaker document in Microsoft Word is a bit like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole—it’s not a straightforward task. However, with the right approach and tools, it can be done. Essentially, you’ll need to convert the Pagemaker file into a format that Word can read, such as a PDF or RTF, and then open it in Word.

After completing this action, you will have successfully accessed the content of a Pagemaker file within Microsoft Word. This allows you to edit, format, and manipulate the document as you would with any other Word file.


Pagemaker was a widely used desktop publishing program that was popular in the 80s and 90s. However, with the advent of more advanced software like Adobe InDesign, Pagemaker’s popularity waned, and it was eventually discontinued. But what if you’ve got a trove of old Pagemaker files gathering digital dust on your hard drive? You might be wondering, “Can I open these in Microsoft Word?” Well, you’re in luck because, with a little finagling, it’s possible!

Let’s face it, not everyone has access to legacy software or the desire to use outdated programs. Plus, Microsoft Word is a familiar and user-friendly tool that most people have at their disposal. So, being able to convert and access Pagemaker files in Word is incredibly useful, especially for individuals or organizations that need to retrieve information from old documents without the hassle of maintaining obsolete software. Whether you’re a historian, an archivist, or just someone who hates to lose access to their old work, this guide is for you.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Open a Pagemaker Document in Microsoft Word

Before we dive into the detailed steps, it’s important to understand that we will be converting the Pagemaker file into a format that Microsoft Word can understand. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Convert Pagemaker File to PDF

Use Adobe Pagemaker to open your document and export it as a PDF.

If you still have access to Adobe Pagemaker, opening your file and exporting it as a PDF is the most straightforward way to begin. The PDF format is something that Word can handle with ease, and it will preserve the layout and formatting of the original Pagemaker file.

Step 2: Open the PDF in Microsoft Word

Open Microsoft Word, and select the PDF file you want to convert.

Word has a built-in feature that allows you to open PDF files directly. When you open a PDF, Word will convert it into an editable Word document. Though the conversion is not always perfect, it’s a good starting point for working with the content.

Step 3: Save the Word Document

After the PDF is opened and converted in Word, save the document in Word format.

Once your file is open in Word, you can save it as a .doc or .docx file. This allows you to edit the document as needed and ensures that you can open it in the future without any additional conversion steps.


No Need for PagemakerYou won’t need to keep Pagemaker installed just to access old files.
Familiar InterfaceWord provides a familiar interface for editing and formatting documents.
Increased AccessibilityConverted files can be shared easily with others who may not have access to Pagemaker.

Being able to open and edit Pagemaker files in Word means that you don’t need to rely on outdated software. Microsoft Word’s interface is intuitive and widely used, making it a convenient platform for document editing. Additionally, once your Pagemaker files are converted to Word format, they become more accessible and easier to share with others who might not have Pagemaker.


Potential Loss of FormattingThe conversion process might not preserve all formatting perfectly.
Time-ConsumingConverting each file individually can be time-consuming for large archives.
Requires PagemakerYou initially need Pagemaker to export the file to PDF.

One of the main issues with converting Pagemaker files to Word is that the formatting may not be preserved exactly as it was in the original document. This can lead to extra work, adjusting the layout and design in Word. Additionally, if you have many files to convert, the process can be quite time-consuming. Lastly, for the initial steps, you do need access to Pagemaker to export the files as PDFs.

Additional Information

When working on the conversion of Pagemaker files to Word, there are a few extra tips that can save you time and ensure a better outcome. Firstly, if the Pagemaker document contains lots of images or complex layouts, consider using a professional PDF to Word conversion tool. These tools often have more refined conversion algorithms that can handle complex documents more effectively.

Another important consideration is the version of Microsoft Word you are using. Newer versions tend to handle PDF conversions better than older ones. So, if you’re running into issues, it might be worth updating your software.

Lastly, if you find that the PDF conversion isn’t working well for your specific Pagemaker document, you might want to try converting it to Rich Text Format (RTF) instead. Word can open RTF files just as easily, and sometimes this can yield better results in terms of preserving the document’s original layout and formatting.


  1. Convert Pagemaker file to PDF using Adobe Pagemaker.
  2. Open the PDF in Microsoft Word.
  3. Save the converted file in Word format.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I convert a Pagemaker file to Word without Adobe Pagemaker?

If you don’t have access to Adobe Pagemaker, you can try using a third-party PDF conversion tool to convert your Pagemaker files to PDF first, and then open them in Word.

Will the conversion process work for Pagemaker files created in any version?

The conversion process should work for Pagemaker files created in most versions, but it’s always best to use the latest version of Word for the best results.

Will I be able to edit the converted Word document?

Yes, once the Pagemaker file is converted and opened in Word, you will be able to edit it like any other Word document.

What should I do if the formatting isn’t preserved perfectly?

You may need to manually adjust the formatting in Word to match the original Pagemaker document, or consider using a more advanced PDF to Word conversion tool.

Can I batch convert multiple Pagemaker files to Word?

Batch conversion isn’t directly possible within Word, but some third-party conversion tools may offer this feature.


Opening a Pagemaker document in Microsoft Word might seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it’s quite doable. By converting your Pagemaker files to PDF and then using Word’s conversion feature, you can breathe new life into old documents. Keep in mind the potential limitations and be prepared for some manual tweaking to get the formatting just right.

Remember, it’s all about preserving and accessing valuable information that’s locked away in obsolete formats. With this guide, you’re well-equipped to tackle the challenge.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy