[How to] Extract Images From Apple Pages 5.0 Document

Step 6: Here’s your image!

With the launch of the snazzy new OS X Mavericks, Apple also updated its iLife and iWork suite. The good news is that both iLife and iWork is now free for all Mac users, and the new look UI and enhanced features mean better productivity and usability. Naturally with updates, Apple does make changes to how things work, and may even remove certain functionality. Here we look at how to extract image(s) from an Apple Pages document.

Even in previous versions of Apple’s word processor, extracting images from a document was never a straight forward process. Being King of the Hill for ‘drag-and-drop’, Pages strangely never supported drag-and-drop of images/objects direct to the Desktop. Instead when you do a drag-and-drop, it becomes a Clipping, which isn’t exactly what users would require.

In Pages 4.0 and below though, you could drag the image filename from the Inspector directly to the Desktop/Finder, giving you access to the original file, at its original resolution.

Unfortunately with the latest Pages 5.0, Apple removed that functionality. Why? We don’t really know.

So here are two quick ways to extract images from a Pages 5.0 document.

Easy steps

  1. Locate the document in the Finder.
  2. Control/Right-Click on its icon.
  3. Select Show Package Contents
  4. All images and embedded objects appear in ‘Data’ folder
Step 1: Find your Pages document
Step 1: Find your Pages document
Step 2: Highlight your Pages document
Step 3: Right (Control) Click on your Pages document
Step 3: Right (Control) Click on your Pages document
Step 4: The Data folder is where it’s at
Step 5: Images! Yay!
Step 6: Here’s your image!

Alternatively, although not the most ideal method is to:

  1. Double-click on icon to open file
  2. Select image by clicking on it
  3. Command+C to copy the image
  4. Open an image editor like Photoshop
  5. Command+N or File > New to create a new document
  6. Command+V to paste image into document
  7. Save image
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As I use Pages regularly, as do some of you out there, I do hope and wish that Apple integrates an Export Image function for easy extraction of images from within documents. Quite a handicap if you ask me. Pretty please, Apple?


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  • Show Comments (5)

  • Terry Upton

    Is there a way to do this if it is a word document? Or do you have to save it as a .pages file first?
    This also seems like an added chore in the while process as most clients send me .doc(x) files.

    I think the ease of extract images was far better in the previous version.

    • vernieman

      Open the Word document with Pages, then save it as a Pages document. You’ll be able to extract the images with the steps in the post once you’ve done this.

    • Vernon Chan

      Terry, the best way is to open the .doc/.docx file with Pages, then save it as a Pages document. Then follow the steps in this post and you’ll be able to extract the images you need.

      I think it’s appalling that there isn’t an easier way.

      That’s feedback to you, Apple.

      • Terry Upton

        Thanks Vernon. I think they need to address this. I added my thoughts to the Apple forum too.

        • Vernon Chan

          Apple has announced that it will restore some missing features to iWork in coming updates. Although extracting images isn’t one of the said features, it is a welcomed move.

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