4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 16, 2016 12:10 PM by richardt42592

    Opening 30-year old Pagemaker files

    richardt42592 Level 1

      (Originally posted in InDesign forum)


      I have a MacPlus with pagemaker files on it.  The files are 30 years old - and still work.  However, the computer is dying.


      My goal is to transfer the files (a lot of them) to a iMac G5 computer, and I want to know if InDesign will open them.


      Any help will be appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Opening 30-year old Pagemaker files
          richardt42592 Level 1



          I meant can I open these files in a pagemaker version compatible with an iMac G5.

          • 2. Re: Opening 30-year old Pagemaker files
            Bo LeBeau Level 4

            I saw your posting in the InDesign forum.


            When you mention 30 year old files, the important thing to know is the version that it was last saved as.

            Pagemaker 1 & 1.2 are toast with no possibility of opening in later versions,

            Pagemaker 2 files were generally in the same dead end category (however, I stumbled upon a site that claims to be able to convert PM 2 files. They must obviously have an ancient version of Pagemaker 3 to even attempt this, Don't hold your breath on this one)


            Adobe released a converter that claims to convert Pagemaker 3 files to Pagemaker 4 files that can be opened in Pagemaker 5 or later. However, I am not sure that PM 7 can still open PM4 files. Give it a try, it might work. Of course, this requires that you have a copy of Pagemaker 6.0. 6.5 or 7.0 so you can resave the file in this newer version.


            The CS6 version of InDesign should be able to open PM 6.0, 6.5 or 7.0 files. You could then try a 7 day trial of InDesign CC which should allow you to download previous versions including InDesign CS6. However, CC cannot be installed on an iMac G5 power PC. So you would need a newer computer to go the 7 day trial route. The iMac G5 will not work for this conversion flow. (unless you have already have PM 6.0, 6.5 or 7.0 on the G5)

            Here is the link to the PM3 for Mac converter: Troubleshoot publications that won't open (PageMaker 7.x on Mac OS) - Support Knowledgebase



            While googling for info I found this site that claims to be able to convert files from as far back as PM2. This is a paid service.

            Their website is: Jackson's Computer Services - Recovering Aldus PageMaker Files .



            Can you save your old files as PDF?  This will at least give you the content but it won't be editable. You can use as a aid to recreating the files. Also, don't forget to transfer all linked files like images, etc.

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            • 3. Re: Opening 30-year old Pagemaker files
              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              One other quick note on the conversion. If you are going to a later version number it has to be on the same platform.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Opening 30-year old Pagemaker files
                richardt42592 Level 1

                Then my response to the client would be although I can recover the data from your hard drive, the possibility of converting them is slim?


                That would preempt the data recovery process as being viable only if remediation was plausible, otherwise the solution is simple, albeit lengthy, recreate the content for his marketing materials.


                The immediate scope is to ascertain whether these vintage programs exist, whether they can be emulated either on a legacy computer (or virtualization), and proceed with best practice recovery (conversion). 


                Looks doable, however, without additional information as to the legacy software, it's really a dead end, isn't it?