Opening old Keynote/Pages files in new versions

Greetings readers! I hope you are all enjoying the break and getting ready for 2016.

This time I wanted to bring to your attention some information that you may find to be very useful. Particularly if, like me, you happen to have need some old slides, presentations or talks you have in Keynote but forgot (or rather did not need) to update to a newer version of the software. You may have thought that there would be some backward compatibility for this sort of thing, and you may be surprised that there is not an obvious click-and-update type solution. Nonetheless, not all is lost and you would not have to trash your presentations, unless of course they were not the slides you were looking for… This trick also works with Pages by the way.

You may find that when opening your old slide decks, Keynotes complains with:

This document can't be opened because it's too old. To open it, save it with Keynote '09 first.

Keynote Compatibility Issue

and Pages with:

This document can't be opened because it's too old. To open it, save it with Pages '09 first.

Of course, if you have both versions installed this should not be a problem, but why would you do that? So, if you cannot open the old file in the first place, here is what you need to do (please make sure that you have a backup copy of your file… you never know…):

  1. Open the Terminal and navigate to the directory where the old file is saved. So if your file is called

    and it is saved in your Desktop just type 

    > cd Desktop
  2. Rename the file with a .zip extension:
    > mv my_presentation.keynote
  3. Unzip the file: 
    > unzip -d my_presentation
  4. Type the following command:
    gunzip --stdout index.apxl.gz | sed 's-:version="72007061400"-:version="92008102400"-g' > index.apxl

    and hit return. If you do not get any errors you are good to go.

  5. Remove the 
  6. Re-compress the folder and change the extension to the original one.

Try opening your file, it may still complain but at least you will be able to open it. Et voilà!

Apple Notes and Gmail Notes


I accidentally ended up creating some notes in the Gmail Notes inside my iDevice only to be completely confounded by the fact I could not see them in my desktop. I tried to find some resolution by looking at the instructions for the Apple notes, but got frustrated with the lack of information.

So, here it is how I solved my issue:

It seems that as an Apple Notes user, one can select to have the Notes saved “On my iPhone/iPad/Mac” or synced to any email account of one’s choice. If you chose the first option, then no issues there, but the “fun” part comes with the latter. In that case the application will send notes from the device via Gmail to the Gmail servers, or for that matter to the email account you designated under IMAP. This means that your notes are therefore treated as normal email and labelled as “Notes”. Not only that, they are automatically archived on arrival. The initial transfer is one-way only and this implies that the notes can’t be restored from Gmail to the device. In order to find your Notes in Gmail you have to search for the “Notes” label!

If you call up your note on your device, the application access it from Gmail and displays it. But if you deleted it, as many of us do, then the app gets confused as it does not know where they are… If they are deleted from the device removes the label in Gmail and thus they cannot be accessed by the device and they get zombiefied in Gmail! They will still be present in All Mail, but without label.

How to fix this… well it depends. If the Notes have been deleted from the Gmail account from the web interface they will still be there in the Trash for 30 days. You can “restore” then during that time and will be showing in the Notes App on the device.

If the Notes folder was deleted using the Mail App on the device, the notes will (probably) still be there under “All Mail” but without a label. You can search for them and re-apply the label!

My advice would be not to use the synching at all… it has caused more pains than it should be. Let me know if this helps.

An alternative way to reduce the size of PDF in a mac

I am sure you, like me, have had the need to reduce the file size of a PDF. Take for example the occasional need of sending a PDF by email just to find out that the size is such that the message is rejected. I have used Adobe Acrobat Pro to help, but recently I came across an alternative way of achieving this: Use Colorsync Utility in a mac. Here is how:

  1. Right click the PDF that needs reducing and select “Open with…”
  2. Select Colorsync Utility and wait for the application to open the file
  3. At the bottom of the status bar in the application, you can now select one of the quartz filters available
  4. Press “Apply”
  5. and voilà
ColorSync (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Syncing Gmail contacts to iPhone or iPad

Further to my previous post about Gmail, I noticed earlier in the week that I was missing a number of contacts in my phone. “Surely I did not delete them, did I?” I thought… Checked and checked again and indeed I was missing contacts stored in my Gmail account. How could that be? I had set up my account so that my contacts were synced… oh well, it turns out that back in September 2012 Gmail announced the possibility to sync contacts using CardDAV. However, in December, in their wisdom they decided to discontinue Google Sync from January 30th 2013. I had no idea about this, but here is a post from macworld about it.

So, my contacts had not been deleted, Gmail was not working as I imagined… So, here is how to sync your contacts using CardDAV.

  • Open the “Settings” application on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  • Select “Add Account” and then “Other”
  • Select “Add CardDAV Account” and fill in the information. In the Server enter “”
  • Select “Next” at the top of your screen, and make sure that the “Contacts” option is turned on.

Once you have done that open your Contacts app and the syncing will start.

A similar problem may occur for calendars, if you are looking for info about that follow this link



Fixing Gmail incorrect password/user error (iPhone and iPad)


I recently got a very annoying error message in an iPhone regarding the password/user resolution for my Gmail account. I again and again kept entering the correct combination and nothing seemed to work. I thought I was mistyping, or perhaps my fingertips suddenly got fatter… I tried logging in via the website and lo and behold I could indeed login.

Error PasswordThe message: ‘The user name or password for “” is incorrect’ and it appears even if you haven’t made any changes to your account. Well, here is a way to solve the issue:

  1. Quit all mail clients that are having the issue. For the iPhone or iPad you can open the multi-tasking menu and tap the mail icon for a few seconds. A red minus sign will appear at the upper left-hand corner. Tap the minus sign and that quits the application.
  2. Open a web browser (Safari will do) and go to the following link:
  3. Login using your credentials for the troublesome account to verify the account.
  4. Open again your Mail app and voilà


Microsoft Office 2010 – issue with opening files as “Read-Only”

Office 2010 logo

This happened to me the other day when trying to open an older(-ish) Excel file created with Office 2003 in the new 2010 version of the software: I double clicked on the file and a message appeared telling me that the file will be opened in read-only mode and that whenever it becomes free then I will be able to edit it. The strange thing is that no one else had the file opened.If you have the same issue with your files, read on.

There seems to be a new feature in the 2010 edition of MS Office called Protected View created to “enhance protection against mail attachments, files originated from the internet and located in unsafe locations”. This sounds great, but the problem is that Protected View will remove support for legacy document formats, and causes these documents to be opened in read-only mode. A solution posted my Microsoft is:

  1. Run the Office 2010 application with the problem. Notice that this procedure has to be done individually with each of the applications in MS Office suite (great!).
  2. Click on the Office button on the upper left-hand corner and select “Options”
  3. In the “Options” dialogue box, select “Trust Center” (on the left)
  4. Click on “Trust Center Settings” (on the right)
  5. Select “Protected View”
  6. Disable any of all the protected view options by unticking the check boxes.
  7. Click OK when done.

Another alternative is to re-save your legacy document. In order to do that do the following:

  1. Open the problematic legacy document
  2. Click File and select Save As
  3. In the dialogue box, on the lower left-hand corner there is a drop-down menu called “Tools”, select “General Options”
  4.  Make sure that the “Read-Only recommended” check box is unticked.
  5. Save the file and hope for the best…

I hope this is useful to you.