Installing Pagemaker 6.5 to Windows 7 (64-bit)

pagemakerThe sun is setting on those old applications from the early 90s. Much has been made about digital obscurification of JPG images and MP3 audio resources. Even the .DOC and .PDF formats have been questioned as smart, long-term formats for data. However accessing old desktop publishing files is getting harder and harder, too. What are we going to do when, because we upgraded our operating system, we are locked out of much of our old work? This will be, perhaps, the biggest problem in computing in the next decade as we move to the third generation of operating systems.

Pagemaker 6.5 was a wonderful desktop publishing application. The placement of text and objects was extremely logical, thus making future editing of projects easy to manage. Adobe purchased Pagemaker and, instead of screwing it up like they have done with Flash and Acrobat, Adobe quickly lost interest in the application. The application, however, continues to suit our needs even today.

I was able to get the installer to work with Windows 7 32-bit a couple of years ago. If I recall correctly, I used the XP compatibility mode on the installer (right click the .exe file, click Compatibility, and select Windows XP SP3). You won’t find a 32-bit computer on the market these days, so with my new 64-bit computer, I ran into a problem with Pagemaker installation. The installer does not work in any of the compatibility modes. Luckily there is an easier way.

  • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to your Pagemaker directory. (for me it is C:\Program Files\PM65).
  • Copy this PM65 folder over to your new Windows 7 machine’s c:\Program Files (x86)\ directory.
  • Once all of the files have copied, double click on a .p65 file, and select an application with which to open the file. Navigate to your c:\Program Files (x86)\PM65 directory and select PM65.EXE.

I’m amazed this works, to be honest. Hope it helps with you! In the meantime, it might be smart to create future works in another application (like Microsoft Publisher), because who knows if good ol’ Pagemaker will continue to work once Windows 9 rolls around.

61 Responses to “Installing Pagemaker 6.5 to Windows 7 (64-bit)”

  1. wow! Dana it worked for me too thanks yr an angel

  2. Your solution for Pagemaker 6.5 works indeed.
    But I cannot export the .p65 files to PDF.
    I tried to use the same recipe for the Distiller. Its starts distlling the .p65 file but stops when the pdf is going to be made.
    Do you have a solution for this?

  3. I also made this work! Very helpful. Thanks!!

  4. Glad it worked!

    I would not mess with the distiller. I’d just download a PDF virtual printer and print the document to it. (I use CutePDF)

  5. Thanks so much. I’ve been driving myself mad trying to think of a way to get Pagemaker 7 to install on my 64 bit Windows 7 laptop.

    I’d even made a VMware player virtual machine and bought Windows XP to install it to the Virtual Machine operating system.

    I considered buying Indesign as it’s meant to open pagemaker files, but the Adobe Application manager won’t update to install it and i’ve no idea how to fix that.

    Now my problem should be solved though.

  6. Seems i spoke too soon.

    Pagemaker 6.5 will run, but when i tried the same with Pagemaker 7 i got a message saying “The program can’t start because is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem”

    I don’t suppose you’ve any idea how to fix that? Been googling but not found much.

  7. Fixed the missing dlls by just copying and pasting them to the Windows folder, but now when i try to run Pagemaker 7 i get a message saying “can’t find Pagemaker 7 registry settings”

  8. Got it working by setting compatibility settings to Windows XP with SP3 and setting it to run as administrator for all users, but not managing to get Adobe Tablemaker tables to edit from pagemaker documents – keeps saying “cannot use OLE object”.

    The tablemaker will run fine and open, edit and save tables with the same compatibility settings if run on it’s own, but can’t seem to edit from a pagemaker document.

  9. i found this fix from 1998 (page 85 of the pdf) but it’ll be for windows 98 or earlier and can’t seem to find the files or folders it’s talking about in Windows 7 64 bit

  10. Found out that the secret trick to installing Pagemaker 7 and Photoshop 7 on Windows 7 64 bit is just to wait a long time. It looks like it’s failed to install, but if you leave it and don’t touch it for long enough after the installer begins eventually it reopens a dialogue window and lets you continue installation.

    It also seems to be important to open Adobe Table Maker and MS Word and any other programme you intend to use to put things into Pagemaker before you run Pagemaker 7 for the first time after installing it. This makes them work as OLE objects through ‘Insert Object’.

    I’ve read when googling that it’s better to go to file and ‘place’ but when i try this it says it can’t do it.

  11. Interesting. I haven’t tried using the table maker in Win7(64). Thanks for posting your results here. Hopefully it will help more people!

  12. Yeah that was what i was thinking. Tablemaker 3.0 and 3.04 and 3.05 seem to work fine in Win 7 64 bit. Table 2.5 won’t work though.

  13. I did exactly as described, and it has worked with Win7 for quite a long time. Actually even before reading your note, and yes, I was amazed too, that it worked.
    Buying a new laptop having Win8 installed, worried me quite a lot. But I did exactly as with Win7,… and it WORKED! But only for exactly 30 days. Now I get the annoying note saying “Cannot fing Pagemaker’s registry settings”.
    Have you got any solution for Win8? Otherwise, DON’T upgrade :-( !

  14. Wow. That IS weird. Something must have changed at that 30d point which seemed irrelevant. I don’t have a Windows 8 machine in this house, but my mother does. I’ll try the installation on hers and see if I can get to to do the same as yours.

    In the meantime, have you tried the solutions on his old Adobe page?

  15. I too was trying to get this to work in Windows 7. I was able to install it but it also worked using Dana’s copy method. The problem I was having is I have documents that use multiple master fonts (BriemScript), which are not supported in Windows 7. I converted the document to a new font and was able to print the PDF but not export it. But it came out as gibberish. Then I remembered that the fonts I converted the document to were installed as OpenType, not PostScript or TrueType. Changed them to one of the latter font types and now I can print to PDFs again. So if you have fonts you’ve installed as OpenType don’t use them in PageMaker.

  16. Thanks so much for the input, Cathe. Hopefully this will help anyone else with that problem scouring the internet for continued Pagemaker support. Funny how software that is over a decade old is still so useful.

  17. Dana, I’m hoping you can help me. I have a computer where I am using Windows 7 and it also has a Virtual Computer that uses Windows XP. Most of my work was done in the virtual machine using Pagemaker 6.5. I’ve tried what you said, however I keep getting the following System Error when I try to open a PM6.5 file in Windows 7: “The program can’t start because ALDVM32.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.” Do you have any suggestions?

  18. Dana – you mention as the last step to opening a Pagemaker 6.5 file in Windows 7 is to select the PM6.EXE. When I go to the PM65 folder in the Programs (x86) directory, I only have the PM65 application – not PM6.EXE. I believe this is the same thing, however when I click on the application, the cursor just keeps spinning and the file will not open. Do you have any ideas? (I hope so – :-)

  19. Dana – I am so sorry for all of these letters, but I must tell you that you are a GENIUS!!!!! I am so excited I can’t even tell you. I found out today that Windows XP will no longer be supported as of April 8th. I immediately panicked since I thought Pagemaker 6.5 ONLY would work in XP. I followed all of your directions, however when I clicked on a PM6.5 file it would not work as I explained in my last entry. After trying a number of times, I finally gave up but decided to try just opening Pagemaker in Windows 7 from the Program (86x) Folder. It not only opened, but I was then able to open various PM6.5 files.
    I can’t thank you enough – you made my day!!! :-)

  20. SO glad you got it working, Eileen! That’s interesting that it finally acknowledged the file type after opening the application through the front door. It must create the dll if it can’t find it ???

    Thank you for posting your experience so that others can learn from it!

  21. Dana, I don’t have an existing Program file for PM65 running on a windows computer…I tried copying the PM65 file from the disc but was unable to find the PM65.exe to get it to open.

    I do have a copy of PM65 running on an old eMac, but the whole reason of getting a windows version running is not to have to buy another old eMac again.

    At this point I am thinking I will need to get the program running in a virtual machine and then copy and paste the file into windows c:\Program Files (x86)\ directory ?

  22. I’m unclear about a few things, Kevin. When you say that you don’t have an existing Program file, do you mean that you don’t have Pagemaker installed and working on a machine but you have the installation disc in hand? I think you are right that you will need to install it to a Windows virtual machine and then copy and paste the Pagemaker directory.

  23. Exactly Dana…I just have the installation disc and will install it in Virtual Box then copy and paste the program file into Windows 7.

  24. Thanks Dana,

    Have used PM 6.5 since 1995, now thanks to you I have it working in Windows 8, just printed out some of my old efforts.
    Thanks a Million

  25. Where did you downloaded it? I can’t find this version…

  26. Thanks for the help. Lost my copy of PM6 and was getting ready to buy one when I read here that InDesign will open old PM files. An yes I have CS5 and it opened PM6 files from 17 years ago :o).

  27. I have an old version (1997!) of PageMaker 6.5 still running on my old (2006) XP pc.
    Does your solution work with 64 bit Windows 8.1 as well?

  28. I do not have a Windows 8 machine, so I cannot report back at this point on that matter. Can anyone else? (My suspicion is that it would work fine as the desktop side of Windows 8, as I understand it, works just like Windows 7.)

  29. I will be using only the desktop side, because the so called tiles are a “little” childish in my opinion. Looks like “my first Windows” to me.

    But back to my question: is there anybody who knows if PM 6.5 will work with Windows 8.1?

  30. No answer so far…
    I’ll try and keep you informed.

  31. It works fine in windows 7 64 bit for Pagemaker 7. Thanks

  32. Dear Diana

    many many thanks indeed. I love PM 6., I am working with it for years and years and now it works on win 7.
    God bless you.

    Thanks a Billion

  33. Dana,

    Many thanks, now got PM6.5 working in Windows 7 (64-bit), but not got it working in Windows 8.1 yet.


  34. Great , Wow! Dana it worked for me too .You made my day thanks you are indeed an angel

  35. Another way to install this is on Windows 7 x64 bit, is copy the contents of the PagerMaker 6.5 cd to a folder on the desktop. Then download the 32 bit InstallShield installer and copy it into the PM65 folder. Instead of running the setup.exe (which is 16bit), run the setup32.exe and the program will install no problem. Only issue I’ve seen is you have to set C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\PM65 manually during the install, and you need to create your own shortcuts to the program after install as it’s not adding them to the Start Menu.

    32bit install shield installer can be found here (pick the IS3 download down below).

    My mom was very happy for me to get this software working under Windows 7 again.

  36. John:
    Your installation method works great! I also used it for Photoshop 5.0.

    I can finally close down the risky XP Mode.


  37. @John

    Besides your mom, you made someone else VERY HAPPY (possibly some others):

    I can confirm that the 32bit installer works with Windows 8.1 (64) as well.

    All other things I’ve tried so far didn’t work – but this hint DOES!

    Thank you VERY, VERY MUCH for sharing!

  38. After all I did not install PM 6.5 on my Windows 8.1 pc.
    Instead I immersed myself in using InDesign CC 2014.
    Works different in lots of ways, but is a lot more flexible compared to PageMaker.

  39. Help Help. I got some sort of update in Adobe and now I cannot open any of my pagemaker 6.5 files/documents. When you double click on the file it tries to launch but then it never comes up. This happened to me last year and I fixed it but I forgot how. The icon for the pagemaker documents I made has changed too. Anyone had this problem?

  40. Laurie, can you open the Pagemaker application and then load the files/documents from File | Open?
    If so, then it sounds like Adobe came in and reassigned the default programs for p65 files. My favorite way to change this back is to use Windows Explorer to navigate to the folder where the document resides. Right-click on the document, then left-click on “Open with…”. From the following window, select Pagemaker. If your old Pagemaker version isn’t listed, click the Browse button, and find the .exe file for your Pagemaker version. Once you have selected the .exe file, make sure that “Always use selected program” is checked, and hit OK.
    The other way to do it is to hit your Windows key on the keyboard and type “change file type”. When “Change file type associated with a file extension” appears in the Start Menu search, click it, and go change the .pm6 and .p65 extensions to your PM version.

  41. Hello, PM6.5 works in Win 8 64 bits, but not installing it, you have to copy the whole directory PM64 from one PC where the program is installed, then associate one PageMaker file.
    But reccently appear a error: “cannot find pagemaker’s registry settings”. I don’t know how to fix it.

  42. I solved the problem! Just open the program with administrator rights!

  43. Thanks Dana. A few things … no I cannot open the pm application or any documents I have made. I do not know how to use the Explorer to navigate to the folder where the docs reside. Tried the windows key on the keyboard. and typed change file type and didn’t work. I wish I could call you or have you email me with screen shots to make your advice a little more helpful. Please help. Thanks

  44. Thanks Dana. A few things … no I cannot open the pm application or any documents I have made. I do not know how to use the Explorer to navigate to the folder where the docs reside. Tried the windows key on the keyboard. and typed change file type and didn’t work. I wish I could call you or have you email me with screen shots to make your advice a little more helpful. Please help. Thanks

  45. This has worked for me as well. Thank you so much for posting this!

  46. Laurie, I’m just seeing this response. So sorry about your PM problems. So it sounds like you cannot even open the application at all? Are you using Windows 7? What happens when you use Windows Explorer to go to C:\Program Files(x86)\PM65 and try to launch PM65.EXE? Does it work to right click on the application and click Run as Administrator? How about clicking Properties, then going to the Compatibility tab and trying to make PM65.EXE launch in one of the compatibility modes?

  47. I am currently using Windows 7 and am trying to print with CutePDF writer but am getting an error.

    ERROR: undefined

    Cutepdf works fine in XP mode for Pagemaker and cute works fine in Windows 7 for every other program, just not Pagemaker.

    I tried putting Pagemaker on both ways, copying it over from Windows XP mode and also the way John describes on his Jan 25th, 2015 post. I get the error both ways.

    I even tried other PDF writers and they pop up with the same error.

    Any ideas on how to fix this? Or how to do use it?

  48. Everybody else is right–you ARE a genius. I wasn’t able to do this exactly the way you described, as I have a new computer that came with Windows 7 already installed and that had never had PageMaker installed. I tried copying the PM65 file from the installation disk, but it didn’t work at all since I believe it must already be installed on the cmputer for this to work. After trying various things, an idea came to mind…

    I have a computer in the basement that is still running XP and that already has PageMaker and PhotoShop installed. I copied the PM65 and PhotoShop folders from the basement computer to DropBox. Then I accessed DropBox on my new computer and followed the rest of your instructions. Imagine my delight when this worked for BOTH PageMaker and PhotoShop! Woo-hoo! I use both programs all the time and cannot afford to pay $600/year for cloud access to PhotoShop/Creative Cloud, so finding this page with your solution has been fantastic. Thank you SO much for sharing this!!!

  49. So thanks to Dana’s site and to the comments of John, I was able to install PM 6.5 from a copy of the installer (copied to a directory on my hard drive) and the 6.5.2 update on my Windows 10 Pro x64 machine. I used the IS3 engine in both instances (I had to extract the contents of the 6.5.2 update – otherwise it all worked the same) and the installation works fine.

    It’s not 100% – ATM4 doesn’t work so if your document is using ATM fonts you’ll have to make substitutions, and the PDF distiller doesn’t work (or more accurately, the print system doesn’t support PPDs included with PM65) but in the latter case I was able to successfully print to Windows 10’s built-in PDF generator without issue.

    Thanks to both Dana for this older but still highly-useful post, and to John for the fantastic tip about using a 32-bit installer! You’ve made my day, and at last I can quit griping about InDesign and go back to my old PM for the tasks best-suited to it.
    Thanks again!

  50. Well, I bit the bullet and bought the Adobe InDesign CS4. Sad to say I prefer the Pagemaker. My solution was to find a WindowsXP PC, load PM6.5, transfer all of my pagemaker documents and use the PC for JUST this application. It’s amazing what lengths we will go to keep ourselves happy!

  51. And four years later, still works perfectly, many thanks Dana. Funny thing is, had thought of trying that but couldn’t believe Microsoft would actually allow it to be that easy!
    Thanks again, B.

  52. I was using Windows 10, but after almost a year of frustration (frequent Explorer crashes during simple copy or move operations), I went back to Windows7. Originally ran 32bit with I first got it, but decided to upgrade.

    So, long story short, your fix to simply file associate works. HOWEVER, Installing it did not work, and others have suggested that trying to do a fresh installation might not work, as some of the DLL files used during installation might be 16-bit, and 64-bit OS will not support 16-bit file operations. Fortunately, I had the Windows.old directory, copied the uncompressed folder and it worked. Have a lot of genealogy stuff in Pagemaker 6.5, so I’m hanging on to it. Thanks for the tip!

  53. This worked wonderfully well when I upgraded from XP to Windows 7. Unfortunately, however, PageMaker will no longer work in Windows 10. I followed the same procedure and get nothing but error messages and PageMaker will not open anymore.

    Has anyone figured out how to get it to work in Win 10? If so, please share! Thanks!

  54. I’ve maintained an old XP machine for years because I couldn’t get PageMaker to install on anything newer. A recent discussion with some friends caused me to try again. I tried installing with everything set to XP in compatibility mode, and of course it failed. I decided to Google and ended up here. It works!

    I have PM 6.5 running on an old XP desktop. My laptop is Win 10. It couldn’t have gone smoother for me. The only thing I ran into was when I tried to copy the PM65 directory into the c:\Program Files (x86)\ directory it popped up a box telling me I had to be an administrator. I told it to continue and everything else was as Dana described.

    Not sure what problem the previous commenter ran into, but it worked for me.

  55. I’m an idiot so I can only try very simple workarounds not geeky ones. So, to get my Win 7 laptop to open and print my old pagemaker docs to an OKI MB471 black printing machine, I first copied the PM65 program on my XP laptop onto a flash drive then saved that copy into a folder on the Win 7 laptop. Then I copied my PM65 docs to a flash drive. Then I went to the Win 7 folder and clicked on the PM65 icon to get the program to open (the .EXE file?). Then >File > Open > selected PM65 doc in the flash drive. It opens! Use > File > print to print it out (if it gives an error message just click continue). But don’t take my word for it – I’m an idiot.

    Don’t know if this will work for color copies. Anyone know of PM65 compatible color printers?

  56. Oh, by the way, when I opened the PM65 doc in my XP laptop with the PM65 program (.EXE?) and then saved it to the flash drive, Windows saved it as a Publication document. So when I opened the flash drive in my Win7 laptop with the PM65 program (.EXE?) the saved file opened and printed out no problem (in black) to my OKI printer. So PM65 apparently has no problem dealing with Windows Publication docs.

  57. OOps. I should mention that my Win 7 laptop does not have the MS Office suite of programs. It only has Open Office .xps

  58. This is good to know! So glad you got it working.

  59. Thanks you so much it works great.

  60. Thank you so much–I had given up all hope of using PM6.5 and editing my old files on Windows 10 64-bit, but thanks you you and Duncan’s tips about copying the DLLs (to the Windows > System32 folder) and running in compatibility mode (Windows XP SP2 and as Administrator) I’ve got it up and running again!

  61. Chris, I’m so glad this could help. Some of this old software is still great and I wish it were easier to keep using it on Windows.

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