What is XPS and why convert XPS files to PDF and other more accessible formats?

XPS is an alternative format to PDF in Microsoft. XPS format was introduced in Vista Windows – but did not acquire much traction. Nevertheless, Windows’ modern versions continue to build excelling support for files in XPS format compared to files in PDF format.

What is an XPS File?

XPS file format is like a PDF file. However, XPS file shows a document that has a fixed layout – just like how PDF file represents too. It also contains support to other features which you can find in the file format in PDF such as DRM and digital signatures. In today’s time, XPS is now considered an open and standardized format – and it refers to Open XML Paper Specification. Just like how “Office Open XML” is an open format, XPS is an open format too for documents in Microsoft Office. Other companies related to software have not included XPS support. In Windows 8, it uses a file extension in OXPS for the files in XPS to generate. When you say OXPS it means Open XPS, which is the standardized version of the initial file in XPS format. However, you cannot view it through XPS viewer found in Windows 7. You need to convert the file in OXPS format to XPS if you wish to view it in Windows 7. To sum up, a file in XPS format is a less compatible version of a file in PDF format in Microsoft.

The Functionality of XPS Along With Windows

Windows 7, Windows 8 together with Windows Vista have a built-in tool for XPS. In Windows 8, it has improved support for files in XPS format compared to files in PDF format.

  • Microsoft XPS Document Writer – The Microsoft established a constructive printer which is named as “Microsoft XPS Document Writer.” This kind of printer makes an XPS file from your documents to be able to print it. It is just the same with “print to PDF file” but not much useful because it is not compatible with different software.
  • XPS Viewer – The installed XPS Viewer in your Microsoft enables you to open and view an XPS file format on your desktop.

In Windows 8, it shows off improved support for files in PDF format because of the Modern “Reader” application installed, but you need to have a third-party application installed if you wish to open and print files in PDF format.

When Do You Need to Use XPS Files?

When XPS was involved in Windows Vista approximately seven years ago, it was regarded as a potential killer of PDF file though it never became that popular. Although Windows urge their users to print an XPS file format instead of PDF files format because of their built-in printer of XPS Document Writer, only a few people create a file in XPS format.

As of current writing, it is still unsettled and not clear why you want to settle into XPS file format instead of creating a PDF file format unless you cannot install a printer for PDF file and you urgently need to print a document.

While the advantages of creating an XPS file and print it seems not clear, its disadvantages are clear. Numerous people use a PDF file format, while only a few use an XPS file format. Documents in XPS file format are unfamiliar to numerous people if you are trying to send them a document. They are more familiar with documents in PDF files.

To sum up all of these, you don’t need to use the XPS file format for your personal documents. XPS is being ignored and cannot replace the PDF file format. That’s why you need to convert files in XPS format to PDF format because of not all software support files in XPS format.

How to View a Document in XPS Format?

In Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10, all come up with an XPS Viewer. It is somewhat similar to Windows Vista, except for added support and slight changes for digital signatures. The XPS Viewer also allows you to edit the document if there are any changes needed or if you have to add tags. For Windows 8.1 onwards, you can view documents in XPS format through Microsoft Reader application – it is the equivalent to Adobe Reader so you can open files in PDF, XPS, and TIFF format. But you need to download it from the Windows Store and install it. For Windows Vista, double clock the document in XPS format and it can be viewed through the plug-in of XPS Viewer that’s built in the Internet Explorer. For an alternative option, you can download the XPS Viewer from the XPS Essential Pack. For OS X, users can use the NiXPS View application which permits them to search, print, and view documents in XPS format, or the simpler solution is to use our XPS Converter to convert XPS to JPG, XPS to PDF, XPS to PNG and many more.

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