Author: easterncraftuk

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.

What’s the difference between MP4 & MPEG-4?

With the advancement in technology worldwide, there are many different video files and video container formats available for different systems and realistically, it is quite easy to lose track of them. You can erroneously confuse one format with the other, due to the manner in which they are named. MP4 and MPEG-4 (MPEG4) are no exception, due to their names being almost indistinguishable.

MP4 (History)

Multimedia format is the term used on an MP4 digital format granted its ability to store video and audio formats. Prior to the development of MP4, the MP3 digital format was extensively utilised on the internet. Of benefit, MP4 includes data features such as narratives and static snapshots. The technology is popularly used in companies concerned with portable media players for internal use or commercial purposes. MP4 are also regularly used in 3D graphic and computing commands. Developed in 2001, the format was upgraded a few years later in 2003. MP4 is widely used on the internet, freely allowing people to simply download selected content on the web. MP4 is also referred to as MPEG-4 part 14. Some examples of media players which use MP4 digital formats are iTunes, Winamp and Quicktime.

MPEG-4 (History)

MPEG-4 (MPEG4), are compressed visual and audio files, used on devices such as iPods, CD’s, telephones and Satellite television. Introduced in 1998, MPEG-4 files are still used by the majority of people worldwide and probably into the future. Initially, when MPEG-4 files were developed, the formats were directed at standard video communications; however, it subsequently incorporated multimedia technology. The speed of transmission per second now ranges from very low (Kilobits) to very high (megabits).

Functions of MPEG-4:

  • Encoding of audio, video and speech in media data.
  • Clear communication in visual or audio functionality to the subscriber from the recipient.
  • Ability to communicate effectively without experiencing failure on devices.
  • Overall efficiency in coding has improved.

MP4 vs MPEG-4

The similarities

Before looking at the difference between the two formats, it is essential to observe the similarities. There is only one instance in which MPEG-4 and MP4 are quite alike in their relationship with devices. MP4 and MPEG-4 are linked with visual and audio files of such devices.

The differences

Negligible differences would be the appropriate term to use when comparing MP4 and MPEG-4 but in technological space, many users will find the variances altogether obvious.

The glaring variance is the functionality of each file format.

  • MP4 is a multimedia container format used for data storage.
  • MPEG-4 is a video encoding algorithm enabling compression and decompression of files.

A broader look at the variance will help differentiate the two:

MPEG-4 or M4A is a file format that is used to compress audio and visual digital data on a computer. Comparatively, MP4 is a container format used to store the audio and video files. Confusion among users arises due to the naming of audio MP4 files to MP4 and MP4, permitting the storage of video file subtitles. Several methods of saving compressed video and audio files are a storage feature obtained in MP4 container file formats. The compression and conversion of pictures into data is not a primary concern of MP4 format. The main concern is dealing with the accurate storage of audio and video data, content, subtitles and pertinent information inside the file.

The availability of music videos on the internet is substantial, but this does not automatically imply one may download material, as free downloads may not be permissible. The .mp4 extension on a file denotes copyright-protected content. An MPEG-4 player is a device once can use to store and play MP4 video and audio files in a compressed state. MP4 files are popularly used on the internet as they are easier to share and transfer among users.


Continued progression in technologies worldwide for system developers, IT service providers and users of the internet, in general, are the numerous opportunities created by MPEG-4. Improvement of service delivery to end users will remain the fundamental principle for hardware and software developers. MPEG-4 provides the platform for continuous improvement in quality service delivery. MPEG-4 provides for the easy accessibility of accurate data on the internet. With the assistance of standard operating procedures, MPEG-4 is translated and converted into a range of communication data compatible with most systems.

Our MP4 and MPEG converters allow the conversion of these files to various other formats like MP3, AVI etc.

Microsoft Word DOCX files and how to convert old DOC files.

Overview – Microsoft Word DOCX Files

A DOCX file is a Microsoft Word (XML) formatted document file, similarly to a Microsoft Word document. XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. The formatted files contain various characters such as text, images, objects, styles and formatting, stored as different files and eventually compressed into a single, zipped DOCX file.

DOCX files were developed by Microsoft in 2007 for use in Microsoft Word documents. Prior to the introduction of DOCX files, Word documents used DOC file extension. This was in 2003 and earlier programs. Documents are saved in DOCX files when the computer has Microsoft Word versions 2007 and above.

Saving a DOCX file

The new Microsoft Word programs automatically save all documents as DOCX files. The page layout in Microsoft Office 2007 and later versions was redesigned. First-time users may encounter a degree of difficulty when attempting to save a document and may require some assistance. Below is a quick process to follow:

  • Create a new Word document.
  • After completion, click the file menu and save as.
  • In the new window go to Save As type in the Drop Down Box and select Word Document and click Save.
  • This document will now have been saved as DOCX file.

Unzipping a DOCX file

2007 and later software programs are designed to open, edit and save DOCX files. Earlier versions of Microsoft programs will fail to open these file. There are however several options available to open a file:

  • A Compatibility Pack developed by Microsoft is a free program available on the internet, designed to open, edit, and save DOCX files if your computer has the versions of MS Word.
  • The Word Viewer application, another free product from Microsoft, allows you to open a DOCX file without the need for Microsoft Office on your computer.
  • OpenOffice Writer and KingsSoft Writer among others are free word processor programs developed to open these files and are highly recommended by users.
  • Google Docs program is a word application, available on the internet with the same capabilities.

Converting older DOC files to DOCX format in Microsoft Word

People have been using word processing for years and because of this, would need to conduct an exercise of converting older DOC files to DOCX files. Opening a DOC file in MS Word and then saving it as the DOCX file format on your computer, is the most effective way of converting a file. Below is a simple procedure to follow. Your computer should have the compatible 2007 or later Microsoft word program.

  • Firstly, locate the Doc file on your computer and open in Microsoft Word.
  • With the Doc file open, click the File Menu and click on Save As.
  • In the new window go to Save As Type in the Drop Down Box and select Word Document and click Save.
  • This document will now have been converted from DOC file to a DOCX format.
  • The old file will still exist, and you may choose to delete the file to avoid confusion.

Converting older DOC files to DOCX format using our Free Converter

If you do not have the newer version of Microsoft Word (2007/2010) on your computer, you can use our DOC Converter.  Below is an example of the steps to follow:

  • Open your preferred Internet Browser and navigate to
  • Click on the “choose file” button and locate the DOC file on your computer.
  • Click on open.
  • Then select the “Output format” to DOCX in the drop-down menu, and click  “Convert”.
  • Once the file is uploaded, your Browser will then be redirected to a status page, where the latest status of your conversion will be updated automatically.
  • When the conversion is successfully completed, a “Download” button will appear next to the file name, you can then click that button to download the file to your computer.
  • The file will download and then double-click on it to open the file.
  • You will see at the top of the Microsoft Word window that the new file is now a DOCX file.


With the advancement in computer technology, DOCX file format is the preferred program to use for your word documents. As mentioned earlier, Microsoft Word 2003 and prior are unable to open DOCX files. DOCX files are compacted files, availing advanced options of reading, editing, and online sharing. Additionally, Open Office XML Standard is easily accessed by most word processing software programs online, including the much preferred Google Docs application. The way to go then is to simply convert all your word documents to DOCX files.

Why GIF Files are so popular

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Formats, GIF files are Raster image file formats, with their use on the internet becoming more popular than ever before. As the saying goes, “a picture alone can mean a thousand words”, and their significance, are the very reason GIF files are found all over the internet today. Let us take a closer look at their origin to better understand these files.

When the GIF File was first published?

CompuServe published the first most popular GIF, of a dancing baby in 1987 and this was during the early days of the Internet. Since then GIF file formats have fully developed and become much easier to design. GIF 87a had an updated version released in 1989 known as GIF 89a. Version 89a is almost identical to 87a, as they both enable a series of animated images to be saved as a file. Version 87a encompasses transparent backgrounds support and image metadata as well as supports animation delays. Nearly all GIF files use version 89a.

What are GIF image files?

A GIF image is a file that contains a Bitmap visual motion picture. Typically, these are found on millions upon millions of websites, social media sites and image pages obtained in images, banners and icons. The duration of a motion image can vary from 10 to a maximum 15 seconds. Additionally, the GIF image file may display motionless pictures with minimal temporary movements. GIFs maintain their good quality, unlike JPEG format files. A GIF image file is palette based and with the ability to utilise 256 colours in total. Individuals still extensively utilise animated images, surprisingly, with the available 256 colours.

Making of GIF format files

If you go to the basics, you will come to know that a GIF is made of several images blocks and Medias. You can use them and make a beautiful GIF which is having a full-colour effect.   As every image block needs a personal colour table, GIF files can become huge, when holding a number of image blocks, resulting in the limitation of effective full-colour GIF images. GIF images have become popular as they are simple and easy to make. Before recent times, complicated programs and software were used to make the files. Many websites will now permit you to make the images speedily and with ease. There are many programs that have been developed to make the images on numerous platforms on websites. One can only search and choose a website and tool that is appropriate for them. Naturally, the programs will come with step-by-step instructions, which make the whole process effortless.

The popularity of GIF files

Centuries ago, motionless pictures were the order of the day. The introduction of animated GIF images changed that era. Videos were the sole means of watching animated images with some movement. Video technology had its shortcomings as the files were often too big to share from one computer to another and with a considerable time required to upload images for viewing. The technical feature to watch preferred sections of the video was not available to viewers. Unreliable internet connections and limited data hindered the file uploading procedure. Of course, this has become a thing of the past with the never-ending advancement in technology. GIFs gained their significance following a wide coverage of unsuccessful motion picture movies on the internet.

People took to selecting small eye-catching short clips timely avoiding the viewing of an entire movie. This triggered GIF file frenzy on the internet. File sharing and saving on the computer was a much more straightforward task, due to the size of images. Some individuals took this exciting opportunity to market by sharing extensively on the internet, with many reaping recognition and rewards. Individuals simply search and download popular GIF images on the internet today, without fuss. Image clips of musicians, athletes, presenters and other famous personalities, taken from motion pictures, televisions shows and games are shared on the World Wide Web. This has promoted not only famous personalities but transformed some regular users into internet celebrities.


Animated GIF images are one of the best discoveries for the internet users who wanted to view animated images effortlessly and within a short space of time. The younger generation of particular mention may today find it difficult to communicate with peers in the absence of GIF. It is true to say the younger generation prefer a more suitable, speedy and convenient way to effectively communicate with one another. The ideal mix of picture incorporating video that fully captures their attention and imagination in a short period of time becomes much more desirable. Based on these factors, GIF files have garnered much popularity.

We support a wide variety of conversions from and to a GIF format, our most popular GIF conversion types include GIF to MP4, MP4 to GIF, GIF to BMP and many more.