xps – How to view .xps files

XPS – XML Paper Specification files and how to view them.

I have used the XPS format to print a copy of a web page for later offline reading when I haven’t had Acrobat Pro installed. I have then been able to read them via Internet Explorer 8.

On a recent course, I was asked how to read XPS files. To my surprise, and possibly Microsoft’s, someone was actually using XPS.

In this case they had IE6 which wouldn’t open XPS, so I looked into XPS a bit further. 

In short, it is an XML based, electronic paper format.  When saving an MS Office file as XPS, you can use the options to add Bookmarks based on Word Headings, as can be done when creating a PDF.

Microsoft provides an XPS Viewer utility which can also be used to digitally sign documents.

For general overview information: XPS documents: frequently asked questions

How to enable the XPS Viewer: What is the XPS Viewer? (Requires .NET Framework V3 or better.

Downloads for different versions of Windows including XPS Viewer: Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack 

More technical information, for those that need to satisfy their inner Geek: XML Paper Specification: Overview