How to Handle XPS Files In Windows 10

By: Ivan Jenic
3 minute read

XPS (XML Paper Specification) files are Microsoft’s competitor to Adobe’s PDF files. Maybe this type of files isn’t as popular as PDF, but it could be useful to know something about XPS and the way they work.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to handle XPS files in Windows 10.
Open XPS files

How to view XPS files windows 10

Microsoft is changing the way you get XPS Viewer. In Windows 10, version 1709 and earlier versions, the app was included in the installation image. When you update to Windows 10, version 1803, you’ll still have XPS Viewer.

However, you will need to install/reinstall XPS Viewer in the following cases:

  • if you install Windows 10, version 1803, on a new device
  • install Windows 10 as a clean installation
  • if you had XPS Viewer in Windows 10, version 1709, but manually removed it before updating

How to install XPS Viewer

The quickest way is from Apps and Features in the Settings app or through Features on Demand.

  • Open Settings.
  • Click on Apps.
  • Click on Apps & features.
  • Under “Apps & features,” click the Manage optional features link.
  • Click the Add a feature button.
  • Select XPS Viewer from the list.
  • Click the Install button.

Read also: The 11 best tools to repair corrupted files

What other program opens XPS files?

By default Microsoft is using two virtual print drivers: Microsoft Print to PDF and Microsoft XPS Document Writer.

If the Microsoft XPS Document Writer is missing or it’s not working, you might not be able to print your docs and files.

The troubleshooting steps in this guide will help you: [Fix] the Microsoft XPS Document Writer is missing or is not working.

Convert XPS to PDF

A quick way to handle XPS files without another app, would be to convert it using the built-in printer.

  • Open the XPS file using the XPS Viewer.
  • Click the Print button from the top-right.
  • Under “Select Printer,” pick the Microsoft Print to PDF option.
  • Click the Print button.

Using the XPS Viewer in Windows 10

XPS Viewer is Microsoft’s default app for opening and managing XPS files and it offers some basic functions. It could perform some basic operations, like reading XPS files, zooming, printing, searching, etc.

XPS allows you to decide who can edit your XPS documents, and also how long someone can use these privileges.

For this action, XPS Viewer uses Windows Rights Management Services system, and you must posses Rights Account Certificate. Read more about Windows Rights Management Services here.

It also allows you to digitally sign your documents. To sign a document you must first obtain a digital certificate. Certificates are used to verify the identity of an author, authenticate the service or encrypt files.

Certificates for personal use are not provided automatically, so you’ll have to contact the authority to request it. If you want to create your own signature, click on Request Signature and Signer’s name and Intent for signing fields.

As you see, XPS viewer is very easy to use, and is very good for publishing and archiving documents. It works and looks absolutely the same in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, so you won’t have any problems to understand this article, no matter which system you’re using.

How to create a XPS file in Windows 10

We assume that you’re using some version of Microsoft Office for reading and editing documents. And to create a XPS file, you need to print your .doc file as XPS and save it on your computer. Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Open your document with Microsoft Office program you’re using (probably Word)
  2. Go to File, Print, and choose Microsoft XPS Document Writer as your printer
  3. Save your file and give it a name, and you’re good to go

Microsoft Office 2013 allows you to export your documents as XPS files directly. Just go to File, Export and choose Create PDF\XPS Document.


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