Create XPS documents in Windows Vista

Microsoft has created the XPS format of documents as an alternative to the popular PDF document format. Most of the documents available from Microsoft’s site are also available in XPS and PDF format both. Windows Vista has a built in XPS document viewer. In Windows Vista, you can convert any other document into the XPS format easily. Here is how :

Note : To view XPS documents in Windows Vista, you must have set Internet Explorer as your default web browser. See how to set Internet Explorer as your default browser. When you double-click on an XPS document, it opens in Internet Explorer. You can also use XPS Viewer EP but it does not allow digitally signing the XPS documents.

  1. Open any document you want to convert, in its usual program. For example, open a picture in picture viewer, open a webpage in the web browser or open a text document in Notepad.
  2. Choose to print that document from the menubar or toolbar. Different programs have this in different places. Most of the programs accept Ctrl + P as a keyboard shortcut for printing the open document.
  3. In the Print options window, select the printer Microsoft XPS Documents Writer as shown (for Firefox’s print options window) :

  4. You will see a Save As dialog. Choose a file name for your new XPS document and click Save button.

  5. In few seconds, Windows will create the document for you, which you can open by double-clicking on this XPS file. The XPS document will open in the Internet Explorer as shown :

  6. You can even digitally sign the newly created document (if you have a digital certificate) by choosing Signatures → Sign this document. By digitally signing the document, you make sure that the document will not be changed since you modified it. If the document is changed by a third party, the embedded digital certificate will become invalid.