How to Open XPS Files

XPS stands for XML Paper Specification and is a file format supported by newer versions of Microsoft's Windows. The file format is similar to PDF in that it saves the file exactly as it looks on screen. XPS files cannot be altered by Web users, which makes them a good file format to use for legal and contract documents. Creators of XPS files can digitally sign documents without having to print and sign them physically. Internet Explorer and many other programs that can print from Windows, such as Mozilla's Firefox browser, can choose the XPS format to print to an electronic .xps file.

Businessman watching video conference
The XPS format is Microsoft's competitor to the PDF format.
credit: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Step

Locate the .xps file on your computer you wish to open.

Step

Double-click on the XPS file icon.

Step

Change the file's view settings, set permissions for the file and sign the file using the toolbar at the top of the XPS viewer.