How to Open XPS Files

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The XPS format is Microsoft's competitor to the PDF format.
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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.


Step 1

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

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Step 2

Double-click on the XPS file icon.

Step 3

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.


You can also open an XPS file in Internet Explorer.

Versions of Windows including Windows XP and newer versions can view and create XPS files as long as .NET Framework 3.0 is installed, although on those systems SPS files will be viewed in Internet Explorer instead of Windows 7's native XPS Viewer program.