How to Open XPS Files on a Mac

By Mark Pool

Microsoft created the XML Paper Specification format to compete with Adobe's PDF format. Unfortunately, Mac-compatible XPS viewers are not as common as PDF viewers. Adobe Acrobat, Apple Preview, iWork's Pages, OpenOffice and even Microsoft Word for Mac do not support the XPS format. Several options exist to view an XPS file on a Mac system. The options are based on two methods, either reading the XPS file or converting it to a Mac-compatible format such as PDF, HTML or plain text.

Step 1

Open your preferred Web browser and navigate to the website. This site will convert XPS files to PDF files. You have the option to download the converted file directly or have an email sent to you with the download link. Converted files are available for 24 hours after conversion.

Step 2

Open your preferred Web browser and navigate to the website. This site also provides free XPS to PDF conversion in a simple interface. There is no email option but the download link for your converted file works for 24 hours.

Step 3

Download and install Pagemark XpsViewer. This commercial program by Pagemark Technology lets you view XPS files on your Mac, copy text from an XPS file to the clipboard or export the file to PDF, TIF, JPEG or PNG format. At the time of publication Pagemark XpsViewer is available for $34.99. The free trial displays the first three pages of an XPS file.

Step 4

Download and install NiXPS View. At the time of publication NiXPS is available for $49. A free trial is available to test drive it before purchase. In addition to reading XPS files, NiXPS lets you add notes to a file, correct minor typos and export to PDF.