XPS documents: frequently asked questions


Here are answers to some common questions about XPS documents.

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What is an XPS document?

An XML Paper Specification (XPS) document is a document format you can use to view, save, share, digitally sign, and protect your document’s content. An XPS document is like an electronic sheet of paper: You can’t change the content on a piece of paper after you print it, and you can’t edit the contents of an XPS document after you save it in the XPS format. In this version of Windows, you can create an XPS document in any program you can print from, but you can only view, sign, and set permissions for XPS documents in an XPS Viewer.

How do I create an XPS document?

You can create an XPS document in any program you can print from, including the entire Microsoft Office system. To learn how to create an XPS document in Microsoft Office, go to the Microsoft Office Help and How-to website and search for information about how to save a file in XPS format.

To create an XPS document in other programs, such as Notepad or WordPad:

  1. Click the File menu, and then click Print.

  2. In the Print dialog box, select Microsoft XPS Document Writer from the list of available printers, and then click Print.

  3. In the Save the file as dialog box, name your XPS document, and then click Save.

How do I view an XPS document?

While you can create an XPS document in any program you can print from, you can only view, digitally sign, or set permissions for an XPS document in an XPS Viewer like the one included in this version of Windows.

Double-click an XPS document to view it in the XPS Viewer; the document will open in the viewer automatically. To learn more about the toolbars and features in the XPS Viewer, see Using the XPS Viewer.

How can I verify and protect an XPS document?

You can verify an XPS document's authenticity with a digital signature and protect a document's contents with permissions.

A digital signature serves two purposes: It enables you to verify that your XPS document hasn’t been changed since you signed it, and enables you to verify another XPS document’s publisher so you can make sure it comes from a trusted source.

You can also create permission restrictions for your XPS document so that no one can view, copy, print, or digitally sign your document without your permission. You can set time restrictions on permissions, allow as many or as few permissions as you want to other users, and allow different users to have different levels of access.