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The next time a website tells you to "print this receipt for your records," do it the simple, searchable, paper-free way: Save it as an XPS (XML Paper Specification) document on your PC.

XPS is a file format designed for sharing and archiving memos, contracts, reports, webpages, online receipts, or anything else you routinely print and save.

You can create XPS documents in virtually any program, simply by selecting the Microsoft XPS Document Writer as your printer—no extra software is needed. The XPS version will look exactly like the original.

Because you don't need the original programs to open XPS documents, they're easily shared. They're also searchable with Windows Search—no more rifling through stacks of papers to find what you're looking for (or losing important documents in the shuffle).

When you click on an XPS document, it opens in the XPS Viewer, where you can search for a word or phrase, or leaf through long documents using the thumbnail view.

Picture of Windows XPS Viewer

The improved XPS Viewer in Windows 7 makes it easy to quickly scan long XPS documents.