An XPS document is any file that is saved to the XML Paper Specification or .xps file format. Although you can create XPS documents (.xps files) by using any program that you can print from in Windows, you can view XPS documents only by using the XPS Viewer.

When you open an XPS document, the viewer automatically opens the document in an Internet Explorer window. Two additional toolbars appear, one above and the other below, the XPS document. Each toolbar provides options for viewing and managing XPS documents, including:

  • Saving a copy of the XPS document to your computer.

  • Finding a word or phrase in the read-only XPS document.

  • Going to a specific page by typing a page number or by navigating forward and back through the document pages.

  • Zooming in or out to make text and pictures easier to read.

  • Viewing one or more pages at a time on your screen.

  • Digitally signing the XPS document.

  • Determining who can access the document and for how long by applying document permissions.

If you have Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0, the XPS Viewer is installed on your PC.

To find out if you have .NET Framework 3.0

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click Control Panel, and then click Programs.
  2. Under Programs and Features, click Turn Windows features on or off. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. Look for .NET Framework 3.0 in the list of features. If it’s listed, double-click the folder to view its contents.

  4. In the .NET Framework 3.0 folder, make sure that the XPS Viewer check box is selected, and then click OK.

Picture of the XPS Viewer in the .NET Framework 3.0 folder
The XPS Viewer is included with .NET Framework 3.0

If you don’t have .NET Framework 3.0 installed on Windows Vista, or if you have Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008, you can go online to download it from the Microsoft Download Center.