Monday, April 18, 2011

How to Print Using Microsoft XPS Document Writer

Ever wanted to create a PDF document from, say, a Word or Excel document but don't have a PDF editor?

Fear not, PC users. Microsoft builds a PDF-like printer into Windows so you can do just that. It's not called PDF, though, it's called XPS and it prints through a program called XPS Document Writer. But it works the same way.

Here are instructions direct from Microsoft that explain how to use this nifty little program.

What are XPS documents?

The XPS Document Writer allows you to create .xps files using any program that you run on Windows. XPS documents look the same in print as they do on the screen. They are portable, like any other file that you can e–mail or transfer using a CD, DVD, universal serial bus (USB) drive, or network connection. They are also easy to share because you can view them on any computer where an XPS viewer is installed, even if the computer does not have the same programs that you used to create the original documents.

When to use XPS

Print to the XPS Document Writer when you want to create, send, and share or publish documents that you do not want other people to modify, or when you want to print a document or display it online exactly as it appears on your screen. It's also a good idea to create an XPS document for files that contain graphics or illustrations that might otherwise display differently in print than online or on computers with different monitors.

How to print to the XPS Document Writer

  • Open the document or file that you want to print to .xps format, and then click Print. In most programs, the print option is available from the File menu.
Here's a screenshot from the print dialog within Amazing Charts.
  • In the Print dialog box, select Microsoft XPS Document Writer.
  • To view the document using the XPS viewer after you print it, click Preferences, click the XPS Documents tab, and then make sure that the Automatically open XPS documents using the XPS viewer check box is selected.
  • Print the document or file.
  • When prompted, enter a file name and browse to the location where you want to save the .xps file. Windows will save .xps files in your Documents folder by default.
After printing to the .xps file format, you can view an XPS document by browsing to it and opening it. You can print a paper copy, share the XPS document, or send it to a commercial printer or other people in any way that you prefer.

For Vista users, check out this YouTube video about XPS: