Talk:Open XML Paper Specification

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Missing Readers[edit]

Sumatra PDF can read XPS

Reference -
Link -

personally checked. would have saved me some time hunting if it was in the article ^_^ Ramdomwolf (talk) 17:12, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Other OS readers[edit]

Does anybody know what is the status of reader for Mac, Linux, mobile OS? --BBird (talk) 11:58, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

On Mac OS and Linux, you can use Okular. (It's even listed in the article in the "See also"-section, though for some reason without an explanation what it actually is) -- (talk) 19:50, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

License openess[edit]

Microsoft's licensing terms for XPS and shared source simply state that incorporating MS code with code under some other license (e.g., GPL) does not subject the MS code to the other license's terms. In other words, agreeing to a contract with company X does not subject you to a contract from company Y (which you never signed/agreed to). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


"XPS is viewed as a potential competitor to Adobe's portable document format (PDF). XPS however is a static document format that does not include dynamic capabilities similar to those of PDF." What does that really mean? RobertM525 20:52, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Probably that XPS has nothing like forms, multimedia etc. It's just GDI++. --Oneiros 21:58, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
But it has the thing that the majority of PDF users use: storing static documents as they'd be printed. What proportion of PDF documents really use the scripting, multimedia or forms features? --James 10:50, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
It might all be moot anyhow, it looks like Adobe is going to go down the route of taking proactive legal action to prevent Microsoft from getting too far down this route.[1] Warrens 14:32, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
"What proportion of PDF documents really use the scripting, multimedia or forms features?" -- It doesn't matter, the difference is this among other things anyway. -- Northgrove 06:26, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
"It doesn't matter, the difference is this among other things anyway." -- Nevertheless, if it is seen as having less demanding requirements for viewing, saving, and printing, it may have an advantage: Adobe's reader is often viewed as unnecessarily bloated, both in size and in computational requirements. If viewers for XPS are smaller and faster, it could be seen as an advantage. If plugins are made for the major browsers, I could easily see this as replacing PDF for the vast majority of users. CobraA1 08:24, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Northgrove is correct here. The statement is that "PDF does things that XPS doesn't, therefore when those things are useful, PDF will be the only thing that provides those things". The question of how often they're useful is moot as long as they are useful sometimes.
No, the question is not moot: People who want the sometimes useful extra capabilities of PDF can still use PDF. Just because there's a small number of people who want more doesn't nullify the idea that the majority of people will be fine with something like XPS. CobraA1 (talk) 00:20, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I would like to see that statement expanded a bit. "dynamic capabilities" is a very vague statement that doesn't mean much to the reader. Heck, it's my field and I had no idea what was meant by it without reading the discussion. Can we change it to "...does not currently include the ability to display dynamic content such as scripting, forms or animations..."? - Robert Rapplean 17:00, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
It probably should be taken out altogether. From what I can tell, it's mostly somebody who has a desire to point out how they think PDF is much better, even though it's become rather obvious that they simply serve different purposes. PDF vs XPS never became a really big deal, and today I don't see anybody arguing about it anymore. PDF has kept its role, and so has XPS. Neither has replaced the other, and neither will in the foreseeable future. I vote that, even though the statement may be true, it's not very significant.  —CobraA1 00:04, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
This line of text about not supporting the dynamic elements of PDF is all I wanted to know, I came here for this, just a quick reminder of the practical difference between XPS and PDF. It definitely should not be taken out, it's pretty significant and it's totally NPOV.-- (talk) 15:51, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

So, do you guys know if XPS adds any value to the existing PDF standard, or XPS is just another monopolistic movement from Microsoft? If this is just a monopolistic movement from Microsoft it should be cited in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Conversations about Why[edit]

Why has Microsoft decided to do this? Is there a reason why they wanted to create a pdf-like format? I searched the microsoft website and found nothing. Maybe if someone finds a formal reason from Microsoft, you can add it to the article.

I don't have a formal reason from Microsoft, but the primary purpose of XPS is to be a method of printing. You make various printing calls that are converted into XPS XML and then shipped off to the printer driver. Thus, communicating with a printer "directly" requires only throwing an XPS XML document at it. As a useful side effect, you can print to a file that can easily be read by other programs (whether print drivers or GUI applications). Lastly, you have the potential ability to algorithmically convert any document into XPS without bothering with graphics calls and the Windows XPS converter. Korval 21:06, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Why create a new file format? You still need to process it before sending it to the printer, because no printer can print XPS directly. On the other hand, PS can be sent directly to most printers, and also PDF. Lots of printers nowadays hade support for direct PDF printing. After all, it's just a subset of PS so it is easy to implement in any PostScript printer. To me, this XPS thing looks just like GDI with a new name!!? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:16, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, good question... Also, why isn't the Word doc format not good for this...—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)-28T18:48:28.

The Word format is no good for any use that involves accurate reproduction of formatting on more than one computer. It’s apparently so complex that even different versions of Word have difficulty accurately rendering documents, let alone third-party software designed to run on low-powered hardware. Also, in order for them to achieve their goals with this, they’d basically have to open the Word format to competition, which Microsofts believes would cost them their monopoly. —Felix the Cassowary 01:48, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Before having read anything about the license, I'd have said they are trying to create a PDF-like proprietary standard that Free Software can't use. The summary of the licensing (on Wikipedia) sounds okay, but I'd be inclined to have an extremely careful read through it before dropping all suspicion.
It does require source code to include: This product may incorporate intellectual property owned by Microsoft Corporation. The terms and conditions upon which Microsoft is licensing such intellectual property may be found at
Then it goes on to say: By including the above notice in a Licensed Implementation, you will be deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions of this license. You are not licensed to distribute a Licensed Implementation under license terms and conditions that prohibit the terms and conditions of this license. - James Foster 01:24, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
It's obviously part of Microsoft's "Every format should belong to us" - business strategy. They plan on succeeding with this by integrating this new format into Windows. I'd say that it's a clear case of that old "monopoly violation" you all heard of before.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)-08T13:12:52.
Be reasonable. Microsoft has announced they plan to standardize XPS through a standards body (cf. Everyone needs access to a free, reliable, non-proprietary fixed document format (PDF is proprietary). This is a good thing. 20:44, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
PDF is a submitted ISO standard. --Jaded-view 16:53, 29 August 2007 (UTC) 06:07, 5 December 2006 (UTC) ChrisAlexander 5th Dec 2006 I Believe; you are right about Doc being way too complex, large file size, no portability etc... for a few years Microsoft have been using XML or variations to deliver information. Now it seems like they will use it for MS Word too. "docx" is a new format, but it probably will be overtaken by XPS. If they could switch over like a Light Switch, they probably would, but hey look at what switching over did for VB6 to VB.Net (many coders were not happy, and cried for days, boo-hoo ;) Why not just use PDF? Well they could, but if their plan is to have MS Word save as XPS as default in the future, then there's no point really. People can still print XPS to PDF can't they?

- Real Life and Down to Earth - If we all sat around thinking about it for a while we would just start creating HTML files (instead of Doc) MS tried to have "save as... html" but you still needed IE or MS Word to read the stupid things, so it was almost pointless. Maybe XPS will get around this issue, where XML is standardised, it could make it easier for other platforms to read/write to.

Actually, that's kind of what they're doing. XMS is basically a zip file with a standard directory structure. That structure contains an XML file which will provide the functionality of HTML, but is more specific to print production instead of web rendering. Unlike HTML, it also includes all the fonts, images, etc. that are necessary to produce the finished document. - Robert Rapplean 17:14, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

One reason I can see for the XPS format is to facilitate 'Driverless' printing within their Remote Desktop Services environment. It serves a role similar to the DVI format for TeX, and the RDS clients then convert the intermediate format to native printer command language through their print drivers locally. (talk) 20:58, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

XPS is a "smaller download" to read files than PDF?[edit]

Seriously, I had no idea people were still using Adobe's bloatware to read something so simple as a PDF. --Mike 23:52, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I have some concerns about this line:

a smaller download in current OSes.

Firstly it appears to be OR. Secondly, it's potentially a bit misleading as the Essentials pack requires MSXML 6.0. As this is an additional component that many Windows XP computers won't have by default it had to be considered even if it is only 1.5mb Nil Einne 15:36, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

XPS Propriety ?[edit]

Guys we are not publishing the facts here. XPS is not Propriety. PDF is.Its an open standard and available for download. Its better than pdf because its XML. When you use XML you become vendor independent. Thats something a layman can also understand. Adobe is trying to do everything of PDF. But what's the original purpose. To have a device independent portable document. I would say XML is clear winner over any propriety standard. Whether its doc or anything else. Kunaldeo 08:05, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

This is nonsense. Wiki defines "proprietary" (which is what I assume you meant) as "a party, or proprietor, exercising private ownership, control or use over an item of property, usually to the exclusion of other parties". Nothing could be further from the truth in the case of PDF, which has been openly documented since 1993 (and "downloadable" as you cite). There is an entire industry, of 100s (maybe 1000s) of companies, built around producing, processing and consuming PDF content. There is no licensing required to produce or consume PDF, no fee payable, no undocumented file format, and no DRM. The format is even published in book form and available from any good bookstore! As if that wasn't enough, in January 2007 Adobe announced that it is releasing the PDF 1.7 specification to the AIIM for publication by the ISO. nemo 15:06, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Also XML can contain binary undocumented data, eg:
Family Guy Guy (talk) 15:34, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Unattributed UI criticism[edit]

"Adobe Reader also has a less-than-stellar user interface due to issues like the feature bloat and inconvenient navigation/zooming". Says who? If Acrobat is inconvenient, what does that make the XPS Viewer (plug-in or stand-alone)? Prehistoric? Minimalist? nemo 10:07, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree, this section can be much improved. One thing that is often considered bloat is the multimedia abilities that Adobe has added to the format. Most of the time, the format is used for print media - why add multimedia capabilities to something intended for print? Seriously, there are very, very few people who actually use the multimedia aspect of PDF files. The vast majority of people use PDF for stuff that's intended to be sent to a printer - and XPS happens to do print stuff, so it's competing directly with PDF. Most people are going to be using Flash for multimedia, not PDF. CobraA1 01:13, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
It should also be pointed out that XPS supports custom namespaces and as such can be extended (or "bloated") by third-party developers should they so wish (in addition to Microsoft). XPS is extremely young compared to PDF, so its current lack of little-used features may be remedied in time! nemo 16:04, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

C'mon, folks. This is an article on XPS, not on Adobe Reader. Could we move the Adobe Reader criticism to the Adobe Reader page? - Robert Rapplean 17:38, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

The criticism section looks more like a criticism of Adobe (in particular, Acrobat) than anything approaching a criticism of XPS. While the first few sentences do mention some things, important points such as Embrace Extend, and Exterminate are left to the end and are made out to be mainly bad points about Adobe Acrobat. Why all the comparison with Adobe anyway? Are we confusing a "specification" with "a program designed to read files of that specification". XPS cannot be compared to Acrobat, because one is a program, and the other isn't. --User:Snow93

Agreed. Comparing XPS to PDF is a valid exercise (especially when comparing the resources required to process such documents). Comparing a feature-rich application (Acrobat) to a feature-poor one (XPS Viewer) proves nothing of the formats' relative merits. nemo 15:59, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Self reference[edit]

The example is image is good, but is self-referential and ought to be replaced with something more neutral per Wikipedia:Avoid self-reference. Maybe a vendor-supplied example. Dcoetzee 19:30, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I have to admit I don't understand this comment. Dcoetzee, is it the Wikipedia front page that you take issue to? The Wikipedia policy against self-reference basically says "don't define the XML Paper Specification as a specification for paper that uses XML". More succinctly, don't define a dog as an animal that is a dog. The contents of the print page are entirely meaningless as long as it's something that the viewer might have a frame of reference for. The Wikipedia front page certainly qualifies. - Robert Rapplean 17:21, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Xpsviewer.png[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Xpsviewer.png is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 08:37, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Redistribution of specification[edit]

Specification reader is not allowed to copy the specificiation as written in the license on 2008-04-16:

…You may not (i) duplicate any part of these Materials…

Statement about free redistribution on Wikipedia is in conflict with the license. (talk) 12:47, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

ECMA standardisation[edit]

As per this page ECMA is working to produce an open XPS-compatible standard. Is this worth mentioning in the main article, and if so how should one go about it? (talk) 21:30, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Hard to say. I'd take a wait and see approach to see if this really solidifies into something real, or if it falls apart. If progress is made and it turns out to be a real effort, then go ahead and mention it.  —CobraA1 03:36, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Does anybody use this?[edit]

I've never seen an .*xps file in the wild. Is there any advantage of XPS over PDF except maybe better interoperability with Microsoft products? Both are supposedly open standards, both are heavily tied to/controlled by a corporation that has a strange definition of "open". -- (talk) 13:48, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Viewing XPS files[edit]

This article is not very helpful for someone who has received an XPS file and simply wants to view the contents, with no desire to install anything.

Are there any true online viewers?

One good option is here: XPS2PDF - Convert your XPS files to PDF online a simple free service that works, without requiring any emails.- (talk) 23:11, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Open XPS in Windows 8[edit]

It looks like XPS will continue in Windows 8. However, it won't be called "Microsoft XPS", but simply "Open XPS".

Taken from a Softpedia article:

“As an international standard, OpenXPS has several ecosystem advantages, compared to Microsoft XPS. First, there are a number of government agencies that require standardized document formats for internal use, and that requirement has been a barrier to the adoption of MSXPS in some cases. OpenXPS removes this barrier to adoption.

“Additionally, Microsoft has received feedback from hardware and software developers requesting a process that prevents frequent revisions and changes to the MSXPS format to prevent the frequent rewriting of their applications and drivers to match the arbitrary changes. OpenXPS is an international standard with a formalized change processes and a wide publication of revisions.” — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:42, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

See also: [2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Talk Page Misuse[edit]

Just a friendly reminder folks: "This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject." Andacar 18:26, 9 July 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Andacar (talkcontribs)

Past Tense[edit]

Why does this article refer to XPS/OXPS in the past tense? I have not found any mention in the article of the format's demise or abandonment, so the use of past tense is confusing. If past tense is applicable, I believe it is important to explain the rationale prominently in the first paragraph. Otherwise, I propose that this article be edited to use present tense. Wthrower (talk) 03:16, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

the intro is written at way to sophisticated a level for a general encylopedia re write it so it is intelligelbe to you grandmother, somoething along the lines of a is a type of electroni file that is like a piece of paper, in that it is hard to change after it is made, unlike say a typical wordprocessor document which can be chagned at will The XPS rules (specificatins) include rules for describebing the page, font, etc

(and if you carp about my poor speling you get an exgtra deduction for not seeing forest for the trees) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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OpenXPS vs XPS readers[edit]

The article mention libgxps based readers as supporting OpenXPS, which is not accurate. It seems to only support the older XPS format. (eVince, possibly others) (The entire third party support section seems to include possibly XPS-only readers in the OpenXPS article) (talk) 17:14, 7 March 2016 (UTC)