How To: Use the XPS Viewer in Windows 7 & 8

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XPS is a fixed-document format, designed for sharing and archiving memos, contracts, reports, webpages, online receipts and anything else you usually save and print. XPS can work very well with technologies like Microsoft’s digital rights management technology.  Another great feature of XPS is its independence of software and hardware.

An XPS document can be any file that is saved in the XML Paper Specification, or .xps, file format. You can create XPS documents (.xps files) by using any program, which supports printing in Windows.

In this tutorial you will learn how to create XPS files and how to work with the XPS Viewer, the available tool in both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

How to Create XPS Files

As i said earlier, you can create an XPS document from any file, stored in your computer, that can be printed.

  • Go to the Print menu in the program you are currently using.

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  • After this, you will be asked how you will name your new document and where will you save it. Click Save to confirm your decisions.
  • Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 include a PDF or XPS option in their Save As menu.

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  • In the Publish as PDF or XPS window, choose where you will store the file and select a name for it.
  • Then select XPS as the file type and click Publish.

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  • Microsoft Office 2013 gives you the chance to export documents as XPS files from the Export section in the Backstage view.

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How to Perform Basic Operations in XPS Viewer

By default, XPS Viewer is the program, which allows you to open XPS files in Windows 7. In Windows 8 the  default program for opening XPS files is the Reader app.

  • To open files, click on the File tab and then select the Open option to browse to the desired file.

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  • If you want, you can save a new document by clicking the Save As option from the menu.

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  • If you want to view more details  about a file, click on the Properties option in the File menu.

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  • If you want to print a document you can either go to File and then select the Print option, or you can click the Print button, which is on the top toolbar.

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  • The outline view allows you to see the structure of your document. If your document has an outline, click on the Outline button in order to display it.

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The XPS Viewer provides you with many ways to view a document.

  • Click the arrow button, which is next to Zoom icon and select between the following ways to view your document:  100%, One page, Page width, Thumbnails or Full screen. 

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  • If you feel the need to search a specific word or phrase, you could type it in the Search box and press Enter.
  • Navigate through the pages of a document using the Up and Down buttons on the bottom left of the XPS Viewer window.

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Set Document Permissions in XPS Viewer

XPS Viewer gives you the chance to decide who can view, print, copy or digitally sign an XPS document and how long a person can view or make changes to the document. In order to apply document permissions, it uses  the Windows Rights Management Services technology.

If you want to use document permissions, you should have a Rights Account Certificate. If you do not have one of those or you want to learn more about them, you can go to Windows Rights Management Services website.

Sign a Document in XPS Viewer

The digital signature helps you to see who created an XPS document and also notice if there were any changes, applied to the document after it was signed. Once again, you must have a digital certificate, if you want sign digitally a document. These certificates are responsible for verifying the identity of a person or device, authenticate a service or encrypt files. Be aware that a digital certificate will not be provided automatically to you. You will have to contact a certificate authority to request a certificate and import it.

  • If you want to sign a document, go to the Signatures tab and press the Sign this document option.

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  • When you do it, you will see the available certificate, which you should confirm as correct.

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  • In case you do not have a signature, go to the Request signatures option in the Signatures menu and choose one.

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  • Type your name and click the drop-down button to see the available intents of signing. Press OK to contnue.

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  • If you want to see every digital signature you have created, go to Signatures menu and choose the View Signatures option.

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  • You can see the digital signatures, which were used with document in the left side of the window.
  • Double-click on one of them to see more info about it.

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  • You can also see the name of the signer, the intent, the date and the location, in which the document was signed.

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  • In addition, you can possibly sign the document or remove the signature from the document by clicking on the Sign and Remove buttons.

To sum up, the XPS Viewer is a simple and easy to use tool, which can help you a lot to publish, archive and transmit documents.