XPS Essentials

Windows Presentation Foundation also introduced the Xml Paper Specification (XPS): Microsoft’s counterpart to Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Where you need the Adobe Reader application to view PDF files, you will also need a viewer to see XPS documents.


This is where the XPS Essentials Pack comes in. You can download it here. Once installed it will give you:



  • XPS Document Writer

  • Metadata and thumbnail handlers

  • Rich-preview provider

  • Search and index filters

  • XPSDrv print driver components

These components let you create, view, preview, search, index and organize your XPS documents. You should check out the XPS Viewer EP application, which is a pretty nice WPF application. In thumbnail view it will show all pages in a grid. When you hover over one of the thumbnails it will enlarge to the foreground in an animated fashion. The direct neighbors will also come up a bit, giving a bubbling like effect.



If you happened to install the Beta 2 version you will find that de-installing the beta is not possible by running the setup again or by visiting Add/Remove Programs in your control panel.


Instead you should run the following command from the command line:


msiexec /uninstall XPSEP.msi


This will allow you to install XPS Essentials Pack 1.0 without problems after that.


Side note: as you can see in the picture above, the XPS Document Writer still has some problems with PowerPoint and the Frutiger 57Cn font of Class-A.

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