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XML Paper Specification: Overview

Provides information about the XML Paper Specification (XPS), which defines an open document format that uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) and other industry standards to create a cross-platform document format.

Important  If your printer is not working properly and the problem has something to do with Open XML Paper Specification or the Microsoft XPS Document Writer, please see Fix Printer Problems.


The XML Paper Specification (XPS) provides users and developers with a robust, open and trustworthy format for electronic paper. The XML Paper Specification describes electronic paper in a way that can be read by hardware, read by software, and read by people. XPS documents print better, can be shared easier, are more secure and can be archived with confidence.

The XML Paper Specification itself is platform independent, openly published, and available royalty-free and Microsoft has integrated XPS-based technologies into Microsoft Windows, starting with the Vista operating system and the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Microsoft brings additional document value to its customers, partners, and the computing industry through the XPS-based technologies.

XPS for Hardware Developers

This continued support for XPS printing brings the next generation of document services to the Windows platform, providing high-fidelity and high-performance printing for Windows users and an extensible platform for partner innovation.

Printer manufacturers can use the extensible print architecture in Windows to deliver the following features in their printers and device drivers that support XPS Documents.

  • Improved Color Printing

  • High-Fidelity Print Output

  • Improved End-User Experience

  • Improved Spooling and Rendering

Scanner device manufacturers can generate XPS Documents at scan time and can apply digital signatures and assign rights during document acquisition.

XPS and Windows 8

XPS Information for Hardware Developers

Specifications and Licensing

XPS and Print - WinHEC 2007

XPS, Print and Color - WinHEC 2006

XPS for Application Developers



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