Guide to open .XPS file extension on your browser

Last updated on July 1, 2021 by David Baddeley

Microsoft is known not only for the Windows operating system, but also for developing extensions that few people know about. Microsoft never tends to stop developing, releasing programs and extensions like the DOCX file format, forcing people to download Microsoft 2007, or find some other way to open those files!

In this article, we’ll take a look at yet another Microsoft extension, named XPS, and learn more about the XPS extension, which is an alternative to PDF.

What is XPS File Extension

XPS is an XML paper specification which is used in Windows printing machine and does not support non-Microsoft platforms (Windows only, before printing you can save the file in “Microsoft XPS Document Writer” and print it in paper format).

2012 update: I have also compiled a guide to not only open, convert but also edit XPS files on Windows and Mac. A fair amount of information has been released recently, just to help you understand all about the XPS file format.

Now the problem is “How to open XPS files on your computer?” »If you are on Windows Vista platform, there is no need to download any plugin or software to open XPS files, double click on saved XPS file to view contents! In fact, the .NET framework and the XPS file viewer are already installed on Windows Vista.

If you download a Windows user manual or Ebook guide, you will find files in XPS and PDF format. Although you can convert XPS files to pdf files and open them in your PDF viewer, another alternative to open and view XPS files is suggested here (for other platforms like Windows XP or Windows Server 2003)

You might also like: Record Flash games or movies from Internet Explorer browser

Open the XPS file: several methods

There are several easy ways to open and edit XML Paper Specification format files on your Windows machine only. The way I would recommend is to use add-ons which are available for free for Windows and Mac OS X users.

So, if you want to open files that end with the .XPS extension, here is the best way to do it:

Open the XPS file in the Firefox browser

If you don’t use Internet Explorer for some reason and want to open .XPS on Firefox, download it. IE tab extension.

Restart the Firefox browser, configure the settings and you are ready to open, play the file in XPS format without breaking a sweat.

Open the XPS file in Internet Explorer

After opening Internet Explorer, click on File, then on Open and choose your .XPS file. Note that you will be asked to open in a new tab to view the file. So in layman’s terms, yes, you can also set Internet Explorer as the default program to play XPS file!

Viewing XPS files in Windows XP

Microsoft provides a free 2.8MB XPS reader and can be downloaded from here, but make sure you have the .NET framework installed on your PC! Otherwise, you will be asked to download the missing .Net framework.


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