XPS, Microsoft XML Paper Specification File (.xps)
The XPS Document file format
XPS files refer to the Open XML Paper Specification, an open specification for fixed document formats and a page description language created by Microsoft. Using a new print path, color-managed vector-based document format using the XML basis, XPS files are supported with device and resolution independency. XPS files are utilized to preserve document fidelity. XPS printer drivers can easily create and view XPS files and are standard among Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. Operating systems which can read XPS files can usually read OXPS and PDF files as well. XPS also supports the Windows Color System color management technology for improved color conversion between devices and the raster image processor (RIP) downloaded separately.
Technical details of XPS files
XPS is a subset of XAML and consists of structured XML markup defining the overall visual appearance and layout of a document, rendering for distributing, archiving, processing, and printing. XAML allows the incorporation of vector-graphic elements since they are described in geometric primitive terms. HD images are supported for raster images; this prevents rendering artifacts and reduces computation load. Operating systems containing print spooler format capabilities are able to print from non-XPS-aware printers without problems, but printers capable of printing XPS produce better quality images. Features supported with XPS files include: color gradients, transparencies, printer calibration, print schemes, CMYK color spaces, and multiple-ink systems.