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The Difference Between PDF and XPS

Posted By On September 24, 2010 @ 9:26 AM In Computer Terms,MS Word,Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

Previously we’ve discussed the ability possessed by MS Office to save files in PDF format and at some time you probably also noticed that the file format XPS seems to be lumped with the PDF choice.

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Most of us are very familiar with PDF since so much that we see online is in that format. Forms such as tax forms from the state and federal governments as well as reference materials such as instruction manuals are just two examples of common PDF files we use regularly.

For the record, according to Microsoft, PDF (Portable Document Format) files are a way of sharing and saving information that preserves document formatting. During online viewing or printing, the information retains the format that you intended.

Data in the file cannot be easily changed. The PDF format is also useful for documents that will be reproduced by using commercial printing methods.

The big question for some will be… what’s an XPS?

I mean, Microsoft is giving you the choice so what exactly are we choosing between?

Again, according to Microsoft, XPS (XML Paper Specification) files are a way of sharing and saving information that preserves document formatting. During online viewing or printing, the information retains the format that you intended. Data in the file cannot be easily changed.

Sound familiar?

Yeah – I’m sure that it does… since they’re pretty much the same thing.

I’ve saved files in both formats. I found that my PDF could be opened in both Adobe Acrobat Reader and my web browser, while the XPS would only open in my web browser.

Beyond that – I’ve got to admit that I’m not sure.

I stick with the PDF because I’m familiar with it and Adobe. I figure that since I can’t find much of a difference I might as well stay with what I know.

But for those of you who were wondering about the XPS part, now you know – well, at least as much as I do at this moment.

~ April

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