How to convert PDF to XPS

Learn how to easily convert PDF files to XPS format with our step-by-step guide.

In today's digital age, where information is rapidly exchanged and shared, it is crucial to have the ability to convert files to different formats easily and efficiently. One file format that often requires conversion is the Portable Document Format (PDF). In this article, we will explore the process of converting a PDF file to the XML Paper Specification (XPS) format. By the end, you will have gained a comprehensive understanding of both file formats and the methods available for conversion.

Understanding the PDF and XPS file formats

The PDF (Portable Document Format) and XPS (XML Paper Specification) file formats have revolutionized the way we share and preserve documents. In this article, we will delve deeper into the intricacies of these file formats, exploring their origins, features, and benefits.

What is a PDF file?

A PDF file is a format developed by Adobe Systems in the early 1990s. It quickly gained popularity due to its ability to preserve the visual integrity of documents across different platforms and devices. PDF files encapsulate all elements of a printed document, including text, images, graphs, and even interactive elements, while maintaining their original layout.

One of the key advantages of PDF files is their portability. They can be easily shared and viewed on various operating systems, making them an ideal choice for document distribution. Whether you're using a Windows PC, a Mac, or a mobile device, PDF files ensure that your document will be displayed exactly as intended.

Moreover, PDF files offer robust security features, allowing you to protect your documents from unauthorized access. You can encrypt your PDF files with passwords, restrict printing or editing capabilities, and even add digital signatures to ensure the authenticity of the document.

What is an XPS file?

On the other hand, an XPS file, or XML Paper Specification, is a document format introduced by Microsoft as an alternative to PDF. XPS files also retain the visual fidelity and layout of printed documents, making them suitable for sharing and archiving.

The XPS file format is based on XML, the Extensible Markup Language. XML provides a flexible and standardized way of representing structured data, making it an ideal choice for creating documents that can be easily customized and manipulated. With XPS files, you can easily extract specific data or modify the document's content without compromising its overall layout.

Similar to PDF files, XPS files can be viewed on various platforms, ensuring that your document looks the same regardless of the operating system or device. This cross-platform compatibility makes XPS files a reliable choice for sharing documents with colleagues, clients, or friends.

Furthermore, XPS files offer advanced printing capabilities. You can print an XPS file with high precision, ensuring that the final printed document matches the on-screen representation. This feature is particularly useful for industries that require accurate and consistent document reproduction, such as graphic design, architecture, and engineering.

In conclusion, both PDF and XPS files have their unique strengths and applications. PDF files excel in portability and security, while XPS files offer flexibility and precise printing capabilities. Whether you choose PDF or XPS, these file formats have transformed the way we handle and share documents, making our lives more efficient and productive.

Why convert PDF to XPS?

Advantages of using XPS format

While PDF is widely supported and versatile, there are certain advantages to using the XPS format, depending on your specific needs. The primary advantage of XPS is its native integration with Windows operating systems. XPS files can be viewed directly using the built-in XPS Viewer application, eliminating the need for third-party software installations.

Moreover, XPS files offer better compatibility with Microsoft Office applications, allowing for seamless integration with other documents and data. This compatibility ensures consistent visual representation across different devices and enables easy collaboration.

Additionally, XPS files are often smaller in size compared to their equivalent PDF versions, reducing storage requirements and simplifying file sharing. This compression efficiency can lead to significant time savings when transferring large files over email or other channels.

Compatibility issues with PDF format

Despite the popularity and widespread use of PDF, there are instances where it may not be the ideal format for certain tasks. One common compatibility issue arises when dealing with legacy Windows applications that may not offer full support for PDF files.

Another consideration is the level of customization required for document content and layout. XPS files, being based on XML, offer more flexibility than PDF. XML-driven content allows for the inclusion of dynamic elements such as data binding and interactivity, making XPS files ideal for interactive presentations and forms.

Furthermore, if you are working within a Windows-centric ecosystem, converting PDFs to XPS can streamline workflow and ensure a consistent user experience throughout your organization.

Methods to convert PDF to XPS

Using online conversion tools

One of the easiest and most accessible methods for converting PDF files to XPS is by using online conversion tools. These web-based platforms allow you to upload your PDF file and convert it to XPS format within seconds.

Popular online conversion tools such as SmallPDF, Zamzar, or Convertio offer intuitive interfaces and reliable conversion algorithms. Simply choose the PDF file you wish to convert, select the desired output format (in this case, XPS), and let the tool handle the rest. Once the conversion is complete, you can download the resulting XPS file and save it to your computer.

HIVO's digital asset management platform also offers an integrated conversion feature. Through the platform's intuitive user interface, you can effortlessly convert PDFs to XPS files. This functionality provides a streamlined workflow, eliminating the need to switch between different applications and platforms.

Converting with Adobe Acrobat

For those who prefer a more robust desktop application for their file conversions, Adobe Acrobat offers a reliable and comprehensive solution. Acrobat, known for its powerful PDF management capabilities, allows you to convert PDF files to XPS format with ease.

Simply open the PDF file you wish to convert in Adobe Acrobat, navigate to the "File" menu, and choose the "Save As Other" option. From the dropdown menu, select "XPS" as the desired output format, specify the destination folder, and click "Save." Within moments, Adobe Acrobat will convert the PDF to XPS format while preserving all elements and layout.

While Adobe Acrobat offers advanced features and customization options, it is worth considering the additional cost associated with this software. For users who require extensive PDF management functionality, the investment may be justified. However, for occasional conversions, alternative methods may be more suitable.

Using third-party software

Lastly, if neither online conversion tools nor Adobe Acrobat meet your requirements, there are various third-party software applications available that specialize in converting files between different formats.

An example of such software is PDFelement, a versatile PDF editor that also supports conversion to formats like XPS. Similar to Adobe Acrobat, PDFelement provides an intuitive interface, allowing you to select the desired PDF file, specify the output format, and initiate the conversion process. These third-party applications often offer additional features, such as batch conversion and customizable settings, allowing for a tailored conversion experience.

Step-by-step guide to converting PDF to XPS

Preparing the PDF file for conversion

Before initiating the conversion process, it is essential to ensure that the PDF file is properly prepared. This step guarantees a smooth conversion and minimizes the chances of any potential errors occurring during the process.

Start by reviewing the PDF file for any possible issues, such as missing fonts or broken images. Fixing these issues beforehand will ensure a more accurate conversion and seamless transition to XPS format.

Additionally, check for any sensitive information that may be included in the document, such as personal details or confidential data. If necessary, redact or remove this information to maintain data privacy and security throughout the conversion process.

Converting the PDF to XPS using online tools

To convert the PDF file to XPS format using online conversion tools, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select a reputable online conversion tool such as SmallPDF, Zamzar, or Convertio.
  2. Upload the PDF file to the chosen online tool.
  3. Choose XPS as the desired output format.
  4. Initiate the conversion process and wait for the tool to complete the conversion.
  5. Download the resulting XPS file to your computer.

Converting the PDF to XPS using Adobe Acrobat

If you prefer to use Adobe Acrobat to perform the conversion, follow these steps:

  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Navigate to the "File" menu and select "Save As Other".
  3. Choose "XPS" as the output format from the dropdown menu.
  4. Specify the destination folder for the converted file.
  5. Click "Save" to initiate the conversion process.

Converting the PDF to XPS using third-party software

If you decide to utilize third-party software for the conversion, the following steps will guide you through the process:

  1. Select a suitable third-party software application such as PDFelement.
  2. Open the PDF file in the chosen software.
  3. Locate the conversion option within the software interface.
  4. Specify XPS as the desired output format.
  5. Choose any additional settings or customization options if available.
  6. Click the "Convert" or similar button to initiate the conversion.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can effortlessly convert your PDF files to XPS format, gaining greater compatibility and flexibility in managing your documents.


Converting PDF files to XPS format opens up greater possibilities for seamless document sharing and collaboration within Windows-centric environments. While both formats have their advantages, XPS offers better integration with Windows operating systems and Microsoft Office applications, as well as enhanced customization options.

Whether you choose to use online conversion tools, desktop applications like Adobe Acrobat, or third-party software, the process remains straightforward and accessible for users of any technical background.

Remember, HIVO's digital asset management platform provides a comprehensive solution for managing your digital files, including PDFs and XPS files. The platform's seamless integration with conversion features ensures a streamlined workflow, allowing you to convert and manage your files efficiently.

So next time you find yourself needing to convert a PDF file to XPS, refer back to this article and utilize the methods and tools outlined to simplify the process. Embrace the power of flexibility and compatibility, and unlock the full potential of your document management capabilities.