How to Convert XPS to PDF in Windows & Mac

How to Convert XPS to PDF in Windows & Mac

Both XPS and PDF file types are fixed formatting and layout document formats to make, read, and print standard documents regardless of system and printer. Since PDF is far more known and compatible in different systems compared to XPS, we might want to convert XPS files to PDF from time to time.

What is XPS?

Developed by Microsoft as a document type alternative to PDF, XML Paper Specification (or XPS) is an open, standardized format representing a fixed layout document. Windows Vista and later versions of windows support this file format. However, .oxps (OpenXPS) replaced .xps extension in Windows 8, which is not supported by older versions of Windows. So in order to view OXPS documents in Windows 7’s XPS Viewer users should convert them to XPS format.

The main tool for creating XPS files in Windows is Microsoft XPS Document Writer which works as a virtual printer saving document outputs to .xps file types. This might sound very similar to a feature called “print to PDF” included in some other tools and software.

XPS and PDF formats are both document types which are device-independent and very similar to each other. For instance both include features such as DRM and digital signatures.

Why convert .xps files?

In fact, despite so many similarities between PDF and XPS formats, XPS files never become as nearly popular as PDF files, although Microsoft first introduced it as “PDF killer.” The main reason for converting XPS files to PDF is that PDF is known almost everywhere and viewable by any devices used at home and business.

Say, for example, a user wants to view a document on their Mac which has built-in support for PDF files, but none for XPS files. So a good solution is to use an XPS converter before trying to open the document on their system.

In addition, mobile gadgets such as Android phones and tablets and iOS powered devices like iPad and iPhone have all better supports for PDF documents as well.

So in all these cases it’s very normal to convert XPS files to PDF in order to have a better compatibility on different devices and operating systems.

Method 1:

The fastest way to create PDF files from .xps or .oxps formats is using online tools available for these kinds of file processes. Some of them could be found below:


The website offers lots of possible free PDF conversions. In addition to the types we want here, other document types such as .txt, .rtf, .doc, and .docx could also be uploaded to generate .pdf files as well. There is a 50MB file size limit for file uploading.


For those seeking an online free tool which do the task quick and simply, XPS2PDF is the right choice. The conversion is only possible for OXPS and XPS files. Users could convert no more than 100 documents in each day.


Another free online converter which does the task as expected. The file size limit here is much lower (20MB). Before uploading the files, users could set some properties such as author and title of their output PDF files as well.

Method 2:

The second method for XPS conversion is taking use of advanced PDF tools and applications. In the following some of them are reviewed:


This software acts as a virtual printer for Windows to make PDF files. Anywhere within different applications and programs which users could print a document, they could choose novaPDF as the printer and have PDF files in the output. So, in our case all should be done is opening the .xps file in a print supporting application such as Internet Explorer and print (save to PDF) the document through the novaPDF printer.

novapdfThe application is supported by various versions of Windows (XP-10 & Server 2003/2008/2012). Currently no Mac or Linux version has been released yet.

PDF2Office Professional

recosoftPDF2Office is a powerful PDF converter which could recognize XPS files and convert them to PDF and Microsoft Office compatible extensions such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

The software is developed by Recosoft Corporation and is available for both Mac and Windows users.

iSkysoft PDF Editor

iskysoftThis powerful application could take different document and image file types such as HTML, PPT, Excel and Word as input and produce documents with PDF formats. Also the desire XPS to PDF is quite possible using this tool.

iSkysoft PDF Editor could be downloaded and installed on Win and Mac computers.