Chapter 15. Printing and XPS

WPF provides powerful printing support, allowing you to use the majority of its graphical features in print as well as on-screen. Dynamic features such as animation and event handling don't translate to static paper output, of course, but you can use any stationary graphics. You can also use framework services such as data binding and layout to construct output for printing.

For many years, Windows has used a print spool system based on the Win32 Enhanced Meta File (EMF) format. This does not support the full WPF rendering feature set, so a new format has been introduced: XPS, the XML Paper Specification. This enables WPF-based graphics to be sent for printing without any loss of fidelity.

XPS is a fixed-layout page description format, and not only is it the basis for WPF print spooling, but also you can use it as a standalone file format. For example, you might build an XPS file so that you can email it to someone as a preview of what the printed output will look like.

Whether your WPF application is sending output directly to the printer or creating an XPS file containing the output, you will use the XPS APIs. So, in order to look at printing in WPF, we must begin by looking at XPS.


XPS is an open specification[104] for a file format designed to hold printable output from a WPF application. As the name suggests, an XPS file describes exactly how the document should look on paper.

The XPS format has been designed to be easy to create and consume. It ...

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