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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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XPS Viewer

This little app is dedicated to letting you read XPS files that people send you. (Hint: Nobody will.)

You know how Microsoft always comes up with its own version of anything popular? iPod, iPad, Web browser, whatever?

Its latest software target is the PDF document, the brainchild of Adobe.

A PDF document, of course, is a file that opens up on any kind of computer—Mac, Windows, Unix, anything—looking exactly the way it did when it was created, complete with fonts, graphics, and other layout niceties. The recipient can’t generally make changes to it, but can search it, copy text from it, print it, and so on. It’s made life a lot easier for millions of people because it’s easy, free, and automatic.

And now Microsoft wants a piece o’ dat. Its Microsoft XPS document format is pretty much the same idea as PDF, only it’s Microsoft’s instead of Adobe’s.

To turn any Windows document into an XPS document, choose File→Print. In the Print dialog box, choose Microsoft XPS Document Writer as the “printer,” and then click Print. You’re asked to name it and save it.

The result, when double-clicked, opens up in the Reader app in TileWorld.

But a message lets you know that it can also open into this program, XPS Viewer—a bare-bones program that does nothing but open XPS files. Either program offers the usual PDF-type options: find a phrase, jump to a page, zoom in or out, switch to double-page view, print, save a copy, and so on. XPS Viewer also has commands for unlocking password-protected XPS ...

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