Monday, March 05, 2012

Now you can read xps files in ubuntu!

  OpenXPS or XPS stands for XML Paper Specification. It is based on XML and it's a new electronic paper format originally developed by Microsoft and it serves as a PDF alternative. XPS files are usually created using "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" in Windows environments. It is now standardized as an open standard document format.

Quoting Wikipedia:
 An XPS file is in fact a Unicoded ZIP archive using the Open Packaging Conventions, containing the files which make up the document. These include an XML markup file for each page, text, embedded fonts, raster images, 2D vector graphics, as well as the digital rights management information. The contents of an XPS file can be examined simply by opening it in an application which supports ZIP files.

 The OpenXPS document format specification supports features such as color gradients, transparencies, CMYK color spaces, printer calibration, multiple-ink systems and print schemas.

 Evince already supports xps, but it has to be compiled with that option enabled. In order for evince (the program that allows you to read pdf document files) to read xps files, libgxps is required first.

Status update
..for libgxps in Debian (we'll see about Ubuntu afterwards):

There's a PPA!
After much frustration, I have created a PPA for evince with xps:

Note: The evince version in Ubuntu 11.10 oneiric ocelot doesn't work with xps (segmentation fault when opening the file) and there are several packages to be backported. I've decided not to backport it. It works in Ubuntu 12.04 precise pangolin.
If you need to read an xps file, package libgxps-utils provides enough conversion tools, e.g. command:
xpstopdf myfile.xps


Anonymous said...

wow thanks this worked for me

Anonymous said...

When using version 0.2.2-2 of libgxps-utils in Debian 7 Wheezy, I get
error "Error creating XPS file: Invalid XPS File: fixedrepresentation not found" when trying to use xpstopdf myfile.oxps
I don't think it likes "Open xps" files for whatever reason. [The file command reports: file myfile.oxps "Zip archive data, at least v2.0 to extract"]

So, better Debian support is still needed. Wish I could help.

I ended up using a .com website (online2pdf) to convert the file so I could read it. Not too happy about having to resort to uploading the file to an unknown place just to be able to read it. Sure wish my clients would stick to easier formats. Ugh.