Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack
Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack consists of a collection of components that will facilitate a seamless exploration and management of XPS documents.
The package has been on the market for longer than we can remember, but continues to be the choice of many users, simply because it is easy to use and deploy, offering a generous set of features.
Its compatibility range is restricted to Windows XP, Vista and 2003 and provides separate packages for x86 and x64 architectures. The upper advantage of the suite is that it implements possibilities to handle XPS documents without the need to install .NET Framework 3.0.
The only prerequisite is Microsoft Core XML Services 6.0, a package that installs equally fast and requires no efforts on the end-user part.
The capabilities brought by XPS Essentials Pack include reading, writing and generating XPS documents, as well as viewing file properties or enabling thumbnail visualizations through the shell handlers comprised in the package.
For instance, Vista users will benefit from a special feature called iPreview, through which documents can be previewed inside Windows Explorer without the need to open an application.
On the other hand, it is not able to automatically associate itself with XPS documents, thus in order to make it your default viewer, you’ll need to manually make this change.
On an ending note, Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack is a good asset, but rather old-fashioned. All of the features included in the package are available in other third-party software that surely sport extensive OS compatibility and a more user-oriented approach.