Comparing the XPS and PDF Formats

XPS and PDF are file formats that are compared very often because, essentially, they can do the same thing and are used for similar tasks. Both file formats are used for displaying, viewing, sharing and printing digital documents.

xps format

However, they are not entirely the same. There are pros and cons that come with using either of the file formats. Let’s take a look at the pros of using XPS and PDF documents.

The Pros of PDF

  • One thing the PDF has going for it is the fact that it has already been established as the standard when it comes to viewing and sharing digital documents. It is much more popular than XPS and it’s used by more people. This means that more people work with PDF files and have the tools that are needed to view, modify and print these types of files.
  • When it comes to printing especially, the PDF has the edge. PDF standards that have been developed are specifically geared towards printing documents effectively.
  • PDF is a truly universal format. That means that no matter whether you are running Windows, working on a Mac or a Linux platform, you will be able to use DPFs effectively.

The Pros of XPS

  • PDFs are generally more expensive to use. If you have a newer version of Windows, using XPS files and creating them is supported within Windows. While there are many free PDF creators and readers, most professional tools for creating and manipulating PDFs need to be bought.
  • It is much easier to create software that works with XPS. XPS is an XML-based format, which makes creating tools to be used with it much simpler than developing PDF tools. While there are many more tools on the market for working with PDF, the fact that creating tools for XPS is much easier might eventually change that.
  • If you have Windows and Microsoft Office on your computer already, which many people do, then you don’t need to install anything else to read XPS files and work with them.
  • XPS files are generally even more compact than PDF files.


PDFs are still much more popular than XPS files, and currently, there are no signs showing that this will change. However, both file formats give you a convenient way to deal with digital documents and each file formats has its share of advantages. Cometdocs enables its users to convert both PDF and XPS files into a large variety of editable file formats, including MS Excel, Word, PowerPoint, image files, HTML and much more.