Microsoft’s Window Presentation Foundation, with its obvious
support from .NET 3.0, will be able to handle all the necessary procedures such
as programmatic creation of XPS documents, navigating, storing and archiving,
providing digital signature security features, and providing an excellent
packaging support that keeps the whole document in a text based format. The
logical XPS hierarchy keeps the document and the various pages in the document
and their associated resources together. Motivated readers should read this
Microsoft article on XPS.
There are also third party products such as NiXPS (Beta version) which provide a similar
support through user friendly interfaces for documents on both Mac and Windows.
The NiXPS v1.0 beta 1.exe may be downloaded from
NiXPS site. Figure 9 is a screen shot of one of the Word 2003 document
converted to the XPS format probed using the NiXPS application. The picture
shows the document in the left pane and a page in the right pane. Since there
is only one page in the document, only that page is shown. NiXPS
can look through the contents of the document details (fonts, style and so on),
merge documents, etc.
The window with the title, Inspector:
imageChanged.xps, looks at the package as a whole in a tree arrangement.
This is just the XPS file renamed with the extension changed to ZIP
(imageChanged.xps renamed to imageChanged_XPS.zip) with its content unzipped
into a folder. It has additional elements such as FixedDocumentSequence.fdseq
which takes care of managing multiple documents in a package.
Figure 10 shows the folder contents of imageChanged_xps_zip.
The metadata folder contains the printer targeted information in XML.
Wrap up of different documents discussed in this
Figure 11 summarizes the several document extensions
discussed when you start off with a test.doc document. Figure 11 also shows how
to go from one to the other.