SYSK 341: Why XPS Aware Printer Drivers Are Better

In SYSK 108 I briefly talked about what is XPS (XML Paper Specification).  If you’re using Windows Vista and/or Office 2007, then you may want to know what makes XPS-aware drivers better than ones that don’t support XPS natively:


  1. WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) experience due to lack of any document format conversions between an application and the printer, and thus, no data/fidelity loss.

    1. Richer, more predictable color

    2. High fidelity printing of graphical attributes such as gradients and transparency

  2. Better performance and reduced network traffic

    1. XPSDrv print drivers work directly off of the spool file, rather than needed to do data and color space conversions GDI-based print drivers.

    2. Common resources, e.g. logos, PowerPoint background, etc., are identified and created as a shared resource in the XPS spool file

    3. ZIP compression is a part of the XPS spool file format

    4. Output contains only subset of characters actually used in the document, rather than all characters for all used fonts.

    5. Printer capabilities are returned as one function call rather than one call for each setting/feature.

  3. Better configuration support

    1. The old DeviceCapabilities or GetDeviceCaps Win32 APIs are limited to working only with information about a fixed set of printer features and.   The new XML-document based Print Capabilities technology doesn’t have such limitations, so a print driver can return all its capabilities.


So, is your printer driver an XPSDrv driver?



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