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:
- 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.
- Richer, more predictable color
- High fidelity printing of graphical attributes such as gradients and transparency
- Better performance and reduced network traffic
- XPSDrv print drivers work directly off of the spool file, rather than needed to do data and color space conversions GDI-based print drivers.
- Common resources, e.g. logos, PowerPoint background, etc., are identified and created as a shared resource in the XPS spool file
- ZIP compression is a part of the XPS spool file format
- Output contains only subset of characters actually used in the document, rather than all characters for all used fonts.
- Printer capabilities are returned as one function call rather than one call for each setting/feature.
- Better configuration support
- 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?