The book I'm designing was requested originally in PDF format, and that's how it's set up in InDesign. So far, so good, and it's about 90% complete at this point. We've already jumped through a fair number of design hoops on the project, since the first two volumes of the series, done last year, were printed, and the design elements were all set up with print in mind.

The client just called, and his "guy" (who will be setting up the book, various videos and other materials for distribution on USB drives) has said he needs the book in XPS format.

Before I go all out to dissuade the client I just want to be sure that there isn't, in fact, a simple way to get from InDesign to XPS and retain all of the interactive components (bookmarks, internal hyperlinks/buttons, etc.) in the document. I'm almost entirely unfamiliar with XPS, other than to know it exists and to convert any XPS documents I receive to PDF.

Then burning question, then is: is there a way to get from where the project is now, a highly styled InDesign book, to XPS format without

  • losing the interactive capabilities?

  • spending an inordinate amount of time and money to get there?

  • 3
    Not an "answer" due I have no idea how well it works (or if the client will pay for additional kit), but I saw a link to this product over on MSDN: amyuni.com/en/developer/pdfconverter/features
    – Farray
    Jul 10 '11 at 3:11
  • 1
    Thanks, Farray. This could be a solution for other projects in the future, so I've bookmarked it for reference. They have quite the client list, I must say. Jul 10 '11 at 4:55
  • It sounds like your client needs a new "guy" or you'll at least be better off dissuading your client from going with XPS. Just because Microsoft has their own re-invention of the wheel built into Windows doesn't mean it actually has to be used. XPS is a great example of why Microsoft is a slowly-but-surely sinking ship. Jul 10 '11 at 17:28
  • I agree, but we're stuck with the situation. I can see it from the dev's point of view, sort of. Doesn't mean I have to like it. :-/ Jul 11 '11 at 2:12
  • 1
    This is the first time I have heard of XPS being used "in the wild".
    – e100
    Feb 15 '12 at 15:04

It turns out after much research that the short answer is "No." There is no facility to go from InDesign directly to XPS other than using the built-in Windows XPS printer driver (it's called the "Microsoft XPS Document Writer"). Any interactive elements are gone, of course, but since XPS is essentially XML-in-a-zip (much in the way that ePub is HTML-in-a-zip-file) it is fairly simple to at least access the components programatically.

Later Edit: HOWEVER, I did track down PDF2XPS, a command-line utility that converts PDFs to XPS at breakneck speed, preserving bookmarks, hyperlinks, etc., in the PDF. It's not cheap, but it does the job admirably and doesn't have the restrictions of the built-in XPS Document driver.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.