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#21894 by joshhuggins
Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:42 pm
I just noticed that I had an XPS file writer (Printer Driver) installed on my system. XPS (XML Paper Specification) is an open standard document format similar to PDF for printing to an electronic document created by Microsoft. But as it has been discussed around this forum to create PDF's, it required you to buy Adobe Acrobat or use one of the free PDF printers from around the net or have a copy of the ultra sweat Datacad software!

So what's the point of having another PDF like file format from Microsoft which nobody is going to use because everyone already uses PDF's? Microsoft originally had planned to include PDF writer/viewer support in both Vista & Office 2007. While Adobe holds patents and such on most of the technologies related to PDF creation, they do have Software Development Kits to allow people to write PDF creation plug-ins like the Freeware downloads and Datacad's PDF writer. But it still was not a true open source format file format. For some reason or another ($), Adobe decided to sue Microsoft for trying to include PDF viewer/writer support in Office & Vista. So Microsoft decided to remove the PDF compatibilities from Vista & Office 2007, but a free plugin is still available that met the agreement by Adobe & Microsoft to allow you to create PDF's from Office 2007.

So now if you've been good girls and boys and have kept your Microsoft Updates updated, you too should also have the XPS writing and viewing capabilities in your Windows XP SP2+ systems I believe included with Microsoft Framework 3.0 update. It will show up like a printer in your printer list.
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Adobe has known for a while about Microsoft's counter move to create this "PDF Killer" (which nobody really ever thought it would be, and truth be told probably Microsoft too). Adobe decided to release the PDF format and submitted it to the open source (ISO) world earlier this year. Along with the XPS "threat" Adobe has stated that governments have been shy to adopt PDF as a standard because it was not an open standard format, and that now think they'll see more opportunities to sell in those markets.

Well that's enough of the clash of the titans for me, but what this boils down to is hopefully now that PDF is on it's way to becoming an open standard, we will see some neat things come out that will benefit us the end users. Just a few days ago in the beta forum area we were discussing that some governments were requiring xml based documents for submittals. Adobe has also announced that PDF will have a XML extension soon. Maybe XML based PDF's will become the format these adaptive countries may soon require for plan submittals? Only time will tell. Imaging being able to submit a plan by simply visiting your local jurisdiction's website uploading a multipage PDF, with a form to fill out and it auto adding it to the plan check queue. Then it being emailed back with digital markups and attached backcheck list. I know not having to wait for hours to submit a plan here would be awesome!

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