Apple's printing to PDF is an amazing, but I wonder if MS offers a virtual printer service to generate XPS. Please note that the question is specific to the Microsoft Office products, not printing to file in general on macOS.

As Windows users may know, Microsoft Office for Windows package often preinstalls (at least for legacy OSs) the virtual XPS printer driver allowing for "print-to-PDF"-like functionality.

Does any of Microsoft Office for Mac packages (whether old or current) offer inbuilt printing to XPS, PDF or anything else without using the macOS print to PDF feature?

  • 1
    Which practical problem are you trying to solve here? Describing this in more detail would make it easier to give and get helpful answers.
    – nohillside
    Nov 26, 2021 at 9:27
  • Here’s a partial list of Mac office packages. Which one is of interest? macadmins.software it’s ok to leave it general as well - nice edit to clarify what the end goal is here. I wasn’t so sure on the initial draft.
    – bmike
    Nov 26, 2021 at 9:43

3 Answers 3


Printing to PDF is a feature built-in to macOS and as such is not something that requires special support from each individual application like on Windows.

When you have Microsoft Office installed, you can click Print to open up the standard macOS print dialog. On the bottom left you'll find a drop-down button "PDF" that allows you to save to PDF, save to Postscript and sharing with various services including email.

You do not need to have any kind of "virtual XPS printer driver" installed for this to work.

There's no "virtual XPS printer driver" for Microsoft Office on Mac. The current Microsoft Office does not support saving or exporting to XPS.

As a format, XPS itself is also not supported by built-in macOS apps such as for example Preview.app for viewing. You can get a number of different third-party XPS viewers on the App Store though.

  • I understand what you are saying, but I'm asking specifically if Microsoft ever offered the "printing to XPS" or some similar functionality for macOS, like it did for Windows
    – TAbdiukov
    Nov 23, 2021 at 15:26
  • You can print to PDF from Microsoft Office on all the macOS versions I have tried - dating back quite far. Is this what you meant?
    – jksoegaard
    Nov 23, 2021 at 15:27
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    @DarkDust I know it's not the same thing, but the question specifically said "printing to XPS, PDF or anything else".
    – jksoegaard
    Nov 23, 2021 at 15:33
  • macOS can't read XPS & MS don't really push it anymore, since they failed for it to gain a strong enough user-base to take over from PDF. PDF won & has been Mac-native pretty much since the beginning of OS X.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 23, 2021 at 15:57
  • Just to clarify: You can read XPS files on macOS - you just need a third-party app. The Mac OS X system has since its version had a graphics model based on PDF (included as Quartz in the first release of Mac OS X). Applications render their on-screen graphics and printer output in this format - and as such converting it to PDF is extremely simple and included in the first Mac OS X version (and all later versions).
    – jksoegaard
    Nov 23, 2021 at 17:44

When doing my research, I stumbled this article on XPS on Library of Congress Website. The article describes XPS format, namely saying this,

The expectations for XPS as a fixed-layout document format for sharing with end users was less successful. Support for the XPS format was never integrated into Apple's operating systems. For Mac OS X 10.0, released in March 2001, Apple had chosen to develop its own code associated with PDF (based on PDF version 1.3 ...

Mac OS X came with the Preview application, which was a PDF Viewer, and users could print to PDF. See Mac OS X and PDF: The Real Story by Leonard Rosenthol. Although XPS viewers were developed for Mac OS X by third parties, there was little reason for Mac users to acquire them.

There is no indication either Apple or MS Office should ever give direct support to XPS printing

  • This is great research +1 even if the OS doesn’t support it, it will be interesting if Microsoft kept their code alive as save as or a document conversion tool that’s hidden inside the apps or as a downloadable helper app or framework.
    – bmike
    Nov 27, 2021 at 12:01

Yes, sort of.  Word for Mac can still produce XPS.  But not through the print dialogue.  You have to change the preferences on how to save files.enter image description here

File→Print goes to the standard Mac print dialogue which offers to save as PDF or Postscript, but not XPS.

XPS also not available via Save as…enter image description here

  • "Save as" image added.
    – WGroleau
    Nov 27, 2021 at 7:22

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