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Saving your crossword as an XPS file

If you have Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista, you can save your crossword puzzle as an XPS file and send it to other people who have a recent version of Windows.  They can then print your crossword puzzle without needing to have EclipseCrossword installed.  This is also useful if you don't have a printer attached to the computer you're using.


Note: These instructions are for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.  If you have an extremely old version of Windows, check out these topics instead:

Creating XPS files works just like printing, except that instead of printing to a real, physical printer, you're printing to a "virtual" printer that saves the pages to be printed to a file.  That file can then be sent to someone else using Windows Vista/7, and they can print it on a real printer, or look at the pages on their computer.  This works not only from EclipseCrossword, but from virtually any other program on your computer that can print.

Changing your printer to the XPS printer

To create an XPS file in EclipseCrossword, you need to set up the XPS "printer."  Here's how.

  1. Exit EclipseCrossword by clicking Close.  If you haven't saved what you're working on, be sure to save first.
  2. Click the Start button, and then click Printers.
    • On Windows 8 or 10, open the Start menu, type "printer", and then click Change default printer.
  3. Find Microsoft XPS Document Writer.  Right-click on it, and then click Set as default printer.
  4. Close the Printers control panel.
Printers control panel
The Printers control panel.

"Printing" your XPS file

  1. Start EclipseCrossword again and open the puzzle you want to "print" (save as an XPS file).
  2. The new printer should be listed on the Print crossword tab.
  3. Choose the various printing options just as if you were going to print from this computer.  Then, click Print everything checked above.
  4. Normally, EclipseCrossword would print to your printer.  But now, since you're using the XPS Document Writer, you get a normal Save dialog box.  Give your XPS file a name and click Save.
    • If you have options from both the answer key column and the empty puzzle column selected (you do if you didn't change any of them), you'll be asked for two file names—the first is for the answer key, and the second is for the empty puzzle.
Screenshot of the Print crossword tab
The Print crossword tab, showing your current default printer.

Previewing your XPS file

To see how your XPS file looks, double-click on it.  Your XPS file will open in Internet Explorer or another program that can view XPS files.  You can browse through this document as if it were a stack of printed pages.  You can also print it to a real printer by clicking the Print button.

Going back to your real printer

If you don't want all of the documents you print on your computer being turned into XPS files, you'll probably want to switch back to your real printer once you're all done.  To do this, go through the exact same steps as before, but click on your real printer (instead of Microsoft XPS Document Writer) and then click Set as default.

Sending your XPS files to people

You can now attach these XPS files to emails you send to people.  You can use XPS files to send printable crossword puzzles to people who don't have EclipseCrossword, or you can put them on your website.  Or, if you don't have a printer, you can send them to someone who does have one.  To open XPS files, the other computer must have Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or an XPS viewer program.  You can get a free XPS viewer program from Microsoft at this address:

We recommend that you download the Microsoft XPS Essentials Pack, which works on Windows XP, and allows Windows XP users to view and create their own XPS files. 


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Keywords: I want to save my puzzle as an XPS file so I can send it to someone else, because I don't have a printer, or they don't have EclipseCrossword.