Protecting Files Generated from Applications That Don't Support RMS

Q: Our engineering department is using an application that doesn't support the ability to add Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) protection to the files it generates. Can we somehow apply RMS protection to the content of these files?

A: Yes, this is possible thanks to Microsoft's XML Paper Specification (XPS) file format, XPS Viewer, and XPS Document Writer printer driver, which are available in every Windows 7 or later installation. XPS is a fixed document format that's similar to the PDF format.

You can create an XPS file by using your application's print command. For example, Figure 1 shows how to create an XPS file from Notepad, which doesn't support RMS protection. As you can see, you just need to select Microsoft XPS Document Writer as the printer in the Print dialog box, then save the XPS version of the file to your computer.

Creating an XPS File from Notepad
Figure 1: Creating an XPS File from Notepad

After you create your XPS document, you can apply RMS protection to that file by opening it in the XPS Viewer, choosing Permissions, and selecting Set Permissions. In the Document Permissions dialog box, you can then choose which users in your organization will get permission to view the RMS-protected file.

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