Viewing Pre-Visio 2010 Documents in Silverlight

You should all know by now that Microsoft Visio 2010 can save as Silverlight files … which is absolutely great … if you have Visio 2010. What if you do not have Visio 2010 but you want to view Visio documents in Silverlight? Well, you could save your document as a PDF or XPS file, and then view it in a viewer. A Silverlight viewer for XPS files would allow them to be seen on any browser or operating system that supports Silverlight, not just Windows. Although Microsoft have included an XPS viewer in Windows 7, and have made XPS viewers for earlier Windows versions, Microsoft do seem to have cooled-off promoting XPS as a replacement for PDF, which is a shame because XPS is an open, extensible format that is based on XAML.

Unfortunately, Microsoft do not provide a free Silverlight viewer for either of these formats, but there are several companies that do. I know that there is a CodePlex project for a Silverlight XPS Viewer ( ), but it does not currently seem to like XPS documents from Visio. However, the company, First Floor Software,  that provides the excellent Silverlight Spy has also written the Document Toolkit for Silverlight ( ). This Silverlight control enables you to view an XPS document in several different ways, for example, with a page turn action, or by using thumbnails, or even to display the metadata inside the XPS file. The latter is extremely useful for checking the formation of the document.

Actually, there are two methods for creating XPS files from Visio …

The first method is to use the Microsoft add-in. In Microsoft Office Visio 2007, you have the option to download the free add-in from Microsoft ( ). It is already built- into Microsoft Visio 2010. This will create an XPS file, complete with hyperlinks as necessary, as can be seen in the screenshot below when I loaded one of my Visio documents into the Document Toolkit online demo ( see ):


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Oasis at Wembley

The demise of Michael Jackson had an unforeseen benefit for myself.  When his London concert dates were announced I had joined the thousands of others to the web to order tickets because I knew how much my wife would like to see him.  Due to their ticket ordering website crashing, I ended up with twice as many tickets as I wanted.  After his death, the ticket agency (SeeTickets) were very good at setting up the refund process, however I declined their kind offer to receive the holographic ticket in lieu of my money.  So, I decided to see what other concerts were on offer, and one struck me as being quite interesting … Oasis at Wembley!  Oasis have been one of my (and my wife’s) favourite bands for years, and I had never been to the new Wembley stadium.  Despite my misgiving about being miles from the stage, I decided that this would be a good experience … and I could even take my post-school, pre-Uni son.  Oasis are cool for all generations!  Deep Zoom in Silverlight make it even cooler.

We arrived in the sunshine to see the warm-up acts Reverend and the Makers, The Enemy and Kasabian.

HelloWembley BeenaKryshAwaitOasis
Hello Wembley Beena and Krysh await Oasis


Being early, we had plenty of time to admire the new Wembley Stadium!


Here is the Deep Zoom version : Pre-Oasis Concert

As each act came on, the sound quality got better … maybe it was the extra bodies, but maybe it was because the best amps are reserved for the top of the bill. 


Here is the Deep Zoom version : Oasis Concert

Well, it was a long way from the far goal mouth … but at least there were huge screens either side of the stage so we could be assured it really was the brothers Gallagher down there!

Liam Gallagher giving it large GoodbyeWembley

Liam Gallagher gives it large

Goodbye Wembley


I am the egg man, I am the walrus ….. just thought … Michael Jackson’s estate owns the rights to the Oasis encore.  So, we must have contributed something to Michael Jackson’s kids!  Seeing the Gallaghers live was better than having a hologram of Jacko though.


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