13 February 2011

How to Use WinZip Files

WinZip files come in very handy, especially when it comes to keeping related files together, sending email messages, or downloading and storing data. You can use it for downloading software and transferring email attachments faster, distributing files on the Internet easier, and saving disk space. After all, these are single files containing one or more compressed file.

If you have just received an email with a .zip attachment, don’t fret. The .zip format is the most popular compression format used in the Windows environment, and WinZip is the most popular utility used for compression.WinZip features a standard Windows point-and-click drag-and-drop interface so you can view, run, extract, add, delete or test files. Here are some basics on how to use WinZip files:

How does it work

When you compress a file, you “zip” the file so that its file size reduces and requires less disk space.

How to open a .zip file

After installing WinZip, you can open a Zip file by double-clicking it as an email attachment. You can also double-click it from your Explorer window, or after choosing “Unzip or Install from an Existing Zip File” in the WinZip wizard.

How to create a .zip file

To create a new .zip file, open WinZip Wizard, select “Create a New Zip File” and click next. A window will open displaying the folders on your disk so choose where you want to store the compressed file. WinZip then creates an “archive” file.

If you are already familiar with the basics of WinZip, you can use the WinZip classic interface, which has more advanced features.

You must now add a file to the archive that you just created. By clicking “Add,” a window will open displaying the files and folders on your desk. Choose which files you want to compress, and in the compression menu, select the level of compression that you want. The choices include Normal, None, Fast, Superfast, and Maximum.

Click ‘Add’ so you can return to the main WinZip menu. Your compressed file is now added to the archive.
You can also split large .zip files into smaller parts to go past email size limits, and even remove files from an existing .zip file. If you have confidential files in the classroom computer, you can also encrypt confidential files so they can be used without a password.

Here are some tips in using WinZip:
  • You can configure your WinZip to display the number of bytes before and after you compress a file, so you can see your savings in the WinZip window.
  • If you are transferring a .zip file to another computer, the file will not open unless there is a decompression utility installed on that computer.
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