Using Compressed Zipped Folders

Depending on the file type, you can dramatically reduce the amount of disk space used by one or more files by compressing those files into a zipped folder. Don't be fooled by the name: a zipped folder (also known as a Zip file or archive) is actually a single file, compressed using the industry-standard Zip format and saved with the .zip file name extension . Any version of Windows can open a file saved in this format, as can other modern operating systems . The format is also accessible with the help of many third-party utilities. Thus, zipped folders are an ideal way to compress large files for e-mailing or transferring across a network, including the internet.


Windows Explorer compresses and decompresses files in zipped folders on the fly, displaying the contents of an archive in a window that closely resembles a folder. But most applications do not support this format. Thus, to view a WordPad document stored in a zipped folder, you need to double-click the zipped folder in Windows Explorer to display its contents and then double-click the file . If you try the same task using Word-Pad's Open command, you'll open the binary Zip file itself and display its unreadable contents . (If you want to edit a file stored in a Zip file, be sure to extract it to a local or network folder first.)

To create a new archive using zipped folders, follow these steps:

1. In Windows Explorer, display the folder in which you want the new archive to reside .

2. Right-click any empty space in the folder.

3. From the shortcut menu, choose New, Compressed (Zipped) Folder.

4. Name the folder.

To add files and folders to your archive, drag and drop them onto the zipped folder icon in Windows Explorer (or double-click to open the zipped folder in its own window and then drag items into it). You can also use the Clipboard to copy and paste items. To remove an item from the zipped folder, double-click to display its contents and then right-click and choose Delete from the shortcut menu

Using the Send To menu, you can create an archive and copy one or more files or folders to it in one step . After selecting the files or folders you want to include in the new zipped folder, right-click and choose Send To, Compressed (Zipped) Folder. Windows creates an archive file with the same name as the current selected object. Use the Rename command (or press F2) to replace the default name with a more descriptive one .

To extract individual files or folders from a zipped folder, open it in Windows Explorer and then drag the items you want to extract to a new location, or use the Clipboard to copy and paste . To extract all items from a zipped folder to a specific location, right-click the zipped folder icon and choose Extract All, or open the zipped folder in Windows Explorer and click the Extract All Files button on the toolbar.

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