Zip Files - The best way to send most files by email
by: Jeremy Trogg
Zipping files is a process that most people don't understand. The are two reasons that people will zip a file:
- Make files smaller - By zipping files up, you compress them and make the file size smaller. The file cannot be read until it is unzipped but zipping it up will often times make a file possible to attach to an email because it will be a smaller file than the original.
- Send multiple files simultaneously - ZIP files can hold more than one file inside, yet be only one file to the user. In other words, it's like taking many papers and putting them into an envelope. You are only sending one envelope, but many papers. This can be an advantage if you routinely have to send the same files to people, if all the files add up to a very large byte total, or if you or the recipient uses AOL.
If you or the other person uses AOL, AOL will zip up the files for you into one big MIME file that most people don't know how to handle. It can be unzipped like ZIP files but it can be a pain and fewer people know how to handle a MIME file than a ZIP file.
To either create a ZIP file or unzip it, you will need WinZip. There are similar programs but none that operate any better. Best of all, WinZip is free! Click here to go to the WinZip site. Download the application and follow its installation instructions.
Newer version of Windows now have their own built in unzipper but we have not found them to be nearly as reliable.
Unzipping a file
Once used to it, unzipping a file will be quite easy but you will have to pay attention the first couple of times through. There are two WinZip methods but for the purposes of these instructions, we will only talk about Classic. If you are set on Wizard, press the button to go to Classic.
After going to the Classic view, you will see a list of all the files in the zipped file. Do not click on any file unless you only want to unzip that one file. Otherwise, you will unzip them all.
Click on Extract and then specify the location where you want the files put. Many people use Desktop for this as it is easy to find and easy to clean up afterwards. You might even create a file folder on the desktop and then extract the files to that folder.
After extraction, you can then open up any of the files, just as you would normally do. You have just completed your first extraction or file unzip.
Let's say that you have multiple files to send to someone... let's say pictures. First, put all your pictures into one folder. This will make it easier for you and easier for the person that you are sending them to.
After putting them all into the same folder, right click on that folder and click on Add to Zip. WinZip will launch by itself. Click on Add and WinZip will put all the files into the Zip file and put the completed Zip file in the same folder where your original folder is located. After completion, you are ready to send the Zip file as an attachment.
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