WinZip Tutorial

WinZip is a very easy to use, and useful product. It allows you to compress or "zip" files to save space, decrease transmission time when sending a file via e-mail and it also protects files from corruption when being transmitted over the Internet. This tutorial is being written using the latest version of the software available, as of this writing, version 8.0.

You can obtain an evaluation version of this program at the WinZip Home Page.

Why WinZip you may ask...well, it was the first compression utility I was introduced to and I liked it. I have tried a few others as well, but I am most comfortable with this product.

I use WinZip in the "Classic" mode. This displays the program in a simple to use format, like this:

If your screen looks like the one below, you are in the "Wizard" mode. You should click on the WinZip Classic button on the bottom left to switch modes and be able to follow this tutorial.

Ok, there are several different procedures you can perform with WinZip and also more than one way to do each, just like most everything in Windows. I will start off with creating a new WinZip file, also known as an archive.

To do this, click on the "New" button on the upper left hand side of the program window.

You will then be asked to name the file, and choose a directory where you want to put it. I prefer to work out of the C:\Temp directory as this cuts down on clutter in my other directories. You can always move it later if you need to.

If the small box at the bottom of the naming window is checked, the one that say's add dialog, a window like this will appear:

This is the Add Dialog box, and it is used to add one or more files to your new zip file. The top box, which in the image says Temp, is the folder you are currently looking at. You can change this by clicking the down arrow (see red arrow) and then browsing to the correct directory.

Once you are in the correct directory, look in the main window and select the file, or files you wish to add. To select more than one file at a time press and hold the control (Ctrl) key, found at the bottom left of your keyboard. You can also press and hold the shift key to select a series of files all in a row.

Now that you have your files selected you could click the "Add" button. Before we do that there are quite a few options on this page, I will cover a few of them now. Please reference the first add image to follow along here.

On the lower left you will see a box labled "Compression". I usually stick to the Normal setting, but if you are going to add a lot of files, say 30 or more, you may want to change this to the Maximum setting.

To the right you will see a button labled "Password..." by clicking this box you can set a passowrd on the zip file. The button to the right of that says "Add with wildcards". If you click this button with the *.* in the File name field all files within the current directory will be added to the zip file.

Below this is a section labled "Folders". Be very careful with this section! If you select the Save full path info box it will do so. Then, when you send the file to someone else and they extract it, or unzip it, that same path of folders will be created on their hard drive within the folder they were trying to unzip to. This will cause a lot of confusion because very few people have the same setup on thier computers.

Ok, that covers the important things. Now you can click the add button. The files will be added to your new zip folder and the window will be updated showing them.

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This page updated on 08/10/02.