Compression is the process of compacting a large file/files or packing several files to a single file (an archive) to make them smaller in size. It is a bit like storing clothes in a vacuum seal bag. It shrinks down to more than half the size.
Have you ever had to wait for a few minutes to send large files as an email attachment? You might have even thought that your computer is running too slow. In all these situations, file compression can help you. You could have saved your time when attaching the file and sending the mail if you had compressed it and sent it as a .zip file or .rar file.
Advantages to Compressing Files
There are many advantages to compression. Here are a few.
Sending Files in Compressed Form
First of all, by sending emails with compressed file attachments, you are saving the time and money of not only you, but also the recipient. You can complete the process of sending email quickly. On the other side, recipient can complete the download so fast as the attachment size is smaller. Moreover, downloading smaller size files use less bandwidth, which in turn saves money and leaves extra bandwidth for others in a shared connection. Most of the compressing utilities combine two or more files into a single file, thus making them easier to manage.
Suppose, you have to send 10 Word documents to a person through email. If you compress them to a single file, then you don’t have to attach 10 documents separately; instead you need to attach the single compressed file which can be done easily and quickly. The only issue in sending compressed email attachments is that your email recipient should also have the software to decompress the attachment and to make it usable. If the recipient does not have the software, he cannot open your files.
Saves Storage Space
When you save larger files in your computer in the compressed form, you save hard disk space which is an expensive resource. If you save files after compressing, then you can store more files in the available space. Thus, you are utilizing your hard disk space effectively with the help of compression. You can try compressing rarely-used files.
Even the Disk Cleanup utility works in the same way, compressing seldom-used files. If you wish to copy few files, say 100 files, to a CD, then it would be easier for you to have it as a single file on your CD than 100 separate files. In other words, data management becomes easier with compression. However, compression has more effect on some type of documents such as text files, Word documents, spreadsheets, .WAV audio files etc. But if you try to compress files including .GIFs, .MP3s etc, then you will be amazed to see that compressed files are larger than original files. So, compress your files after taking file type into consideration.
Helps Speeds Up Your Computer
You can also make your computer run faster by compressing large files on your computer and saving them that way to save disk space. You only need to decompress the file when you need it to transform them back to the original larger size files. Depending on the utility and the type of files you deal with, you can reduce their size to up to 50 percent of their original size.
Popular Zip File Software
There are many popular utilities for compression and decompression. WinZip and WinRar are two popular applications that can be used to compress and decompress files. Many times, the two terms compressing and zipping are used synonymously because WinZip is so popular. You can download WinZip for free off the internet and install it on any Windows based PC. Once you have installed it successfully, and then right click on any file in windows explorer, you will see several archiving options including “WinZip” on the menu.
Create a Zip file using WinZip
To create a zip file using Winzip is easier than you think!
1. Select the file or files that you need to compress using WinZip and then right click to get the option as given below.
2. You could see the option WinZip if you have already installed WinZip on your computer. Move the cursor over “WinZip” and you will get a screen as given below. Instead of TestZip.zip (second option in the menu), you will have the folder name in which your files reside.
3. If you click the option “Add to TestZip.zip”, then your WinZip application will be opened automatically as given below.
4. You need to click OK and it will create the zip file in the folder where your files reside. From the above screen, you could understand that total files compressed are 3 and the file size has been reduced by 24%. You could also find the file size before compression and after compression.
WinZip does not create .rar files, but WinZip can view and extract the contents of .rar files.
Zip and Send in Email
If you plan to send the zipped file as an email attachment, you can directly click the option “Zip and E-Mail TestZip.zip”, so that the files would be compressed and your default mail program would be opened with the compressed file attached. You just need to enter the recipient email address, message and send the email.
Decompress a Zipped File
1. Now, if you want to decompress the files to make it as before, right click the zipped file to get a screen as given below.
2. You could find three options “Extract files”, “Extract Here” and Extract to TestZip\.
- If you click “Extract files” option, you will get a window as given below. You have general and advanced options to decide the destination path, update mode, extract file path and so on.
- If you wish to extract the files in another folder other than TestZip, then you can change the destination path and click OK. You will now have the uncompressed files in the folder you specified.
- If you click “Extract Here” option, then files would be compressed to the same folder where your zip file resides. For example, if your zip file is in “D:\Test”, then you could find your unzipped files (3 files as per the example) in the same folder “D:\Test”.
- If you click “Extract to TestZip\”, then a new folder TestZip will be created in the same location where your zip file resides and unzipped files would be in the TestZip folder. So, if you wish to keep unzipped files in a different location, then you should go for the option “Extract files”.
Buy WinZip 17 Standard. Compress, Encrypt and Share for only $29.95