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Windows 7 - How to Compress Files

If you`ve downloaded many files from the Internet before, you may already have heard of file compression and archiving. If you have not, then here is an explanation.

Sending files over the Internet is best done when the files are compressed. This means much faster transfer times. It is also convenient to package multiple files and folders into a single archive. There are many common formats of file compression and archiving, but the most common format that you'll encounter is the ZIP format. ZIP files have been around for years and the program which usually used to be associated with them is WinZip. Ever since Windows Millennium was released, Microsoft Windows has provided support for ZIP files natively, without any necessity for third-party software in most cases. Windows 7 carries on this feature and makes it easier than ever to work with ZIP files, although it's not immediately obvious how to do this.

Extracting ZIP files is easier than ever. You can also view them in a similar way to viewing normal, uncompressed folders simply by double-clicking on them. Before you attempt to run any program contained in a ZIP file, however, you should first extract and decompress the archive. To do this, simply right-click on the file and click "Extract All." Choose the folder where you want to extract the files to and click the button "Extract." Most archives should only take a few seconds to extract and then you can view the contents of the archive when done.

Making compressed archives yourself is also a quick and easy process once you know where to find the option. In Windows Explorer, select the files and folders that you want to archive and right-click on the selected area. In the right-click menu, open up the "Send to" sub-menu and click "Compressed (zipped) folder." Windows will compress and archive the selected content. You might want to change the name of the archive afterwards by selecting it, pressing F2 on your keyboard, typing the name and pressing Enter.

Using the features built in to Windows, there are some limitations. For example, you cannot choose the level of compression and you cannot span the archives over multiple files. Support is also limited to only a few file types whereas many popular compression formats such as RAR and 7ZIP require a third-party program to work with. If you find yourself needing some extra features, you will need to get a dedicated compression program. 7Zip is among the most popular, and it's also free.


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