Zipping Files

There are a few ways to do this. You can go to Windows Explorer and highlight a single file and then right-click and choose Add to (filename).zip from the menu. That will create a .zip file with the filename of the selected file. You can also choose Add to Zip in which case it will open WinZip at the Add to Archive dialogue and you can choose a filename and options. If you highlight multiple files, Add to Zip is the only option available (but it’s what you want anyway). If you are using another Zip tool, the right-click options may be labeled slightly different, but they are the same as the WinZip right-click options.

The other way to do this (this is how I would do it) is to open the WinZip (or Power Archiver) program and click the New button or from the File menu choose New Archive. You are then presented with a dialogue to browse for the destination and give it a filename (with the .zip extension). Do that, then click Open and another dialogue will pop up where you browse for and select the files you want to add to the archive. To select multiple files hold the Ctrl key as you click on them. Choose the option for Maximum Compression (might as well). Also, if you are including folders in the zip file make sure you select the option to Include Subfolders. If you want to preserve the entire folder structure including the folder that the files are in, check the box Save extra folder info. This means, the person unzipping the file will get the folder structure intact when they unzip it. (unless they uncheck the box in the unzip dialogue Use folder names). When you are finished, you will have a .zip file in the directory you created it. You should test it, simply double-click it and if it opens, it’s ok. If you really want to check it you can invoke the CRC check by choosing Test from the Action menu.

Create Self-Extracting Executable Files

What if the person you are sending the file to doesn’t have a ZIP utility? Then you can create a self-extracting executable file, in other words a program that will automatically extract the files when double-clicked or run. In order to do this, you have to first create a .zip file. After you have created it, you can immediately choose Make EXE File from the Action menu. When you do this, a dialogue pops up where you can choose the default extract to location (e.g. %temp% which would be their default temp directory or choose a directory name. The directory will get created for them if they go with the default options when they run it). They will have the option of choosing an alternate location so don’t worry. Alternatively, if you right-click on a .zip file in Windows Explorer you’ll see an option to create a self-extracting exe file. Either way, once the file is created you should test it by double-clicking it.


– Grogan –

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