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General Information

Overview

A Zip file is a popular data compression and archival format. Files can be grouped together and compressed down to a smaller size for easier distribution and storage. Zip files, once compressed, will have a ".zip" file extension.

Common Zip utility programs

There are many different programs that allow you to compress, extract, and manage your Zip files.

Mac OS 10.3 and later, Windows XP, and most Linux distributions have built in Zip support and do not require additional programs.

Zip Utilities

Zipping a File

Create a Zip file in Windows

Zipping files in Windows XP:

  1. Open "My Computer" and navigate to the file(s) you wish compress.
  2. Highlight the file(s) you wish to compress.
  3. Right-click on the selected file(s).
  4. Under "Send To," click Compressed (zipped) Folder.
    screenshot of right-click menu
The compressed file should now appear in the same folder and will have the same name as the original, but with a .zip suffix.

Create a Zip file in Mac OS X (10.5 - Leopard)

Zipping files in Mac OS X (10.5 - Leopard):

  1. Open "Finder" and navigate to the file(s) you wish compress.
  2. Highlight the file(s) you wish to compress.
  3. Control-click or right-click on the selected file(s).
  4. Select "Create Archive of filename."
    screenshot of control-click menu
The compressed file should now appear in the same folder and will have the same name as the original, but with a .zip suffix.

Create a Zip file in Mac OS X (10 - 10.4)

Zipping files in Mac OS X (10 - 10.4):

  1. Open "Finder" and navigate to the file(s) you wish compress.
  2. Highlight the file(s) you wish to compress.
  3. Control-click or right-click on the selected file(s).
  4. Select "Compress filename."
    screenshot of control-click menu
The compressed file should now appear in the same folder and will have the same name as the original, but with a .zip suffix.

Create a Zip file in Linux

Zipping files in Linux:

  1. Open a shell prompt.
  2. Enter the following:
    zip -r filename.zip filedir
The files contained within filedir should now be compressed into a file with the name filename.zip and appear in the filedir directory.

Unzipping a File

Extract a Zip file in Windows XP

Unzipping files in Windows XP:

  1. Open "My Computer" and navigate to the Zip file you wish unzip.
  2. Select the file you wish to unzip.
  3. Right-click on the selected file(s).
  4. Click Extract All...
    screenshot of right-click menu
  5. Click Next in the "Folder Extraction Wizard."
  6. Enter the folder in which you wish to extract the files.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Click Finish.
The files contained within the Zip file should now be unzipped into the folder you specified.

Extract a Zip file in Mac OS X

Unzipping files in Mac OS X:

  1. Open "Finder" and navigate to the Zip file you wish to unzip.
  2. Double-click the file you wish to unzip.
The files contained within the Zip file should now be automatically unzipped into the same folder as the original Zip file.

Extract a Zip file in Linux

Unzipping files in Linux:

  1. Open a shell prompt.
  2. Enter the following:
    unzip filename.zip
The files contained within filename.zip should now be unzipped into the directory where filename.zip is located.