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Adding Files to a Compressed Archive

Windows XP and later can add files to an archive file called a ZIP file. ZIP files have several advantages, including:

  • Several files can be added to a single ZIP file;

  • The files stored in the ZIP file are compressed and therefore smaller and quicker to transmit electronically or on a removable media;

  • The ZIP file contains integrity checking so if the ZIP file is damaged, this is brought to the users' attention, whereas when ordinary files are damaged, it is not easy to tell if they are corrupt. Files which extract without error from a ZIP file will be identical to when they were added; and

  • Email programs generally allow ZIP files but block other types, making them more useful for transmitting files via email.

To create a ZIP file:

  1. Highlight the files required in Windows Explorer. Use Shift-Click to highlight a contiguous selection of files, or Ctrl-Click to highlight non-contiguous files.

  2. Right-click and choose Send To, then Compressed (Zipped) Folder. (Note it can take a moment for the Send To menu to appear.)

    The files will then be compressed and added to the ZIP file. (The original files remain intact.)

  3. Rename the ZIP file as required. (The default filename is simply that of the first file selected for inclusion).

To check the contents of the ZIP file, double-click the file and Explorer will show the contents. It will also show a column containing the Ratio, which is how much smaller the file is within the archive in comparison to the original.

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