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Winzip is perhaps the most popular software for file compression and decompression in the market.
The need to compress or decompress files is something usual when we makes use of a PC. In many cases we receive compressed files via email, or we downloaded it directly from the Internet. In other situations we need to compress a number of files and folders so they occupy less space. In all these cases it is useful to have a tool that facilitates these tasks.
Winzip was launched on the market for the first time in 1991, and in all these years it has been able to adapt to the new needs of the users and to the new versions of the Operating Systems (Windows and Mac).
Obviously, the main function of the program is the file compression and decompression, but the program is not limited only to this task, but also brings a series of functions that will help a lot to the main task of compressing and decompressing files.
When we create a compressed file we can choose the following options:
- Encrypt the generated file with password: with this option we will be able to set a password to the created zip file. We can choose the level of encryption, we can choose between 128 AES and 256 AES.
- Resize: if we mark this option, all the images that we add to the compressed file will be resized to the size we choose. Just will be scaled those images that are larger than the size of rescaling size that we have chosen.
- Convert to PDF: if we choose this option, the doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt and pptx files will be automatically converted to PDF format. Avoiding in this way to use a specific software to perform the task of converting these documents to PDF.
- Add watermark: with this option we can add a watermark automatically to the files added to the archive. The file formats that can be watermarked are: pdf, bmp, gif, jpg, png and tif. The water mark will consist of a text that we can configure choosing: the font type, the location within the document, and the transparency. We can also add the date and time of creation of the compressed file as a watermark.
A very interesting option is the possibility of compress files and save them in the cloud, or create a zip file with content from the cloud. That is to say, we can create a .zip file that contains the files located in dropbox. The supported cloud storage services are: box, CloudMe, DropBox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, SugarSync and ZipSend.
Once we have created the compressed file, there is the possibility to easily share it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. So we just need to configure the social networks accounts and the cloud file hosting provider. In this way, when we share a file, the program is responsible to upload it automatically to the cloud and generate the text to post on selected social networks.
There is the option to create backup copies of certain locations of the Operating System. For example, we can select “My Documents” folder, or the Outlook and WinMail e-mails, or the desktop to create a zip file with all desktop files and store it in a safe place.
This software comes with a number of tools that make it really useful:
- Creation of multipart files: this way we can split a large size zip file into several smaller parts.
- Create an auto extract file: it creates an .exe file that the end users can run on their PC This executable will extract automatically the compressed files in the selected location.
- Create UUEncode File: create an UUEncode text file, which can be pasted into an email and send it to any destination, even to those who do not accept binary e-mail.
- Diagnosis: test the compressed file for errors.
- Performance Analysis: this is a small tool that scans the PC for garbage files and errors in the system registry.
- Add-ons: the program supports plug-ins that allow us to use the Winzip main features directly in Office, Outlook and SharePoint. These plug-ins are paid.
As we can see the compression and decompression of files is something simple, and thanks to Winzip we will have a multitude of options to automate certain tasks associated with the file compression. At the beginning it is possible the we will not make use of all the options of Winzip, but as we use it, we will be able to understand all of the functionalities and use them to streamline and improve the process of compression and decompression.
Learn how to use the program is simple thanks to the context sensitive help that appear when we hover the cursor over any button or menu of the program.
The extensions supported by this program are: .zip. zipx. tar. gz. z. cab. rar. bz2. lzh. 7z. img. iso. xz.
The program is paid, and provides a 30 days free trial.