One of the most fundamental aspects of working with digital craft, graphic design, and digital scrapbooking files is being able to unzip the files you download. Windows comes with it’s own ability to unzip files and there is no need to purchase any additional software to do so. Read on to find out how to zip and unzip zip files in Windows.

Creating and Extracting Zip Files
In digital craft, graphic design and digital scrapbooking there are many occasions where you might have to deal with creating and extracting (opening) zip files. Most graphics you download, whether you buy them or whether they are freebies come in zipped files. Zip files are normally a way of compressing files to keep down the size of them as well as keeping them together in a single file rather than several separate ones.

With graphic or image files, zips often don’t reduce the file size much, if at all, however they are a very good way of keeping a collection of files together to enable easier downloading and uploading on the web. Windows provides it’s own zipping facilities, but if you do not have Windows there are several zipping programs out there which you may be able to use instead. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will explain how to zip and extract files with Windows Explorer.

Extracting Zip Files
Firstly open Windows Explorer, go to Start> All Programs> Windows Explorer Locate the zip file you wish to extract the files from and right click on the file. From the menu that is displayed, choose Extract All.

Windows 10 Tip
If you are using Windows 10, you may alternatively choose to open Windows Explorer by clicking on the Cortana circle icon in the task bar and typing Windows Explorer into the search box. Click on Windows Explorer when it comes up in the search result to open Windows Explorer. 

NOTE: Double clicking on a zip file will show you what is inside the zip file but will not extract it’s contents. Extracting the contents is vital to prevent errors when using the files.

The Windows extraction wizard will open. Click on Next to continue and you will come to the window below.

 Here you can select a destination for the files to be extracted to. You can click browse to find a folder on your hard drive, or type the path of where you want the files to be extracted to. The default is a folder named the same as your zip file, usually in the folder the zip is contained in. If you are happy to have your files extracted to the default directory and folder, click on next to continue.

You zip file will begin to extract and display a progress bar as below.

This completes the extraction of your files, check the box next to ‘Show extracted files’ if you wish to have a window open showing the extracted files.

If you selected the ‘Show Extracted Files’ checkbox. A window explorer window will open at the location of your extracted files.

Creating a Zipped File
Firstly open Windows Explorer Start> All Programs> Windows Explorer Add all the files you wish to zip into a folder. Select the items that you wish to add to a zip by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking to select each file individually or click on the top of a list of files, hold down the shift key and click on the bottom file in a list of files.

Once your files are selected, right click on one of the files and choose, Send To> Compressed (Zipped) Folder

Your zipped file will appear among the files you zipped. Your zipped files are now ready to upload to the web, send to someone else or do what you will with!

This article is © Clikchic Designs 2007 All Rights Reserved Not to be reproduced without express written permission

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