How to zip a file


I have it

As the first thing, we should describe what zipping is and why we usualy need to zip a file or files. In short, zipping is process which compresses an original file into smaller zip file. You can imagine zipping as packing your clothes (original files) into one "space bag" (zip file). When you suck the air out of the bag, whole pack will be compressed and smaller after this procedure. Similarly for the files. When you zip a file, you will save (copy of) that file(s) compressed into one smaller zip file.

We can continue with previous example. The tool, which help you to suck air out of bag is hoover. And the tool for zipping of the file is any zip utility. There are number of such utilities. We will use the utility 7-Zip, because it's extremely easy and open source software without any fees. If you have not 7-Zip installed yet, you can install it in a while with our previous How to install 7-Zip guide. In the next step I will suppose, you have 7-Zip installed.

1Find files for zipping

I have it

As the first thing, you need to find files given for the zipping. The simplest way for exploring your files is to double click on "My Computer" icon on your Desktop. Another way is to open Windows Explorer (Start > Programs > Accessories). After opening you will see the filesystem structure of the folders and files in your computer. There should be something like Desktop, My Computer, Documents, C:\ etc. Now you need to find your files for zipping in this tree of the files. If you have not special folder for saving your data, your working files are usually saved in "Documents" folder. Just go to Documents folder and find the files for zipping. Do you have it? Great! Just look at next step.

2Selecting files for zipping

I have it

Now you need to select all of the files you want to zip. If you want to zip only one file, just one click on that file. Selected file is usually marked with the white filename text on the dark (blue) background.

If you want to zip more of the files to the one zip file, you need to select all these files by clicking on one by one file while you have pressed Ctrl key on your keyboard. If you want to select continual list of the files (just files from the first to the last file), you need to press Shift key on your keyboard, then click on the first file you want to select and then click on the last file you want to select (with Shift key still pressed). So all the files between first and last will be selected too. Ok. Let's try it! It's easy, isn't it? Now you should have selected one or more files you want to zip.

Tip: You can select the whole folders too. The folder will be compressed with all the files in this folder too.

3Zip it!

I have it

If you have selected right files for zipping, you need to run something like "Zip it!" command now. How to do it? It's simple. Just right click on one of the selected files (no matter which one) and in the appeared menu click on 7-Zip > Add to "" where instead of "xxx" is the original name of the first file (ok, it no matters, what there is before .zip). Now 7-Zip will zip all the selected files into one zip file. This new file will appear after zipping process in the same folder where your original files are. Woala! This new file with the .zip extension is your "zip" with all original files inside! You have it!

Now, for your info, you can compare the size of the zip file and the size of all original uncompressed files. Wow, zip file is smaller, so sending via e-mail will be faster, because there is smaller amount of the data to transfer!

It's done! Congratulations!