Product Type: WinZip Computing partitions utilities
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Everything you want in one small package!
Member Name: Wolfboy
Date: 27/06/04, updated on 27/06/04 (1227 review reads)
Advantages: Combines multiple files into one, quick downloads from sites, virus scanner and preview options
Disadvantages: viruses are easier to get through Zip files, you really dont know what your getting until you've got the file
WinZip is a handy program for windows that lets you combine several files into one file (Zipping) and remove them again (unzipping). The program made by WinZip Computing inc. is now used all over the Internet to provide a faster download of several files at once. It operates similar to an extractor program usually used to install programs to your computer.
The program comes with 2 interfaces to choose from Wizard or Classic. I will look at the Wizard type interface first.
When the program starts up in Wizard Interface mode you are greeted with a welcome to WinZip Wizard message. Below which it describes some of the wizard?s functions. The Wizard automates most of the common tasks involving Zip files including:
· Fast Access to Zip files in your Favourite Zip Folders
· Automatic Installation of Software distributed in Zip files
· Fast and easy zipping and unzipping
· Additional support for decoding MIM and UUE files
I don?t know what MIM and UUE files are so I?m going to ignore that one.
To the right side of the introduction window, beside the information there are 2 buttons, options and about.
Clicking on option will pop up a new window with 4 tabs. The first is your favourite zip folders tab. Here you can add and remove folders that contain your favourite zip files. This folder usually just fills up as your unzip more and more files. Mine currently has about 30 folders in it, which I will need to remove a bit later.
The second tab is the Other Zip folders tab, which give you 3 options concerning your favourite zip folders. If a folder you unzip from is not in your favourite folders WinZip will perform different action depending on what you
choose here. You can pick to have the folder added automatically, have the program prompt you or just to never add to your favourite zip folders. The middle one is recommended.
Tab 3 is where you enter your default unzip folder. This is where your file will end up if you do not specify a different folder to unzip to while unzipping. By default the folder is set to c:unzipped or similar.
The last tab is for miscellaneous information. Here you can choose which interface to start WinZip with next time you start up the program. Also you can choose to make the program WinZip 7.0 compatible, enable a desktop theme/screensaver installer and choose whether to add WinZip Quick Pick to the task bar.
The About button on the introduction screen will give you all the information about the company, the product info and contact info and also some ordering info and a register button. There is a button linking to their website and an FAQ at the bottom of the window.
Ok, lets get on with what the program actually does. Back at the Welcome screen there are 2 navigation buttons along the bottom for next and back. Clicking Next will bring up a screen asking what you want to do. You can choose to unzip a file, update a file or create a new file.
We will start of looking at unzipping a file. Clicking next make the program do a quick search of your favourite zip folders for zip files. Should your file not be there, there is a search button so you can find the file you want to Unzip. Once you have found it click next and you get the Unzip now screen. Here you can choose which folder to unzip your file to should you not want to unzip it to the default folder. Also you can choose optionally to display file icons after unzipping and overwrite matching files automatically. Finally clicking Unzip
Now will unzip your file into your chosen folder.
Next we will look at the update a file option. Clicking next will give you a screen like the one in the Unzip screen. WinZip searches your favourite zip folders for a file. If it does not find your file you can click the search button and search for the file yourself. Once you have found it hitting next will bring up the screen what you can add you files to the zip file. At the bottom of the screen there is 3 buttons. Once for adding a file, once for adding a folder and once to remove the files and folders you have chosen to add. Each file/folder you choose to add appears in a window above the buttons so you can check you have the files/folders you want. Once you done you can click Zip Now to add your chosen files/folders to the existing zip file.
Finally we will create a new Zip file. Clicking next and you will be given a screen where you can name your new Zip file. Or you can browse and find a file with the name you want to overwrite it. Next you will be given a screen similar to the one used in the modifying a Zip file screen where you can add files or folders or remove them. Once you are done you can hit Zip Now and the files/folders you have chosen will be copied into the Zip file of your chosen name.
Lastly the only other thing about WinZip in Wizard Interface mode there is always a help button at the bottom beside the back button, which will bring up your help files.
The Classic interface can do everything the Wizard can do except it is much more complex and can be more useful to. When you choose to open a WinZip file you can see which files are in the Zip File. There is a view file to preview files in the folder before you unzip. You can also run a virus scan on the files once you have set WinZip to do s
o. There is also an option to turn your Zip file into an EXE file. At the top right there is a button to change it back to Wizard Interface mode.
I don?t use Classic mode often though it is much more recommended than Wizard mode to prevent you getting viruses or unwanted images or other files.
Lastly there is a mini program called WinZip Quick Pick, which appears in you toolbar while running WinZip or at start-up depending on your preference. It allows you to gain quick easy access to WinZip by left clicking and some of your favourite Zip files and folders by right clicking. There is also an about section for WinZip Quick Pick which gives some technical info on it, though not as detailed as the version inside WinZip. Not that it would be needed to be.
In conclusion WinZip is a very useful product though mainly only for use for quicker downloads from websites. For use offline it can be used to transfer files in a more tidy state until your extract them from the Zip file. It also slightly compresses the files so the overall size is smaller. The only downside is viruses can more easily be transferred to your computer using Zip files though the in built virus scan can prevent that if you use the Classic Interface.
Note: this review is based on a free evaluation version of WinZip 8.1 I got a couple of years ago, and has been upgraded to version 9.0 since then.
You can check the site here: http://www.winzip.com/