Transporting and storing large files can be a hassle without the right archiving software. Windows’ built-in archiver is usually insufficient for compressing very large files, and extracting different types of archive files. In the past, you would have to download three to four different third party programs for maximum compression and extraction capabilities. Many of those programs came with high price tags, if you wanted to take advantage of all available features. 7-Zip is a free, full-featured archiver that quickly compresses files of almost any size and extracts files of almost any type.
What 7-zip Does Great
7-Zip uses its unique “7z” file format and high compression rate to efficiently compress large files, or groups of files, into archives, which can then be e-mailed or easily transported on a flash drive or CD-R. When compressing a file, you can add password security or self-extracting functionality to your archives, for safe and easy extraction. 7-Zip also extracts almost any other type of archive file, including *.zip, *.rar, *.cab, and *.iso files. You no longer need to install multiple programs to extract different file types; 7-Zip does it all.
7-zip Tips for New Users
To use 7-Zip to quickly extract all of your archive files, make sure you associate it with every available file type. You can do this by selecting “Options” from the “Tools” menu. On the “System” tab, click the “select all” button to select all file types, or click the check boxes next to the file types with which you would like 7-Zip to be associated. Once 7-Zip is associated with all archive file types, you will simply need to double-click a file to open 7-Zip and start extracting.
Where 7-zip Media Player Needs to Improve
While 7-Zip’s variety of compression options are great for experienced users, others may find them a bit overwhelming. Values like “compression method,” “dictionary size,” “word size” and “solid block size” are not self explanatory. 7-Zip would benefit from a compression wizard, similar to that of WinZip, providing more user-friendly options and defining the different parameters, so even novice users can take full advantage of the program’s capabilities.
7-Zip is a powerful, free program that makes compressing and extracting files faster and more efficient. Those with experience in file compression and extraction will find this program to be a convenient way to transport large files, and extract any type of file without installing multiple archive programs. Those with less experience may find the many options available in 7-Zip confusing, and would probably benefit more from a user-friendly program like WinZip, which includes wizards to walk you through the compression and extraction processes.
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