A free, open-source compression utility that competes with PkZip, WinZip and WinRar. It’s key claim to fame is its own super-compressing algorithm. Unfortunately, if you use it, other utilities won’t be able to unzip your files. It works in W98, Me, NT, W2K, XP, W2003, Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32 and W8-64 and also 64-bit Windows.
Packing/unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR (Tape Archive),
ZIP and WIM
Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB (Cabinet file), CHM (Compiled Hypertext Markup language help file), CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT (File Allocation Table), HFS (Hierarchical File System), ISO (International Standards Organisation), LZH, LZMA (Lempel—Ziv—Markov chain Algorithm), MBR (Master Boot Record), MSI, NSIS, NTFS (New Technology File System), RAR (Roshal Archive), RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), SquashFS, UDF (Universal Disk Format), VHD, WIM, XAR and Z.
7-zip is the simplest and most intuitive of the compression utilities I tried. To prepare an archive, you select the file or directory you want to compress and hit + Then it shows you a dialog where you can override the name of the archive to add it to and choose how strong you want the compression. You can browse inside all the archives as if they were ordinary directories.
To extract a file or directory, you navigate to it and hit - for extract. you then specify the target just as if the were an ordinary copy. The scheme neatly sidesteps all the nonsense about full, partial and relative archive names. You include the files you intend on the first try and when you extract them, they go exactly where you expect them to.
You can also control it from the command line with commands very much like you use for PKZIP of WZZip.
The author, Igor Pavlov, is a Russian. He has versions in 14 languages.
This utility beat all the others in compactness of the archives produced and ease of use. I think it is time we started offering downloads in *.7z format at least as an option.
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