WinZip : Java Glossary

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WinZip logo  WinZip
A program for compressing/decompressing data and storing it in a *.zip file. It will also work on jar and war files, though the WinZip people don’t officially support them. WinZip can decompress zip, jar, tar, gz, and tar.gz files.

The current version is 18.5 Last revised/verified: 2014-05-08 and the current version of the command line interface is 4.0 Last revised/verified: 2013-05-08.

Version 16 adds a hook to the commercial ZipSend aka WinZip Courier aka YouSendIt service for indirectly sending large email attachments, and the ZipShare service for sharing files on Facebook, a 64-bit version, new compression algorithms for images, and wiping of intermediate files for security. It also has a preview feature that runs in the background, chewing up CPU (Central Processing Unit) cycles so greedily everything else grinds to a halt. I have not yet discovered any benefit coming from this.

WinZip used to always have free upgrades. Now they sell upgrade assurance when you purchase your copy. Oddly when an upgrade comes out, you just download and use it. You don’t have to apply for a new product key. I presume the installer checks with their database to see if you are entitled to use the update without further payment.

How do you tell if you will need to buy a whole new version, an upgrade, or just install the new version without payment? Ask the magic 8-ball or visit their upgrade page. Be wary. One sort of upgrade automatically authorises automatic purchases of all future upgrades. The check-new-versions option on the help menu does not work. It only tells you about new micro versions. You can keep track of the latest version with Vercheck.

Now that the command line tool comes with the standard version, most users will find WinZip standard adequate at  $30.00 USD If you create zips, you will want the command line WZZIP add-on for the standard or pro package. The pro package is  $60.00 USD . This Feature Matrix will help you decide which version best suits your needs. Oddly though the command line features are bundled as part of the WinZip package\, you must download and install them separately. I gather the authors are still thinking in terms of saving every last byte transferred over dial-up access. You can try both before you buy. There is also a peculiar offer to give you WinZip free if you buy something unrelated to WinZip from one of their partners.

WinZip cannot compress with mp3 files, it just packs them as-is in the archive. It is not able to compress png files. It does almost no compression on Java-created zip files. It is very good at compressing html, about 90%, even when the HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) has been precompressed to remove excess white space. Icon files compress an astounding 98%. It can compress jpgs about 25%.

The main new feature of 12.1 is that files with proprietary WinZip compression algorithms are given the *.zipx extension to help you avoid sending them to people who do not have WinZip. It also handles files larger than 2 Gig.

The main new feature in WinZip 12.0 is JPG (Joint Photographic experts Group) compression. This is a proprietary WinZip extension. By default, WinZip uses a proprietary compression algorithm best for each extension type. Unfortunately, this means others without WinZip can’t unpack your zip files. It can’t handle all JPG files. I normalise ones it can’t compress by using PaintShop Pro to load the file and do a save as.

Winzip 18 evaluation version winzip165.exe then register your key with it if it has not done that automatically. It will automatically select the 32 or 64 bit version to install.
The new user interface with WinZip 15 is very confusing. The basic operations are camouflaged and the esoteric ones are up front and center. Hint, the Zip button means add and compress. I wrote them with several suggestions to fix it and they told me they were not going to do anything about it.
When you use any of the proprietary compression algorithms, your files will have a zipx extension rather than zip. This reminds you not to send them to people without WinZip.

The main new feature of WinZip 11.2 is Unicode filenames. Unfortunately, this is not part of the PKZip format, but a proprietary WinZip extension. Normally WinZip just stores in the local 8-bit code page encoding.

Other than stronger compression the advantage of WinZip over Java is the proprietary AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption. Pretty well only the government should be able to crack it.

WinZip is a standalone utility. The compression engine is not available to use in your own programs, though the WinZip people are thinking of offering it.

Unzipping Formats
Zipping Tips
Command Line User Interface
Including Links
Excluding

Using WinZip GUI (Graphic User Interface) to Unzip a *.zip

Here is how to unzip/unpack/decompress/fluff a *.zip file.
  1. Click File.
  2. Click Open Achive.
  3. Select the zip file you want to unpack.
  4. Click Open .
  5. You will now be able to see the files inside the zip and their directory names on the far right. Let’s assume you want to unpack them all into a directory tree.
  6. Click Extract.
  7. Select the directory where you want the tree of unpacked files to grow off of.
  8. Select All files/folders in archive.
  9. Uncheck Open Explorer Window.
  10. Check/uncheck Overwrite existing files. If in doubt, check yes.
  11. Uncheck Skip older files.
  12. Check use folder names.
  13. Click Extract.
  14. Click File.
  15. Click Exit.

Using WinZip GUI to Zip a directory tree

Here is how to zip/pack/compress/squeeze/archive your files to create a *.zip file.
  1. Click File.
  2. click New Achive.
  3. Select the name of the zip file you want create and the directory where you want to create it.
  4. Check Add Dialog.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Check Include subfolders.
  7. Check/uncheck Include full path info. If in doubt, check yes.
  8. Select Action : add (and replace) files.
  9. Select Compression : normal.
  10. Uncheck Encrypt Added Files.
  11. Uncheck Store files in 8.3 format.
  12. Uncheck Include only if attribute bit is set.
  13. Uncheck Reset archive attribute.
  14. Check Include System and hidden files.
  15. Click Add with wildcards.
  16. Examine the files to make sure you got the ones you wanted and they have the correct directory names.
  17. Click File.
  18. Click Exit.

Command Line Use

You can run WinZip from the command line as well with WZZIP.exe and WZUNZIP.exe using the optional command line download.

The switches are similar to PKZIP. The trickiest one is -P which includes more qualification of names inside the zip file. It includes the directory levels mentioned on the command line. If you use fully qualified names on the command line, you will get fully qualified names inside the zip. In contrast -p gives less qualification. It excludes the directory levels mentioned on the command line. Do a little experiment and try both and difference will become clear.

Starting with version 10.0 the command line utilities are an extra cost option. You need the professional edition.

Include Lists

If your command line gets too long, you can put the files and 
rem Here is a generic way to use WinZip, with auxiliary include list file.
rem -P will but all directory names mentioned in the list file in the zip,
rem but not the higher order stuff. Every directory and wildcard must
rem be explicitly mentioned in the list file.
rem -u means update.

WZZIP -Pu - E:\mindprod\zips\cmp1.zip \somedir @C:\env\forzip.list
You invoke them with an @forzip.list in addition to any other filenames or directories on the WZZIP command line. Unfortunately, there is no way to use something like a /S option inside you include file include all subdirectories. You have to use -r on the command line to apply to everything.

Exclude Lists

You can similarly create exclude lists of files. You invoke them with -x@C:\env\exclude.list on the WZZIP command line. Don’t forget the @. Your exclude lists can include * and ? wildcards. Wildcards are applied recursively to all subdirectories; non-wildcards 

Formats

WinZip can decompress the following formats:

Tips

User Interface

WinZip and its ancestor PkZip have never been particular user friendly. However, WinZip redesigned the user interface. I find the new one completely unusable. I wrote the following email to them to complain.

I just wish to express my anger and frustration at the new WinZip UI (User Interface). I have been using PKZip and WinZip since the DOS (Disk Operating System) days and I feel like a complete newbie with this new interface. I have managed by fluke to make it work on occasion, but when I come back it to it is just as opaque as ever. I have had to revert to command line just to make the fool thing work.

There is no way on earth I could ask anyone else to use it. Even if I knew what I was doing, I could not possibly talk someone through an operation over the phone. Operations have to be describable in words.

I have trouble with the GUI for even the simplest things like creating a zip or extracting the files from one.

The UI looks great but it is an abortion when it comes to garden variety operations.

Here are some things to fix:

  1. put hoverhelp/tooltips on every icon. The icons may be meaningful to you, but they are, at first, hieroglyphics to anyone else. It is not clear which are decorative and which are supposed to do something, particularly the big Zip icon on the left.
  2. Figure out what is bread and butter and what is fancy pants. Push the bread and butter to the fore and clear the decks of the fancy pants stuff so that there are not so many confusing choices presented at once.
  3. Put the basic things like create zip, update zip, extract zip on a pull down menu for simplified use.
  4. Whenever you pull up a frame displaying a list of files, in big letters explain what the user is supposed to do, e.g. select an archive, select members, name a new archive. Also explain what the user is looking at — the name of the ZIP whose contents are being displayed, or a directory on hard disk.
  5. the word Zip is a verb, but is also the name of the file format, and might even be considered a nickname for WinZip. I would make sure the word compress and decompress appeared in any hoverhelp to clarify when you mean the verb. I would use icons for compress and decompress that did not look exactly like your logo. It conjures up corporate logo, not operation.

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