How to compress a file

Level of difficulty: Easy

File compression is an extremely important area while sending, transferring and storing data. Often, relevant storage needs to be exponentially increased to include data documents, movie and music files and utility files like PowerPoint and Excel presentations and programs. These files could then be transferred via mail, stored within the hard disk or carried in USB flash drives.

Materials Needed:
- Specialized software
Step 1
Among the many compression programs available and widely used today, programs like WinZip and WinRAR are extremely popular and user-friendly. Any person could install WinZip after downloading it from a reputed site, or buying it from a retail store. After successful installation, the program needs to be opened. Clicking the ‘New’ icon would generate a window that displays all folders in your disk. Among the displayed folders, the folder that is supposed to store the compressed file (target folder) is selected. There, WinZip creates a stack-file called ‘archive’ that needs to be named and saved by user.
Step 2
After returning to the primary WinZip window, click on the files you want compressed from the ‘Add’ window. Select these requisite files from the folders in the explorer window and select the mode of compression. At the compression window, one could select the level of compression ranging from Normal, Fast, Superfast to Maximum. This depends on the size of the file that you would want to keep in storage. Generally, the fastest methods take the least time, but also facilitate the lowest compression ratio. For extra security, one could also opt for providing a separate password. After archiving thus, one should click on ‘Add’ box to return to the main WinZip window. The file is now compressed properly and added to the requisite location.
Step 3
WinRAR is also great for archiving and compression purposes. Using similar navigation methods, one should initiate the program. WinRAR would produce a default folder explorer window, from where one must go to the desired folder (or create one) for file archiving. Adding files and selecting compression methods is similar to that of WinZip. However, if one is unsure about the nature of his archiving needs, one should go for the default compression format (i.e. WinRAR). While compression, both the programs would generate a progress window that tracks the compression procedure and the speed of compression. During the process, the user might also cancel/ prematurely terminate the process anytime using the ‘Cancel’ tab. Other programs that also facilitate file compression include 7-Zip and NXPowerLite (Desktop Edition).