Latest version of WinZip comes in handy when your OS compression programs fail

Latest version of WinZip comes in handy when your OS compression programs fail

By Michael Cheek

GCN Staff

Pesky .zip archive files pop up all the time. Although newer versions of Microsoft Windows can deal with ZIP archives, there's still a need for dedicated compression-decompression utilities.

WinZip, the de facto standard from WinZip Computing Inc., is now up to Version 8.0 in a long line of easy-to-use zipping utilities. Little is new, but the slight changes do make it more usable.

And it still fits on a single floppy disk. You can download it online in a full or a free evaluation version.

The biggest improvement is handling Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. If your e-mail server cannot decode MIME, such an attachment appears as alphanumeric gibberish. WinZip 8.0 can turn the gibberish back into a binary file.

Box Score

WinZip 8.0

Compression utility

WinZip Computing Inc.; Masfield Conn.

tel. 860-429-3539;

Price: $29, free downloadable upgrade

+ Easy to use and well integrated with Windows

+ Handles MIME attachments

Real-life requirements:

Win9x, NT or Win 2000, 3M of free storage

A minor improvement is animation while zipping or unzipping.

Besides ZIP, WinZip 8.0 supports compression and encoding formats such as UUencode, BinHex, CAB, TAR, GZIP and America Online Inc.'s version of MIME, known as MIM.

WinZip integrates into the right-click menu within Windows. It can create a .zip file, add content to an existing zipped file, or automatically compress the file and e-mail it.

The program's primary interface still looks pretty basic, opening a zipped file as if it were a folder. All contents remain compressed until they are extracted, or dragged outside the window.

A Wizard interface continues to step you through creation or extraction of zipped files.

If you're sending a compressed file to someone who does not have WinZip or a similar extraction utility, WinZip 8.0 lets you make a self-extracting executable file.

Multiple-seat licenses cost as little as $6 per seat, and there's still a version for Windows 3.1.

Zip on over to get this valuable utility.


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