WinZip is an application for Microsoft Windows operating systems that allow you to compress and uncompress files. It supports several different compression formats like zip, gzip, TAR, UUEncode, XXencode, BinHex, and MIME. Many software companies distribute their software using the zip format. After you download one of these "zip" files you need WinZip to extract the files and install the program.

Obtaining WinZip

You need to download the proper version for your operating system. If you are running Windows 3.1x, you will need the 16-bit version. If you are running Windows 95/98, Windows NT 4.0, or Windows 2000, you will need the 32-bit version.

Installing WinZip

Open My Computer from the desktop and go to the directory where the file WinZip80.exe was downloaded. Double-left click on the file and the installation process will begin.

Accept the default and click on OK. Click on Next in the next dialog and accept the license agreement that then comes up by clicking on Yes. Click on the button labeled Next to proceed with the install.

Next, the install will provide a choice of Wizard mode or Classic mode. The wizard mode is best for first time users. It provides wizards to walk a user through the most common tasks. While the classic mode is more flexible but requires a better understanding of the software.

After choosing the mode, click on Next. WinZip can be easily changed from one mode to the other after installing the software.

Next, the install asks to choose Express setup or Custom setup. It is recommended to use the Express setup. This will install the program with the most common options. After selecting Express setup, click on the button labeled Next. It will now ask about file associations, it is recommended to click on the button labeled Next and keep the defaults.

WinZip is now installed on the computer. Click on the Finish button to exit the install program.

Starting to use WinZip in Wizard Mode

Once WinZip is installed, using it is quite easy. To open a downloaded zip file, first find it in either My Computer or Windows Explorer and double click on it. This will cause it to be opened in WinZip. Depending on which of the two modes were picked will determine how WinZip will appear.

If WinZip is installed in the wizard mode, you will be presented with a series of wizard dialogs to help extract the files. If the file contains install.exe or setup.exe, WinZip will help to install the application and clean up the temporary files after installation. To install an application using the Wizard mode, click on the button labeled Next and follow the dialogs. If you want to use the classic mode, click on the button labeled WinZip Classic.

Starting to use WinZip in Classic Mode

If WinZip is installed in the classic mode, when you double click on a file in My Computer or Windows Explorer a windows will open and it will display the files contained in the zip file. If the you wish to use the Wizard mode, click on the Wizard button at the top of the window.

To extract the files, click on the Extract button and a dialog will appear to request the location to extract to and several other options.

Unless you wish to extract only one file make sure that the All files is toggled, so that all files in the zip file will be extracted. Enter the directory where you want the files to be placed in the Extract to: field. If the directory does not exist, WinZip will create it. After entering this information, click on the Extract button and the files will be extracted to the specified directory.

Getting more help

More information about using WinZip is available from the programs internal help. If you are using classic mode, it can be accessed by clicking on the Help menu at the top of the application. If you are using the wizard mode, click on the Help button at the bottom of the window.

Exiting WinZip

To exit WinZip in classic mode, select Exit from the File menu located at the top left of the application. If you are using the wizard mode, click on the Close button at the bottom of the window.