How to Send To a Compressed (Zipped) Folder

How to Send To a Compressed (Zipped) Folder, or How to Create a Zip File

If you are looking for one handy trick in Windows that you can use over and over again for millions of different things, look no further than the “Zip” file. A zip file (.zip extension) is quite simply a single file that contains other files. Think of it like a folder that you “zip up”. I try to explain this in my classes as a manila filing folder that you fill with paperwork, then staple shut (or Zip shut). All of the files are there, and they can’t fall out or be used until you “unzip” the folder.

Another aspect to Zip files is that they can sometimes be compressed. Think of this like deflating all of the air out of a beach ball before putting it in the trunk. It will still arrive and be able to be inflated to the same size, but it takes up less space getting to the beach.

When you compress a zip file, you remove all of the extra space that exists. So you have a second advantage. Not only can you carry multiple files inside just one file, but they also take up less space and get around much faster.

The most common use for this tool is sending e-mails that contain pictures. And the great news is: Windows has a built-in utility for zipping files. First, locate the photos that you want to zip. In this case, I’m zipping photos that are on the desktop:

Pictures you want to Zip

Select the images by either Control-clicking them, or drawing a selection rectangle around them:

Select JPG files

Now right click on one of the blue, selected images. A pop-up menu comes up. One of the choices is called “Send To”. When you hover over this choice on the menu, another menu pops out that have the option “Compress (zipped) folder”. Click Compress (zipped) folder:

Send To Compressed Zipped Folder

Your zip file will be instantly created in the same place as your photos. It is typically given the name of the last file in the selection, though it can be named after other files in the selection. So in this case, the last file was “Violet Joy Birth Announcement.jpg” so my zip file is automatically called “Violet Joy Birth”:

Zip File

And you’re done. Now you can attach this in an e-mail or upload it to the web for photo printing! Want to see what it is like to receive a zip file in an e-mail? Click the zip file below to download a zip file of all of the photos used in this tutorial:

Zip File of Tutorial Pictures 92kb