To ZIP or not to ZIP

To ZIP or not to ZIP

Compress… Extract… What, why, and how?

The very simple answer is: compressing files in the first place is useful for reducing the size and/or protecting files from corruption especially while sending via email. Compressed files can be in formats such as ZIP or RAR. Extracting a compressed archive means copying the inclosed files into a regular folder to be able to deal with the files safely.

Short Story…

I am not sure if two hours or more were lost in communication between a translator and a PM because the PM could not open the files the translator sent by email. The PM told the translator: “I cannot open the files in the xxx format you sent by email; could you please resend them in the yyy format instead?” The translator answered “I am afraid I cannot because….” Several emails were sent back and forth.In the meanwhile, I kept telling the translator “Please just ZIP the xxx files and resend them to the PM; some file types could get corrupted if they are sent by email without archiving.”

However, it seemed as if no one believed that the solution could be simple like that. No one considered my advice for a while, and I told myself: “Well, maybe I did not get the issue and they know better.”

Suddenly, the PM sent an email saying: “Yes, now I can open the xxx files you sent in a ZIP archive – thanks, dear translator!”

Oh, really…?

Moral: ALWAYS ZIP your files before sending them via email in 3 simple steps:

1- Download and install WinRar at:
2- Select and right-click the files you need to archive; select “Add to archive…”
3- Under “Archive Format”, select the option “ZIP” (insetead of the default “RAR”), change the “Archive Name” if you like, and click “OK”.

Here you go! In the same folder, you can see the ZIP archive that you can now safely send by email.
Other popular free archive application is 7-Zip for Windows, and Zipeg for Mac.

Received a ZIP file…

When you receive a ZIP archive, make sure you right-click it and select “Extract” – do NOT work on the enclosed files without extracting the archive first as this can unintentionally lead to loss of data in some cases.

Enjoy safe archiving!


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