Free zip program - zip and unzip utility for windows by Ken Ward. This free program can be downloaded and freely used and distributed. This page contains information on how to use Zipper. The links below (bottom row) also contain information on how to us the free zip program. This page is more graphical.

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How to use the free zip program -
Ken Ward's Zipper

Topics on this page.

  1. Zipper's Unzip a File Screen
  2. Zipper's Main Menu: Files Items
  3. Unzipping files
  4. Popup Menus
  5. Popup Menus
  6. Zipping Files
  7. Zip Screen
  8. Add All Files
  9. Add Selected Files
  10. Saving a list of files
  11. How to Zip Files so they extract into Particular Directories
  12. Zip Repair
  13. Create an EXE file
  14. Uninstalling Zipper

The free zip program opens in unzip mode. If you have zipped or unzipped a program previously, your previous zip program will be loaded here and the contents will be shown. The directory box (on the left of the program will be set to the directory of your previous zip file, if any. (Note: what this screen looks like on your computer, depends on your system ... the picture below was on XP)



free zip program - Ken Ward's zip and unzip utility - for windows

[Free zip program - Zipper Home Page][Screen Shot]

bluelinenew.gif (2930 bytes)

Below this directory is a list of files (Files in Current Directory) the sole purpose of which is to allow you to see what is in your selected directory.

When you first start the free zip program, the directory will be the default directory, and the box on the left, named 'Files in current zip file', will be empty (because you haven't loaded a zip file!). Afterwards, Zipper will load the last zip file. In the picture above, Zipper has loaded the zip file ''.

Various buttons and menus in the free zip program will be disabled for logical reasons that they have nothing to do at a particular moment. This helps to guide you to the first actions to take.with the free zip program

One button that will always be enabled in Ken Ward's free zip program, is the one that opens an existing zip file (openExistingZip.gif (1067 bytes)). You can click on this button (at first this will be the only button you can click on) or choose from the main menu - File: Open a File to Unzip.

Zipper's Main Menu: Files Items mainMenuFiles.gif (5604 bytes)

Why not open a file somewhere and load it into the free zip program, Zipper - it won't unzip or anything - it will only load and Zipper will read it.

If the zip file has any files, they will appear in the big box on the right called 'Files in Current Zip File'. Also the size of the zip file loaded in the free zip program and its uncompressed size will be shown in the boxes in the same panel. The sizes are in bits. These boxes will give you an idea of the size of the files when they are unzipped. In fact, the size will be somewhat larger than shown, because all files require additional space (They are stored in units and all of the unit might not be used).

Probably the most useful feature here are the directories to which the files will be unzipped by Ken Ward's free zip program. These will be new directories (if there are any) created below the current directory. You can see from looking at the list whether you can safely unzip into the current directory (because the program will create sub-directories) or whether you need to create a new directory to keep the unzipped files together.

Unzipping files

When you first open a zip file in Ken Ward's Zipper, you will see the files in the zip file previewed in Zipper. You can choose whether you want to unzip all, some or none of these files.

Double-click on the directory box on the left in the zip program to go to the directory where you want to unzip your files. In the top picture, the selected directory is "jsEditorTutorial", so if you were to unzip now, the files would be unzipped into this directory.

FilesCurrentZip.gif (6689 bytes)

In the picture above, you can see that the selected files will be unzipped into a subdirectory called JSEDIT96. So they will go into the directory "c:\...\jsEditorTutorial\JSEDIT96\". That is, they would go into the selected directory on you computer (shown in red) and in a subdirectory (JSEDIT96). You can see the subdirectory in the "Relative Path" box above.

When you have done so, Zipper, Ken Ward's free zip program, will unzip the files in the zip file into that directory when you select Actions: 'Unzip All Files in Zip File'. The "Relative Path" box shows the sub-directory where your zipped files will be extracted. You may notice than some files will go into JSEDIT96 and others will go into "JSEDIT96\data". They will be in a subdirectory of "c:\...\jsEditorTutorial\", which is the one you chose above.

If you have not selected any files in the list of files, then the "Unzip All" menu item, or button () will be the only unzip button enabled.

Select one or more files in the 'Files in Current Zip File' box and a new menu item will be enabled in the Actions Menu (and the corresponding button will also activate). You can now choose Actions: 'Unzip Selected Files', because now there are some selected files to unzip.

Also the Action Menu item 'Delete Selected Files' and the corresponding button (deleteSelectedFiles.gif (999 bytes)) in the free zip program will be active, because there are now some selected files, so you have the option of deleting them. Normally you will only do this with a zip file that you have created yourself because once this file is deleted (or files) then they are gone forever! (You can always extract the files you want and leave the others ... just in case!)

So now, you have more options because you have loaded a zip file and have selected some files. When you use Ken Ward's free zip program, you can choose whether to unzip all of the files or just selected files into the directory you have chosen in the directory box.

destinationDirectory.gif (3723 bytes)

You unzip all the files into the directory shown in the panel on the left, or just the selected ones by clicking on the appropriate buttons, Menu Items, or Popup Menu Items. This is the final action after you have opened a zip file and chosen your destination directory. If you do not choose a destination directory, the files will be unzipped into whichever directory is current.

Previewing Files in a Zip File

You can preview files in a zip by double clicking on the file. Your default viewer (or handler) will activate the file so you can preview it before installation.

Popup Menus

You can often use popup menus to do the tasks done by the Main Menu or by the Buttons. Right clicking - to open popup menus on the files or directory boxes will give you the option of updating the file list or opening the file operations dialogue to delete files or to create new directories for your unzipped files.

Popup Menu
popup.gif (3556 bytes)

Actually, you can often delete files or remove items from the list by pressing the Delete Button (on your keyboard).

Zipping Files

You may already noticed the tabs on the top left of the program named Zip and Unzip. The Unzip tab will be pressed when you are in Unzip Mode. You can click the Zip tab to go to the Make a Zip File screen.

The name of the currently loaded zip file will remain the same when you change tabs. So after being in the Zip screen, when you click the Unzip tab, the same file name will be shown and this file will be opened. So after zipping files, you just click on the Unzip tab and the file is read, giving you a list of files in the zip file.

Back to zipping files ...

The zip file screen is divided into three main columns:

The Zip Screen looks different from the Unzip Screen.

Zip Screen

zipScreen.gif (11355 bytes)

In the Unzip Screen, the Files in Directory box was not important. In this screen it is, because you select the files you want to zip from this box. So it is bigger than before. The popup menu is shown, and the item "Add Selected Files to List" has already been pressed. So the selected files in the "Files in Directory" box have been added to the "Files to zip" box. Certain buttons that were previously disabled are now enabled because they have some possible function to perform:

Add All Files ...

At first, at most one button will be enabled. If there are any files in the current directory, then the 'Add All Files' button and corresponding menu items will be enabled. Also the popup menu for the Files box (middle column) will have this item enabled. You can therefore add all the files in the current directory to the list of files to zip. You can, of course, move to other directories and add the files to the list of files to zip. At this stage, you are just making a list and are not zipping anything yet.

You can also drag and drop the files.

Add Selected Files

Of course, if no files are selected, then you cannot add selected files! But as soon as one or more files are selected in the current directory, then the Menu Item to add selected files (Edit: Add Selected Files) becomes enabled, as do the corresponding buttons and popup menu items.

You therefore have the choice of adding the selected files to the list of files to zip or all of the files in the current directory. The remove selected files from the list isn't enabled, because no file in the list is selected.

When you have one or more files to zip, then you can:

If you wish to remove one or more files from the list of files, then you can use the popup menu or press the delete key on your keyboard to delete the selected files from the list. This doesn't delete any files - only remove them from the list. However, deleting files in the Files Box will move them to the recycle bin.

So to zip files, you need to have at least one file in the list of files to zip and then choose whether you want to add the files to a new zip, the current zip or an existing zip, and then press the appropriate buttons or use the menu items, or the popup menu. When you click on a particular button - new, current or existing zip - then a new zip is created (you need to tell the program the name of existing file or the name of a new file).

The zip utility will make a message box that will say that so-many files were zipped out of so-many selected for zipping. Sometimes, all the files will not be zipped. This occurs when the files already exist in the zip file. If you wish to change a file in the zip file, then delete the file first. You can do this by going to the Unzip screen and selecting the unwanted files or file, and pressing the delete key, or using one of the other methods (popup menu, Main Menu, etc). You can then go to the Zip screen and add the replacement files.

Saving a list of files

zipFilesToZip.jpg (7700 Byte)

The above partial screenshot is from the zip window of zipper. The popup menu shows four options, which are only enabled (as above) when there is something for them to do.

  1. "Delete Selected Items in List", deletes any selected items in the list (but not, of course, the files themselves!).
  2. The next item is more drastic, and "Clear Files in List" clears the list of files for zipping (but not the actual files).
  3. The second two items enable you to save and retrieve a list of files. For example, if you have made a list of files for zipping, you can save the list by clicking on "Save List of Files". An open dialog appears, and you add your name for the list, and follow the procedure.
  4. If you have previously saved a list of files and you wish to reload it, say to make slight modifications or additions, then you can use "Load a List of Files" and you can search for your saved list. This option is always enabled, but you can only load a list of files if you have previously saved one!

How to Zip Files so they extract into Particular Directories (Not the ones they are currently in)

Explaining this is much, much more difficult than actually doing it.

Zipper always extracts the files into their original directories, so if you wish to zip them and have them extract into particular directories, then you need to create the directory structure before you zip the files.

For example ....

If I make a zip file for "10Percent.htm", which on my computer is in "c:/ken/" then the file in the zip file will look like this:

relativeNon.jpg (10275 Byte)

You can see that the file has been compressed, with its directories, so when it is unzipped it will appear in long list of directories below the directory into which it has been unzipped.

So, if I unzip it into "c:/ken/", it will appear in:


However, if you select the directory above "c:/ken/", in my case, "c:/ken/", the file will be zipped as follows (zip screen):

relativeYesZip.jpg (15960 Byte)

Note that the upper directory has been selected in the box near "RelDir". This time when I make the zip, it looks like this:

relativeYesUnZip.jpg (13392 Byte)

That is, by choosing a relative directory above the one containing the files, the files will be zipped in their directory, in this case, "MindDev/". So, wherever the files are unzipped on the computer, they will appear in a new directory "MindDev" below the one they are unzipped in. So, if the file is unzipped in the "c:" directory, it will appear as:


In summary...

If you put nothing in the relative directories box, your files will be unzipped keeping all the directories on your computer.

If you put the same directory which contains your files in the relative directories box, then the files will be unzipped into the directory they are unzipped into (keeping any subdirectories).

If you put the directory above the one containing your files into the relative directory box, then the files will be unzipped in their present directory.

And if you put a lower directory in the relative directories box, then Zipper will revert to using the directory structure on the computer where they are unzipped. (Doing this is not recommended).

Zip Repair

In the Unzip screen, you can use Zip Repair for zip files that may be incomplete or damaged. Normally, if the zip file is a program, then you will want to download another copy, but sometimes you might want to try and rescue some files from a zip archive.

When you click on the appropriate button (the ambulance) or the Menu Item - File: Fix Zip File - the Fix Zip program will try to get as many files from the zip as it can, and save them to a new zip file.

You must first open the incomplete zip in the Unzip screen (it will probably show no files), and enter a new name, when prompted for a zip file that includes the files that have been rescued. Ensure you also enter the '.zip' for the file. This new file will then open in the Unzip screen displaying any files it has rescued.

Create an EXE file (self extracting zip file)

As Zipper is free, there is little point in having an EXE file, but you can create an exe file in a similar manner to creating a zip file. The only difference is that you will choose the Action Item: Make an EXE File, after you have added files to the list. You can also click on the appropriate button (the watch). Ken Ward's free zip program is easy to use, and free!

How to Uninstall

To remove the Ken Ward's Zipper program that is installed on your computer, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add or Remove Programs.
  2. In the Currently Installed Programs box, click Ken Ward's Zipper and then click Remove.