Mr. Bill's   AdventurelandHOME

How to Unzip Files Using WinZip

In the first 2 of the lessons in this series, you learned (1) How to Create and Rename Folders using Windows Explorer and (2) How to get Downloaded files into those Storage Folders, so that you always know where to look for them when you need the files that you have downloaded.

You need to know how to do both of those things to complete this lesson.  So if you haven't learned yet how to Create Folders or Rename Folders, then Click Here; and if you don't know how to Download files from email or websites, then Click Here; and learn both of these things first before beginning this lesson.

But sometimes the file that you downloaded or received via email comes to you Zipped.  You know that it is zipped when it has a .zip on the end of its name.  When you get a file like that, you have to Unzip It before you can use it.  In this lesson you will be learning how to Unzip (or Extract) one or more files from a single Zipped (or Compressed) file.

As our example, we will be Unzipping (Extracting) two Schizm saved game files from a zipped file named  These 2 saved games are Schizm.s04 (just after the first bridge puzzle) and Schizm.s09 (just after the second bridge puzzle).  These 2 bridge puzzles are on Matia Island in the game Schizm.

But before we begin this lesson, let's explain two things first:

1. Just What is a Zipped File Anyway?

A zipped file or files are just bigger files that have been reduced in size in order to save space.  It's like putting a couple of pillows into a huge zip lock plastic bag, and then squeezing out all of the air before sealing it.  They now take up less room in the car on the trip to visit the grandkids.  People zip files to save space on their computer and to make them easier for others to download or attach to emails (because they are a lot smaller when zipped).

But a zipped file is not useful to the computer, any more than the squashed, airless pillows in the zip lock bag are to sleep on.  For the pillows to be useful, you have to unzip the bag, remove them, and then fluff them back up again to fill them with air.  In the same way you must use a program like WinZip to unzip the Zipped file so that it becomes its bigger useful self once again.  Then the computer can use it.

For our example, I have zipped 2 saved game files (Schizm.s04 and Schizm.s09) together to make one file, which is smaller in size than either one of the original saved games.  Each saved game is 94.2 kilobytes (KB) in size, so both of them added together would be 188.4 KB.  But the zipped file that I call is only 83.1 KB in size.  Both saved game files are zipped together into a single zipped file that takes up less space than one normal (unzipped) Schizm saved game file!  Neat, isn't it?

2. Just What is WinZip?

WinZip is a Software Program created by the very clever people at WinZip Computing.  WinZip is shareware.  You may download and evaluate it without charge for 21 days.  If you continue to use it beyond the end of the 21-day evaluation period, you should register it.

WinZip will extract (remove) files from the zipped files that you have downloaded on the Internet or received in an email.  In other words, what it does is remove a copy of the original file in an uncompressed (or unzipped) condition, so that your program (such as a game) will be able to recognize it and use it.  Most programs that you use can't recognize or make use of files in a compressed or zipped state.

Of course WinZip can also be used to create zipped or compressed files, just like I did when I created the file.

I should point out that WinZip is not the only program available to unzip zipped files but, in my opinion, it is one of the best and easiest to use for the computer challenged (as well as for the computer literate).

So now let's begin the lesson by opening Windows Explorer (Click on Start, Programs, Windows Explorer).  If you need help opening and using Windows Explorer, please Click Here.

In the picture below Windows Explorer is open.  We can see the Schizm Folder that we created within the Saved Games Folder, which was created within the Catchall Folder on Drive (C:).  All of these folders were created in Lesson 1.

Note:  In order for you to be able to follow this lesson exactly, you will need to download the zipped file used in this lesson.  But first you need to create a new folder within the Schizm folder called Bridge Saves, as seen to the left of the arrow in the picture below.  Use Lesson 1 if you do not know how to do this.

Next let's create within the Bridge Saves folder another folder and name it Zipped, as seen in the next picture.  Now you will be able to download the zipped file into this newly created Zipped folder.

Click HERE to download a copy of the Zipped file needed for this lesson.  Be sure to download it into the folder that we named Zipped, which we created within the Bridge Saves folder.  If you do not know how to download a file into the appropriate folder, then use Lesson 2 to learn how.

If you were successful in downloading the file into the Zipped folder, then if you click on the folder named Zipped you should see (on the upper right-hand side) the file, as seen above the pointer in the picture below.

OK, we are now ready to learn how to use WinZip to unzip a zipped or compressed file.

First, double click on the file, as seen in the next picture.

How Do I Know if WinZip is On My Computer?

If you double click on the zipped file and WinZip does not open, then you probably don't have WinZip on your computer.  A window may come up instead asking you what program you want to use to open this file, and if it does, just cancel and then do what is indicated below.

OK, I Don't Have WinZip On My Computer.  What's Next?

If you don't have WinZip on your computer, you will have to download a copy and install it.  Not a problem.  You can handle it with a little coaching.  And the trial (or evaluation) version is free.

First create a folder named WinZip within your Catchall Folder.  Creating and naming folders was in Lesson 1.  Next click on this link to go to WinZip Computing, and when their page loads, click on where they say Download Evaluation Version.  Downloading was in Lesson 2.  Now download the winzip81.exe file into the WinZip folder that you created.

After you have finished downloading WinZip, get off the Internet and close any other programs that you may have opened.  Also close or disable your virus scanning program.  Then, using Windows Explorer, find the file winzip81.exe and double click on it.  The installation should automatically begin and all you have to do is follow the instructions.  Piece of cake.

OK, now that you know you have WinZip, let's continue the lesson.

When you Double Click on a zipped file (one with the .zip extension), it automatically opens the WinZip program (as seen in the next two pictures).

The next picture is the window that shows first if you have a Trial or Evaluation (unregistered) version of WinZip.  If your version has been registered, then this window will no longer pop up.  If it does pop up, then just click on the button that says I Agree.

The following picture is the first actual working window of WinZip that pops up.  It will automatically show what is in the zipped file that you double clicked on.  Notice (to the left of the red arrows) that the 2 saved games that are in the file are there.

Next we need to click on the Extract button, as seen in the next picture.

When you click on Extract, another window pops up (as seen in the next picture).  This window will help us place the 2 saved game files that we extract (or remove) from the file into any folder that we want them in.

Notice that above the red pointer on the left-hand side, some words are highlighted in the rectangular area ( s\Mr. Bill's Adventureland ).  On my computer, Mr. Bill's Adventureland is a folder within a My Documents folder that is on Drive (C:).  You also have a My Documents folder on Drive (C:).  The reason this shows in the rectangular area on my computer is because the last files that I extracted from a zipped file went into the Mr. Bill's Adventureland folder.  The program remembers that, and incorrectly assumes that I want to extract these saved games into the same folder.  This is a nice feature if you are going to be extracting lots of files into the same folder, but that is rarely the case.

Also notice the words Extract to:  that are on the left-hand side above the rectangular area.  So obviously this rectangular area shows us where our extracted files would go if we were to click on the extract button on the upper right-hand side of this picture right now.  And no matter what is showing in the rectangular area on your computer now, it is not where you want to put these saved games.  So first we have to tell WinZip where we want to put them.

So double click on Drive (C:), where you see the pointer in the following picture.

After you double click on (C:), notice (in the following picture above the red pointer) that C:\ is now showing in the rectangular area instead of what was there before.  Also notice that double clicking on Drive (C:) opens Drive (C:) (you can tell by the minus sign to the left of it) and shows all of the folders on Drive (C:), as seen below the green pointer.

Now move your pointer down to the Catchall folder (as seen in the next picture), and double click on it.

In the next picture, we see that by double clicking on the Catchall folder we have opened it (notice the little open folder icon), and now we can see the 2 folders within it that we created in Lesson 1.  Those 2 folders are Patches and Saved Games.

Also notice that the pathway C:\Catchall now shows in the rectangular area above the red pointer.  So if we were to hit the extract button now, the 2 saved games would go into the Catchall folder.  A pathway tells the computer where to go to do something.  This one says to extract the files into the Catchall folder on drive (C:), but this is still not where we want to put them.  So let's move our pointer down to and double click on the Saved Games folder (where you see the green pointer).

When we double click on and open the Saved Games folder, we see (in the following picture) that the Saved Games folder has only one folder within it, the Schizm folder.

Notice that above the red pointer we can see the pathway C:\Catchall\Saved Game, so if we were to hit the extract button now they would go into the Saved Games folder, but that is still not the folder that we want to put them into.

What the pathway actually says is the Saved Games folder, but notice that the last s on the word Games is hidden under the black triangle.  So obviously anything more that we add to this pathway will not be visible here.  We will have to look elsewhere from now on to see where WinZip will place our 2 saved game files when extracted.

Now let's move our pointer down to the Schizm folder (where the green pointer is), and double click on it.

In the picture below, we see that there has been no visible change in the rectangular area above the red pointer, although we know that when we double clicked on Schizm we added the Schizm folder to the pathway.  But we can tell where the saved games would go now by simply looking for the little yellow folder icon that is open.  The folder to the left of Schizm is open, so if we were to extract now that is where the saved games would go.  But once again, that is not the folder that we want to put them into.

Notice that there is only one folder within the Schizm folder.  That folder (just above the purple arrow) is the Bridge Saves folder that we just created in this lesson.  But also notice that we can't see the full name of the Bridge Saves folder.  At the bottom of this picture there is a yellow arrow on the scroll bar.  So let's do a Click and Drag on the scroll bar, from the left to the right, so that we can see the full name of our Bridge Saves folder.  Remember that Click and Drag means to click the left mouse button on the scroll bar and continue holding the button down while dragging the mouse (and therefore the Scroll Bar) to the right.

In the picture below we see that with the scroll bar all the way over to the right we can now see the full name of the Bridge Saves folder.  So now let's double click on the Bridge Saves folder, as seen at the green arrow.

Notice, in the next picture, that we can now see the Zipped folder within the Bridge Saves folder.  The Zipped folder is the folder that presently holds the zipped file,, from which we are going to extract the 2 saved game files.

Also notice, at the green arrow, that the little yellow folder icon to the left of Bridge Saves is now open.  We opened the Bridge Saves folder (and added it to our pathway) when we double clicked on it.  And Bridge Saves is the folder that we want to put our 2 saved games into.  Remember that when you extract files from a zipped file, they will go into whatever folder is shown as being open.  In this case, that is the Bridge Saves folder.

So it is finally time to click on the Extract button in the upper right-hand corner of the window, as seen in the next picture.

The two saved game files have now been extracted and are in our Bridge Saves folder.  We will soon check to see if we have done this correctly, but first we have to close WinZip.  This can be done in 2 ways.  As seen in the picture below, we can click on the X in the small square in the very upper right corner of this window where the pointer is located.  Notice that it says Close.

Or we can click on the word File in the upper left-hand corner of this window, as seen at the pointer in the picture below.

Then when the menu pops up (like the one in the picture below), we move the pointer (cursor) down to the choice Exit, and then click.

After WinZip closes we will be automatically returned to Windows Explorer, as seen in the next picture.

Notice (above the red arrow in the upper right-hand side) that our zipped file,, is still present within the Zipped folder.  Our zipped file was not destroyed in the process of extracting its files.  When we extract files from a zipped file, what actually happens is that we extract a copy of the files that are within the zipped (compressed file) file, while leaving the original zipped saved games still inside the zipped file.  So that means that if we goof and either lose or destroy a saved game, then we can always go back to the zipped file and extract another copy of its files.

Now we need to find out if we actually succeeded in extracting the 2 saved games from our zipped file and placing them into the Bridge Saves folder as we intended.  Click on the Bridge Saves folder where you see the Green Arrow in the lower left-hand side of the next picture.

In the final picture, we can now see the 2 saved games to the left of the red arrows.  So we did it!  Both the Schizm.s04 and Schizm.s09 saved games are in the Bridge Saves folder, unzipped and ready to use.  All you need to do now is to move them to where you want to use them (your Schizm game folder), as you learned in Lesson 3.

You have successfully completed Lesson 4

Mr. Bill's   Adventureland
Copyright  February 2002
All Rights Reserved