You just finished a big project presentation complete with photos, diagrams, infographics and more. You export it to your favorite file type. As you try to attach it to an email to your team you find your file type is too big to send!

This happens to nearly everyone at some point. Whether we’re sending a presentation, videos, photos, or any other large media type, they often need compression.

Fortunately, there are many great ways to create compressed files to quickly and safely send your work! With just a couple clicks you can compress your big project and send it on its way.

Compressed files aren’t only for sharing either. They’re a great way to store big files without taking up a lot of valuable storage space.

If you haven’t compressed your files before, now is the time to learn! Here’s everything you need to know about creating and storing different types of compressed files.

What Is a Compressed File?

Compressed files are file formats that contain one or more files or directories. The files inside a compressed file are smaller than their original size, allowing them to use less data and consume less space.The advantage with these types of files is they make downloading and uploading much faster. They also allow you to store more media on your computer or another data storage space. Other benefits include:

• Save time copying or moving files
• Send files faster
• Save money on cloud storage
• Save data space

The following compressed files are the most popular options available today:

ZIP Files

ZIP files are one of the most popular compressed file extensions. They first became available to the public in 1989 as a way to archive different folders and files.

Since then, ZIP evolved into a file format that software and tech companies could include in their utilities. Apple and Windows both allow you to quickly and efficiently create ZIP files without using a 3rd party app. When exported, your files should have .zip extension.

These ZIP files, or archives, can hold 1 or more different files and directories. You can compress the file to make it smaller and therefore more manageable. Most software will let your select this extension from the Export options.

ZIP compression is a great option for sending multiple files online or via email. You can create and open ZIP files simply by right-clicking on the file and selecting Compressed Zipped Folder or Extract All to unzip it.

When you’re learning how to compress files, you’ll most likely need a 3rd party app to facilitate the compression.

7Z Files

7Z archiving files allow for greater compression at a much higher ratio compared to traditional ZIP files. Based on an Open Source framework, 7Z files can use almost any encryption and compression. This file is a MIME type application application/x-7z-compressed.

Not all software applications have the option to export to 7Z files. You’ll need to download a software app like 7Z-ZIP to use and manipulate this file type. This software and similar options are available for public use.

A couple of advantages of this compressed file is it supports large file sizes and lets you use any type of compression method. You can compress file sizes up to 16 exbibytes! This compressed file is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to save storage space.

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To open a .7z file you’ll need to open the application and add the files you want to compress. You can compress the files by using 72-ZIP and extracting.

BZ2 Files

If you’re an avid Linux or UNIX system user, BZ2 compressed files will making compressing your files fast and easy. BZ2 files only compress 1 file at a time and not designed for archiving multiple directories or files. The advantage is it offers greater compression capabilities than other compressed files.

To decompress this file, you’ll need an application like WinZip to help. If you need to compress or archive more than 1 file, there are Linux-friendly options such as GZ and TAR files to help you.

RAR Files

RAR, which stands for Roshal ARchive, came to the computer world in 1995. This file format allows you to archive files with different compression methods. You can store your files in both compressed and full-sized file formats.

RAR files are most common for downloading software. This compressed file can also store images, videos, documents, and many more media types. There’s very little information loss making RAR files convenient and reliable.

RAR files are friendly with Apple, Windows, and Linux operating systems but you’ll need an app to help extract the RAR files. You can learn how to open rar files in a few simple steps!

GZ Gnu Zipped Archive

GZ files use a gzip compression app to compress files and directories. It’s most common with Linux and UNIX systems but Windows and MacOS users can access these files using WinZip. The GZIP program is the compression utility of choice included with Linux and Unix systems.

What’s unique about GZ compressed files is users can still access original file data after transferring the file. You may use GZ files to compress web page elements for faster page loading.

Unlike BZ2 files, GZ lets you compress and store more than 1 compressed file. This compression method adds the compression algorithm to the entire archive rather than on the individual files.

SITX Files

Stuffit is a software designed for compressing and archiving files. It started as a Macintosh application but is now available for Windows, Linux, and Sun Solaris systems.

This compressed file is a part of the Stuffit X archive format. The SITX file extension compresses up 20% more compared to standard Stuffit extensions.

The main benefits of SITX compressed files is they preserve most OS permissions, error correction, and long file names. It also supports password protection with encryption.

Start Using Compressed Files Today!

Compressed files make sharing and storing your large files, images, and media quick and easy. You can save valuable storage space and money on your cloud servers or on your computer. With so many compressed file options available, there’s sure to be one to fit your needs.

Learn more great tech tips to make your life easier in our latest Gadgets articles!

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.

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