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Sharing WordPerfect Office Files with WinZip

By Laura Acklen

As the files that we share become more complex with the addition of digital pictures and other graphic elements, they also become larger and more difficult to send electronically. Internet providers imposed limits on file sizes and the number of files that can sent through their servers, a practice that continues today. Large files – digital pictures, in particular, should always be compressed before archiving to save space.

File compression utilities were developed to address the logistics of transmitting and storing large files. The most popular format is the Zip format, which compresses each file separately and stores the compressed files into a single Zip file.

When Corel acquired WinZip Computing in 2006, it was the world's leading compression utility with over 160 million downloads. In the past year, the product has been tightly integrated into WordPerfect Office, making it easier than ever to share and archive WordPerfect Office files.

Zip and Mail in One Click

By far, the quickest way to compress and e-mail a file is with the Zip and Mail command in the WordPerfect Office applications. The WinZip installation adds a WinZip command to the QuickMenu that appears in file management dialog boxes in WordPerfect (see Figure 1), Quattro Pro and Presentations. You'll also see these commands on the QuickMenu in Windows Explorer and My Computer.

The WinZip command is added to the file management QuickMenu when you install WinZip.

To zip and e-mail a file, right-click the file, then move the mouse pointer to the WinZip command to open the submenu. Click Zip and E-Mail . A new mail message window appears with the zip file attached –all you have to do is address the e-mail and add your message (see Figure 2).

If your e-mail program is MAPI-compliant, the Zip and E-Mail command will attach the zip file to an email message.

You may have noticed that there is also a Zip and E-Mail Plus command. This command is similar to the Zip and E-Mail command. The Zip and E-Mail Plus dialog box (see Figure 3) allows you to specify a name for the zip file and to add encryption if desired (see the section titled "Assigning a Password to a Zip File" for more information on encryption).

Use the Zip and E-Mail Plus command if you want to change the name of the zip file or add encryption.

Note: To select multiple files for zipping and e-mailing, simply click the first file, then hold down the Ctrl key as you select the other files. Right-click one of the selected files, highlight WinZip, then choose Zip and E-Mail (or Zip and E-Mail Plus).

Creating Zip Files

WinZip files can be created "manually" via the WordPerfect Office applications, Windows Explorer, My Computer, or through the WinZip application. In other words, you create the Zip file for later sharing or archiving. For new users, a WinZip Wizard is available to automate the entire process. Users familiar with the WinZip application will be able to use the same interface they are accustomed to.

To create a new Zip file from one of the WordPerfect Office applications, select one or more files in a file management dialog box, then right-click one of the selected files. Highlight the WinZip command on the QuickMenu to open the WinZip submenu, then click Add to Zipfile. The Add dialog box appears (see Figure 4).

The Add dialog gives you complete control over the zip file you create.

Using the options in the dialog box, you have complete control over the Zip file you are creating. The first step is to name the Zip file if you wish to use a different name from the one that is suggested in the Add to archive text box. If you want to save the Zip file in a different folder, choose New button to open the New Archive dialog box where you can browse to a different folder and give the Zip file a name. Alternately, you can open an existing Zip file and add this file to it with Open, which displays an Open Archive dialog box that you can use to browse for and select the existing Zip file.

Click Add to compress the selected file(s) into a Zip file to be stored under the name and location specified in the Add to archive text box.

Adding Files

The method described above works wonderfully when all of the files are in the same folder. However, when files are scattered among different folders and drives, you need a way to browse through your system and add the files as you find them.

The simplest way to do this is through drag-and-drop – with the WinZip window open and either a WordPerfect Office file management dialog box, the Windows Explorer window, or the My Computer window open, you can drag and drop files into the WinZip window.

Files on the desktop can be dragged and dropped into a WinZip window as well. Incidentally, you can also drag and drop files onto the WinZip icon on the desktop to initiate display the Add dialog box (refer to Figure 4) where you can create a Zip file.

Assigning a Password to Zip Files

To protect sensitive documents from unauthorized access, you can assign a password to the Zip file. If the Zip file falls into the wrong hands, they will not be able to extract the files without the password. WinZip 11.1 (the current release) employs two methods: AES encryption and Zip 2.0 encryption. AES stands for "Advanced Encryption Standard". This standard has been adopted by the National Institute of Standards (NIST) as a Federal Information Processing Standard.

AES is available in 2 strengths: 128-bit and 256-bit. The 256-bit encryption is stronger, while 128-bit is a bit faster. The standard was introduced in WinZip 9.0 and is not yet supported by all Zip utilities. For this reason and at this point in time, you will only be able to use AES encryption if the recipient has WinZip 9.0 or later installed.

The standard Zip 2.0 encryption will protect your files against casual users who do not have the password, but they will not hold up against individuals with access to sophisticated password recovery tools. So, why would you ever use Zip 2.0? If the recipient has an older version of WinZip, or a different Zip file utility, on their system. Also, if you plan to create a self-extracting file, Zip 2.0 is supported by the WinZip self-extractor applications that are included with WinZip (see the next section for more information).

Now, a brief word on passwords. The security of your files depends not only on the strength of the encryption method, but also on the strength of your password, including factors such as length and composition of the password, and the measures that you take to ensure that your password is not disclosed to unauthorized parties.

Generally speaking, longer passwords are better than short ones and passwords that have a combination of letters and numbers are harder to crack. You should definitely avoid using names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, etc. Encryption passwords can contain spaces and punctuation, so if it is easier for you to remember, create a short phrase to type in.

To encrypt a Zip file, enable the Encrypt added files check box in the Add dialog box (refer to Figure 4). When you choose Add to compress the files, you may see a WinZip Caution message box that states you should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the various encryption methods and there is a suggestion to read the help topics on the subject if this is the first time you've used encryption.

Choose OK to continue, then you'll see the Encrypt dialog box (see Figure 5). Type the password you want to use, then retype it on the second line. Select one of the encryption methods, then choose OK to encrypt the Zip file.

Click the Information on Encryption methods button for more information on the advantages and disadvantages of the different encryption methods.

Creating Self-Extracting ZIP Files

A self-extracting Zip file is an executable program file (.exe) that contains the Zip file plus a tiny part of the WinZip program that extracts the contents of the Zip file. Self-extracting Zip files are well suited for users who are either not familiar with WinZip files or don't have a Zip file utility installed on their system. This is a perfect solution for archiving and sharing files with inexperienced users. Note that when the recipient runs the .exe file, they will have an opportunity to specify the location for the extracted files before the "unzip" process begins.

There are two applications that you can use to create self-extracting Zip file: WinZip Self-Extractor and WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition. The Personal Edition is included with WinZip under the terms of the WinZip license agreement. The full edition is a companion product to WinZip and provides additional functionality such as the ability to customize a software installation.

To create self-extracting Zip file, you must first create the Zip file. With the Zip file open in the WinZip window, choose Action > Make .Exe file.The WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition dialog box appears (see Figure 6).

Use the WinZip companion products to create a self-extracting zip file.

First, verify the name of the zip file that you are using in the Create self-extracting Zip file from: box. Specify a folder in the Default "Unzip To" folder box if you want to extract the files to a specific folder on the recipient's system.

Spanning support is only used if you are concerned that the size of the zip file you are creating could be too large to be stored on a floppy diskette. Choose OK to create the self-extracting Zip file. The .Exe file that you create is stored in the same folder as the original Zip file.

Using the Outlook Companion

WinZip's Companion for Outlook makes it easy for users of Microsoft Outlook to zip and encrypt attachments when sending messages. From WordPerfect, a simple File > Send To> Mail Recipient opens an Outlook email window where an Outlook Companion message asks you if you want to zip the attachment. From there, you can address the email and send your message.

The Companion can be configured to automatically zip your attachments, ask whether or not you want them zipped, or let you zip and attach files manually with just a few mouse clicks. WinZip Companion for Outlook works with Microsoft Outlook 2000, Outlook 2002, and Outlook 2003, but does not work with Outlook Express. See this page for more information on the Outlook Companion Support Information and Requirements.

Outlook users routinely archive their .PST files on a regular basis so they can preserve their old email messages. Zipping attachments greatly reduces the amount of space that these email messages take up, so compressing attachments saves space for the sender and the recipient.

WinZip vs WinZip Pro

The Professional version of WinZip offers some pretty cool advantages, such as being able to burn directly to a CD or DVD. Combine that with the ability to schedule WinZip jobs and you could setup up WinZip to make backup copies of all your important files, place them in a Zip file and burn it to a CD, every night, without fail.

The Professional version also allows you to schedule FTP uploads for off-site storage. A WinZip job can be even be created to zip up and email certain files on a regular basis. This feature might be used to save backup files off-site, or to distribute weekly reports.

Take a look at this comparison table to find out which version of WinZip is for you.