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PeaZip online help, zip unzip tutorial

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Online PeaZip tutorial

This quick tutorial is a basic online user's guide for PeaZip free file archiver supporting over 200 archive formats.
From PeaZip application, it is possible to access, pressing F1 key, to a minimal offline localized tutorial covering basic topics and guide to most common functions.
This tutorial page can be reached, from PeaZip, pressing Shift+F1, and FAQ section can be accessed pressing Ctrl+F1.
Additional information can be found in online help file (.pdf), that can be downloaded for off-line help, and on Frequently Asked Questions pages, in form of single topic question/answer articles - the help file is also featured in the application's installable and portable packages for offline usage (pressing Alt+F1 to open the PDF help file within PeaZip application); the online version is always up to date with latest PeaZip release.

Change language

From Options  > Localization you can select the application's language double clicking the appropriate language file.
This changes the language of main application's texts: to learn more about how to translate system's menu, and to provide or improve a translation, please read PeaZip Translations page.

How to use PeaZip file manager and archive browser

PeaZip free zip / unzip utility is available for Linux, macOS, and MS Windows both as installable package and as natively portable application so it can be used from removable flash drives, or remote units, without needing installation.

PeaZip file / archive browser

Application's title shows information on the current archive, the application's status bar gives more detailed information on selected and displayed content.
Form Organize menu it is possible to customize or hide any of the application bars, i.e:
- navigation bar (Ctrl+Shift+2) can be hidden (Ctrl+Shift+1) or display a simple tree (Ctrl+Shift+3)
- status bar (Ctrl+Alt+1) can be hidden (Ctrl+Alt+0) expanded to display more information (Ctrl+Alt+2) or to show bookmarks (Ctrl+Alt+3), history (Ctrl+Alt+4), recent archives (Ctrl+Alt+5) or clipboard (Ctrl+Alt+6).
Organize > Applications allows to set association with custom programs and scripts to open / scan files inside archives or in the file system (i.e. custom file viewers, virus scanners etc).

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On the top of the app's window, the tool bar contains file compression and archive extraction related functions, and "..." Style button (on the right) providing quick UI customization settings.
Please note, on the right of “Extract” button, an arrow shows a menu with functions to directly extract all the content of the archive to most common destinations without further interaction with extraction confirmation interface
  • In the upper area are listed most common extraction operations: extract all to, allowing to select output directory (CTrl+E or F12), extract all here (Ctrl+Alt+E), extract all to desktop (Ctrl+Shift+E), extract all to documents (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E), extract to 1..3° bookmarked paths (if defined), and extract to default extraction path (if defined). Only first, second and third bookmarks are shown as quick extraction destination to not clutter the menu, but bookmarks 1..8 are all accessible with keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+1..8. Ctrl+0 extracts to previous path.
  • In the lower area it is possible to set most common extraction options: extract to new folder, naming policy (only for formats supported through 7z frontend), open output path after the task completes, set default extraction path.
Address bar contains navigation and search controls. It features a bredcrumb (which shows highlighted in-archive nodes for maximum ease of use), and a quick navigation menu (arrow button on the left of address bar): a similar menu for quick path's selection is available to set output path in extraction and compression interfaces (see below).

On the left, navigation bar shows most common filesystem's paths (desktop, documents, downloads etc) and user defined bookmarks; it can be switched to a classic directory tree, a list of PeaZip zipper / unzipper functions by name, or hidden (Organize > Navigation bar).

PeaZip context menu

PeaZip's context menu shows archive management features in the top area: compress, decompress (unzip / unrar...), test, set password...
In “Open with…” area it is possible to force opening the input file as it is an archive, and to open selected files and folders (in filesystem as well inside archives) with favourite programs, scan with antivirus/antimalware etc; custom applications can be set in Options > Settings > Open with...
In "File manager" submenu are featured mass rename, secure file deletion, copy, move, rename and create new folder functions; its "File tools" submenu allows to find duplicate files and to calculate checksum or hash of selected/displayed files.
The application's context menu features other useful functions, like add objects to PeaZip's bookmarks, explore paths with system's file manager, open command prompt in the current path etc...

Set password

In the status bar, in the bottom area of the application, the padlock icon allows to set password to browse and extract encrypted archives.

Drag & Drop

PeaZip free file archiver supports standard Windows drag and drop extraction, and provides oprimized drag and drop extraction that can drag from application to system without writing data to system's temp directory: this allows the software to complete the operation even if there is not enough free space in system's unit, it doubles the speed if data is being dropped to a different disk or partition, and it is intrinsically more secure as no data is written outside the intended destination.
Drag from app to system can be used both for extraction form archives and for robust file copy.
PeaZip also accepts drag and drop from system to application, to add files to archive (new or existing) or to add one or more archives to extraction list.

Preview files with PeaZip

Double clicking on a file in archive open it as preview; if the file is changed PeaZip will ask to update the archive with the newer version of the file - if archive extension is known as supported for this this operation.

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PeaZip's file manager can optionally show supported image thumbnails (JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, BMP), without caching; the option can be set in Organize (main menu) or changing file browser's style from "..." Style menu in the tool bar - pre set styles features details, list and large icon modes.

Integrate PeaZip with system's context menu

PeaZip's entries in system's context menu: menu's entries and file association in Windows are set by setup package, it can be used any time it is needed without needing to unistall the application first.
Starting from Microsoft Windows 7 the menu items are sorted in a cascaded submenu with icons, since W7 introduces a new registry method to create cascaded menus which is now recommended over COM methods.
During installation all of the entries in context menu can be skipped and can be created in SendTo submenu if preferred.
The SendTo entries are link files created in SendTo system folder which, assuming C as system's disk, is located in C:\Documents and Settings\(username)\SendTo (Windows XP) or C:\Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo (Vista/7), it is possible to simply copy the desired SendTo links from one user to another.

Archive files and folders & convert existing archives

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File archiving / Conversion interface: rightclick on the file list to show context menu to further edit the list of files and folders to be archived, and other options.
"Output" area allows to select output path, archiving format, compression level, and to span files in multiple volumes - useful in order to keep output size below a mandatory maximum size, i.e. for e-mail attachments.
The padlock icon shows if encryption password is set and allows to set/change/remove it.
In file archiving interface it is featured "Convert existing archives" option, to extract existing archives before file compression stage - i.e. to convert RAR files to 7Z or ZIP format.
This option, used with "Add each object to a separate archive" option enabled, performs a mass conversion of listed archives to the desired format; otherwise, with the option disabled, archive conversion is meant to consolidate input data in a single archive, improving data compression performances because it allows recompression of the original data from its uncompressed form.
Advanced format specific file compression features are available in "Advanced" tab,  "Console" and "Schedule" tab can be used to fine tune the task definition or to save and schedule the task as a script.
  • Full supported (read/write, convert to) archive formats: 7z, FreeArc's arc/wrc, sfx (as 7z and arc self extracting archives), bz2, gz, paq/lpaq/zpaq, pea, quad/balz/bcm, rar (if WinRar is installed in the system), split, tar, upx, wim, zip / zipx
Read more about how to add files to a new archive or how to compress each file into a separate archive.

Extract archive files

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Extraction interface: rightclick on the file list to show context menu to further edit the list of files and folders to be extracted (decompressed), and other options.
Editable extraction list allows to partially extract data from the archive, extract all, or to extract from multiple archives at once, even of mixed types - e.g. unrar all RAR archives while unzipping all ZIP archives in the list in a single pass.
The padlock icon shows if password is set and allows to set/change/remove it.
It is possible to set the policy in case of conflict with existing files: skip (default), overwrite, rename existing files, rename extracted files, or to ask interactively (in backend process' console).
Extract then move to destination switch supersedes naming conflict policy, and uses standard system's dialogs to interactively ask to users whether to overwrite existing files or not.
This type of interactive extraction allows more natural behavior for extraction tasks for the typical workflow of a desktop user, but policy method is preferable when it is needed to run unatteded extraction tasks (the action to take in case of existing files is already defined at the beginning of the task), and when it is needed to export task definition as console script.
While performing a partial extraction of content from an archive, it is featured a link to switch to full archive extraction, on the top of the list of objects listed for extraction.
Advanced format specific extraction features are available in "Advanced" tab, "Console" and "Schedule" tab can be used to fine tune the task definition or to save and schedule the task as a script.

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  • Read-only (open, browse, extract, list, test) supported archive formats: 7z, apk, bz2, gz, tar, zip, zipx, arj, cab, chm, cpio, deb, lzh, lha, rar, rpm, z, iso, Java (jar, ear, war), pet, pup, pak, xpi, wim, u3p, lzma86, lzma, udf, Apple's dmg, hfs, xz, exe, dll, sys, msi, Open Office / Libre Office (ods, ots, odm, oth, oxt, odb, odf, odg, otg, odp, otp, odt, ott), Microsoft Office containers (doc, dot, xls, xlt, ppt, pps, pot, docx, dotx, xlsx, xltx), Flash (swf, flv), quad, balz, bcm, zpaq, paq and lpaq families, ace [trough UNACE Plugin], arc, wrc, 001, pea, cbz... (and more, 200+ types supported)
Lern more about how to extract (multiple) archives at once, and how to extract selected content from archive.

Export and schedule scripts for archiving and extraction operations

From Console tab, featured in file archiving / conversion and extraction UIs, it is possible to transform the task defined in the GUI interface into a command line script that can be edited (independently from the task definition in the GUI frontend), clicking on the “Click to import…” label.
If the task definition is changed in the GUI the same label can be used to refresh the task definition.
In extraction interface the “Click to import…” label  can be rightclicked to modify the command line for operating on all, displayed or selected objects, if partial extraction (unzip, unrar, untar...) of content is supported for the current archive type (7z, arc, rar, tar, zip…).
The task definition script can be edited, launched for testing, or saved as a text file for future use, i.e. study, scripting, analysis etc.
By default, PeaZip prompts to save script in its “Saved scripts” folder (unique for each user) that can be opened from Tools in main menu.

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Schedule tab, featured in archiving / conversion and extraction UIs only on Vista and newer systems, is meant to help creating, in a single pass, a schedule to run the script (i.e. backup and restore, etc) generated from the task defined in the GUI interface.
The schedule is identified by an unique, editable name, which is used also as file name for the saved scheduled script.
“Manage saved scheduled scripts” opens PeaZip’s Saved scheduled scripts folder so script files can be edited to modify the task definition (what does the task do), copied, deleted etc.
“Task Scheduler, manage tasks saved in PeaZip branch” opens system’s Task Scheduler, PeaZip’s tasks are collected in PeaZip subfolder of scheduled tasks library (tree on the left of Task Scheduler window).
From system Task Scheduler it is possible to manage PeaZip’s scheduled tasks, i.e. for fine tuning the schedule (when does the task run), or deleting obsolete tasks.
Schedule dropdown menu allows to set the schedule on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly base, or once, starting at specified start time.
Optionally, it can be provided different user/password for running the task.

Advanced use

PeaZip free zip / unzip app, on Linux, and BSD systems supporting multiple desktop environments and widgetsets, is a desktop neutral utility and as long as the needed libraries are installed (GTK2 or Qt, and ia32-libs on 64 bit systems) it can be used on KDE, Gnome or other desktop environments.

PeaZip software is developed with Lazarus/Freepascal, which supports a wider range of systems and widgetsets (including BSD and Darwin / macOS systems), if you are interested in porting the application check for the sources on download page.
PeaZip is a desktop neutral program by design, and it is distributed on app's domain as generic Linux packages not targeted to a specific distribution: it is meant to run on as many as possible distributions/versions, and on multiple desktop environments.
It is recommended you check your distribution's repository to find if a specific package fitting your needs at best has ben released by distribution maintainers.

Please note that ia32-libs are required to run PeaZip and any 32 bit binary on 64 bit Linux/BSD systems.

PeaZip is a fully modular software due to its frontend/backend architecture, so any backend binary can be independently replaced with alternative versions (i.e. 64 bit versions) as long as the same syntax is supported.
This design allows also to easily export tasks defined in the GUI as command lines, to be used for future iterations of the same task, or for learning purpose, or to fine tune the operation beyiond the scope and limits of the graphical interface.

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PeaZip can be integrated in context menus of KDE and Gnome; all resources to manually integrate portable version of the program, or enhance installable version's integration, can be found in FreeDesktop_integration folder in program's path.
Instructions refers to a generic Linux system, but can be applied on same desktop managers under BSD systems. Please note that different distributions and different flavours of BSD may differ in some default system's paths.
Nautilus scripts: manually copy 'Archiving' folder, which is contained in 'nautilus-scripts', to your user's profile '.gnome2/nautilus-scripts' folder; that folder is hidden, so you can either find it flagging 'View>Show hidden files' in Nautilus, or clicking on 'Scripts>Open scripts folder' in Gnome's context menu.
Konqueror (KDE 3.x) service menu (.desktop files):  copy .desktop files from "kde3-konqueror" folder to (kde directory) /share/apps/konqueror/servicemenus. Please note that KDE directory may vary from distribution to distribution (or can even be customized by the user at KDE installation); /opt/kde3 is usually a common place for installing KDE and is used, in example, in Suse and OpenSuse. The (kde directory) is specified in $KDEDIR in environment variable and can be overridden by $KDEDIRS.
This integration is automatically performed by the installer.
Dolphin (KDE 4.x) service menu: copy .desktop files from "kde4-dolphin" to /usr/share/kde4/services/ServiceMenus/. Please note that some distribution may use different paths. This integration is automatically performed by the installer.
If the Qt version does not start on some systems, as some system's visual styles may cause recursive repainting error, you can fix the problem starting it in a console (or script) as: peazip -style=cleanlooks

Synopsis: PeaZip online help. How to zip / unzip files online tutorial. Change application's language, open archives with PeaZip file manager / archive browser, create new archives compressing files and folders, convert existing archives, extract single and multiple archives, work with batch compression and decompression scripts. PeaZip free rar zip software user guide. Online zip unzip application manual.

Topics: PeaZip online help, change app language, create archives, extract files, scripting, advanced use

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