Professional Photography for a Positive First Impression

Working with ZIP Files

It has come to my attention that many folks have not worked with “Zip” files and are not sure how to manage the photographs I have provided for them. This is a tutorial on how to simply manage these files:

A “zip” file is nothing more than a regular computer folder that has been compressed because of size and/or simplicity matters. It is much easier to download one file than 15 – 30 individual files, and if they are all mashed together they take less disc space, making them faster to send across the wires.

It is a simple process to manage these files. First you must download the zip file to a convenient place on your hard drive – click the below link – it should open your browser and ask what you would like to do with the file:

If you are using Internet Explorer, you will have three options:

     Open, Save, and Save As.

Usually, the convenient place to save a file is not where IE thinks you want it saved. You do want to save the file so you don’t have to download it again. Knowing these two things there is just one option to choose – Save As.

A box will open with the file name in the bottom and folders on the left pane. My IE defaults to the Downloads folder, but when I want to work with a file I just download it to my Desktop for ease of access. Click on “Desktop” in the left-hand pane, then click the Save button at the bottom.

You should see a message at the bottom of the browser that says “The download has completed” with some more choices. I usually just minimize my browser and find the zip file on the desktop. You will notice the folder Practice has a zipper on it, so you know at a glance that it is your zip file. To work with the files inside it, those files must be extracted. There are several ways to do this, many which will make a big mess for you to have to clean up later. The simplest way to extract them is to right-click on the zip file and choose “Extract All”. The Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders dialog will appear and offer to extract them to a folder on your desktop called “Practice” (in this case – that will be different with different zip files). Click the Extract button. You will subsequently have a folder on the desktop called “Practice” – you will see that there is no zipper on it, so this is an uncompressed folder and all the files inside the original zip file are in it, ready to be worked with. This is where you will choose what photos you want to use for your marketing, and upload to Craigslist or other sites and to make brochures or what ever else you might want to do with them. Delete the zip file, you have what you need and you don’t want to extract it again – it will just make more files with the same name, numbered differently and confuse things. You can zip up the files again if you want to save them compressed somewhere else on your computer (highly recommended).

Ok, I know that seems like a lot, so I will break it down into steps that you can follow every time:

1. Click on download in e-mail.

2. Choose “Save As”

3. Click “Desktop” in left pane, then click “Save”

4. Minimize your browser, go to the desktop to find the zipped folder. Right-click it and choose “Extract All…”

5. Click the Extract button

6. Delete zip file.

7. Work with photos.

To store them somewhere else when you are done working on them:

Open the folder with the photos you want to store. Click one time on the first one to select it. Hold Ctrl key and press “A” one time. All items in the folder will be selected.

Right-click on any selected file (make sure you don’t somehow deselect all the files – if you do, return to the previous step) and hover over “Send To…” – click on “Compressed (zipped) Folder”. Shortly a zipped folder called “Practice-1″ (or some other number) will appear in the folder. I usually change the name to eliminate the number, but it is not imperative. Now you can move that zipped folder anywhere you want for storage.

Once you have saved your zipped folder elsewhere, you can close your window and click on the Practice folder on your desktop and delete it, keeping your desktop clean.

Computer tip:

**** If you leave a lot of files on your desktop, your computer will soon slow to a crawl when booting up. It is best to keep the desktop clear of extraneous files and folders. Links to files and folders do not take as long to load, so they are a better option. ****

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