What does it mean for a file to be compressed?

File compression is used to reduce the file size of one or more files. When a file or a group of files is compressed, the resulting "archive" often takes up 50% to 90% less disk space than the original file(s). Common types of file compression include Zip, Gzip, RAR, StuffIt, and 7z compression.
A.

What is the purpose of a compressed file?

File compression is a process of "packaging" a file (or files) to use less disk space. Compression software allows you to take many files and compress them into one file, which is smaller than the combined size of the originals.
  • Why do we need compression?

    Data compression is a reduction in the number of bits needed to represent data. Compressing data can save storage capacity, speed up file transfer, and decrease costs for storage hardware and network bandwidth.
  • What does compressing a file do?

    Data compression. In signal processing, data compression, source coding, or bit-rate reduction involves encoding information using fewer bits than the original representation. Compression can be either lossy or lossless. Lossless compression reduces bits by identifying and eliminating statistical redundancy.
  • What is meant by lossy compression?

    In information technology, lossy compression or irreversible compression is the class of data encoding methods that uses inexact approximations and partial data discarding to represent the content. These techniques are used to reduce data size for storage, handling, and transmitting content.
B.

Why would you use a ZIP file?

The Zip format is the most popular compression format used in the Windows environment, and WinZip is the most popular compression utility. Zip files compress data and therefore save time and space and make downloading software and transferring e-mail attachments faster.
  • How does a compressed file work?

    No information is lost, just as the name lossless implies. Programs like WinZip are based on lossless compression. They remove this redundant information when you compress (or “zip”) the file and restore it when you uncompress (or “unzip”). In the image world, PNG files also use lossless compression.
  • What is a ZIP file used for?

    Zip files make it easy to keep related files together and make transporting, e-mailing, downloading and storing data and software faster and more efficient. The Zip format is the most popular compression format used in the Windows environment, and WinZip is the most popular compression utility.
  • How do you create a zip file?

    Zip Files Using the Send To Menu
    1. Select the file(s) and/or folder(s) you want to compress.
    2. Right-click on the file or folder (or group of files or folders), then point to Send to and select Compressed (zipped) folder.
    3. Name the ZIP file.

Updated: 2nd October 2019

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