‘The XYZ’s’ of Compressed Folders: Xamine Your Zipper

FI-Log-On-With-Larry-SchneiderDear Larry,

Is there any way I can attach a folder to an e-mail message instead of just one or more files?

I. R.

Dear I. R.,

Yes indeed. And by doing so, you can also attach a folder containing other files and other folders if you wish.

The trick to accomplishing this is to create what’s known as a “compressed folder.” To create a compressed folder on the desktop, right-click a blank portion of the desktop, then left-click New, Compressed Folder. Then type in the name you want to assign the folder and press Enter.

If you want to create a compressed folder in another folder-such as your Documents folder-right-click a blank (white) portion of that folder, then left-click New, Compressed Folder and type in a name. You’ll notice that the icon for this new object is a folder with a zipper on it. I’ll explain why below.

Now that you have a new compressed folder, it’s time to drop in the folder(s) and file(s) you want to attach to your e-mail. There are two ways to do this. First, you can simply drag and drop other folder and file icons on top of this compressed folder (in which case they will be copied to the new folder). Alternatively, right-click a folder or file icon that you want to copy to the compressed folder, then left-click Copy.

Next, right-click the compressed folder itself and left-click Paste.

Once the compressed folder contains the necessary files and folders, start your e-mail program and create a new mail message. When you’re ready, click Attach and browse to the location of the compressed folder you created.

For example, let’s say I created a compressed folder called Test on my desktop and copied some files and folders into it. I would browse to my desktop folder by clicking the Desktop icon in the browse window. There I would find the file Test.zip, which I would then attach to my e-mail message.

That’s right. The compressed folder is in fact a single “zip” file masquerading as a folder.

A zip file is a special file that contains compressed versions of other files and folders. The best part is, depending on the type of files you’ve copied into the compressed folder, the resulting zip file might on average take up half the space of the material within it. That’s a good thing, because when you’re e-mailing an attachment, you want to keep the size of the message as small as possible as a courtesy to the recipient as well as all other e-mail users in the world!

Once you’ve finished sending your e-mail message, you might want to delete the compressed folder (aka “zip file”) from your computer. After all, it’s just a copy of other files and folders that exist elsewhere on your system!

This is Larry Schneider, logging off.


Larry Schneider is the owner of Accent on Computers, a Greenwich-based consulting firm catering to individuals, businesses and professional offices. Services include computer setup, training, troubleshooting, virus resolution, networking, Internet, database and programming. Call 625-7575, Accentoncomputers.com, or send e-mail to [email protected] 

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