Preview and open Self-Extracting Archive Files with Bandizip

September 13, 2011    |    Ghacks Technology News « News / Review list

There are many different archive managers that have been reviewed all over the Internet. They are all loaded with features but some lack the ability to create self-extracting EXE file archives. This article examines a freeware archive manager that not only creates self-extracting EXE files but also displays archive contents in the right-click context menu prior to extraction. Bandizip is a useful archive manager which allows a comprehensive preview of the files inside any given archive. This application does not break international characters or archived files when displaying Unicode characters in non-English characters. The right-click context menu supports this. Bandizip features drag and drop support and high speed archiving. The high speed archiving feature is supported by the Unicode file system. Non-English characters and encrypted characters are displayed properly without breaking the characters of the archived files. This is accomplished by skipping files which are resistant to compression.

Download Bandizip from this link:

Follow the prompts for setup. Similar to other archiving software, Bandizip can be associated with various supported file types. The file associations that are supported are demonstrated in the following screenshot.

Check the boxes appropriate to the files types that you wish to archive. These can be opened easily via double-click or the Open button in the main interface. This will display all folders and sub-folders and files in compressed archives. You can specify the location and create a new archive. Starting from the main interface, select New Archive and then add the files to be archived.

Check the box next to “Create Self-Extracting file” and then click Start. This initiates the creation of a compressed file which can then be extracted to any chosen location. For this demonstration, the self-extracting file was sent to the desktop for convenience, but the file can be saved in any location.

You will need to select an extraction path. Create a new folder in any chosen file location and that will be the destination for the extraction path. Here we create a folder on the desktop. Now the file can be opened. Regardless of the saved file location, double-click the selected file to open it. This may seem obvious, but for the sake of clear instruction, this directive is included.

The file is completely self-extracting. All the .JPG flies are there as actual pictures instead of a list of .JPG files. This is very useful when compiling specific files into one self-extracting file. You may have a business presentation that involves a mix of .JPG, .MP3, .PPT, and .DOCX files. These can all be compiled into a single folder with Bandizip and the presentation can be streamlined. You can use this mixed file to create a slideshow or quickly highlight specific files without having to open a new utility for each different file type. This makes compiling and extracting file batches easy. All you have to do is point and click, drag and drop, and then open the file.

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