Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tip: Creating a .zip file of a subdirectory tree in Windows Explorer

You can quickly and easily create a .zip file containing the files and subfolders in a particular subdirectory tree in Windows XP by right-clicking the root folder of the subdirectory tree to be compressed in Explorer, and then selecting Send To | Compressed (zipped) Folder from the context menu that appears.

Windows Explorer: Send To | Compressed Folder

Doing this causes Explorer to create a .zip file with the contents of the subdirectory tree (with the same name as the name of the tree's root folder, plus a ".zip" extension), located in the same folder as the subdirectory tree's root folder. The files in the created .zip archive retain their full path information (so that the folder structure of the subdirectory tree will be retained when the archive is later uncompressed).

This technique is handy for doing things like compressing the subdirectory tree of a small development project's source code, in order to easily send the code (in the form of the created .zip file) to another machine. The technique is also nice because it doesn't require the use of any 3rd-party tools.

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