As you may already know, an archive file is a file that contains other files. You can think of an archive as a suitcase full of stuff that you can unpack when needed. I’m guessing that there are 20 or 30 common archive types out there, and Windows only knows how to open up a couple of them.
So what can you do when you run into an archive type you aren’t familiar with? You’ll need to get yourself a good flexible archive manager. Fortunately there are several free archive managers out there and many of them are up to the job.
I previously used 7-zip which works fine but is a little clunky looking and has a quirky interface. One day, I ran into a free portable app named IZArc2Go and I’ve been using it ever since. It works exactly as I expected it to work and it also has a nice looking face. The only extraordinary thing about it is the number of file types that it supports. I can pretty much count on almost never running into an archive I can’t handle with IZArc.
IZArc supports the following archive types:
7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BZ2, BZA, CAB, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MBF, MIM, PAK, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, ZOO
It also supports opening the following CD/DVD image formats:
ISO, BIN, MDF, NRG, IMG, C2D, PDI, CDI
Here are a few of the features of IZArc:
- · Create archives
- · Add files
- · Delete files
- · Extract files
- · Test files
- · Repair archives
- · Search for files in multiple archives
- · Favorite Folders
- · Full Drag & Drop of files/folders
- · Open file with the program associated to that file type
- · CheckOut feature
- · Create a self-extracting archive
- · Antivirus scanner option
- · Excellent help file on F1 key
- · 16 custom sets of buttons for a little variety on toolbar
IZArc2Go can be downloaded from the home page. One minor beef I have with this program is the fact that the portable version is only offered in an installer. I’d much rather see it offered as a ZIP file.
After launching the installer you’ve downloaded, you’ll soon see why the author has placed this freebie in an installer package. He’s decided that he’d like to get a little payoff. There’s an offer to install some sponsored software in there. I have no problem with that and you shouldn’t either. Just make sure you decide whether or not you want the offered software and move on.
Once you start using IZArc, I think you’ll agree with me when I say that it’s a pleasure to use.
Do you have any questions about archives or ideas you’d like to share? Be sure to add a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you.