"How to" Guideline series is coordinated by Helen Mongan-Rallis of the Education Department at the University of Minnesota Duluth. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions to improve these guidelines please me at e-mail hrallis@d.umn.edu.

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To compress files for downloading off the web:

Go to Version Tracker (http://www.versiontracker.com/) and do a search for maczip. This will locate Mac Zip which is a program for Macs that compresses files from a Mac (but the files can be dowloaded on any computer). Maczip is freewware (which means you download it free)

For Windows users, go to cnet.com --> click on dowloads --> do a search for winzip -- --> download. WinZip is shareware, which means you can try it and if you like it, you send money to the person. (It costs $29).

Once you have it:

You have a file or folder (containing other files) which you want to upload to your web page and have them set up so that when users click on them, the file or folder is downloaded to their computer in a compressed form (not needed for PDF files). You use this for files that you want to make small so it doesn't take so long ot download.


  1. Open the program.
  2. from the file menu --> choose zip (compress files).
  3. This brings up the Zip Options dialog box --> check the box that says -r travel the directory structure recursively.
  4. Click the button called location of the compressed file. This asks you to pick a location for the file that you will compress (i.e. the result or output of the compression). You can also give it a name in the scace provided.
  5. Next, click on the button called file or folder to compress. Navigate to the file or folder that you want to compress. Click on it once and click the select button (not the open button).
  6. You then return to the zip options dialog box. It will show in the window the path to the location of the output file as well as path to the input file.
  7. Click on the start zip button. This zips the file/folder (compresses it) and saves it at the location that you specified.
  8. Now you are ready to link to it from your web page. It's best to move the compressed file/folder into your web folder and then make the link.
  9. On your web page, type in the name of the file/folder and make a link to it in the same way that you would make a relativelink to any other file. It's a good idea to tell the user that when they click on this link it will downlaod a file to their computer (otherwise they may click on it and be expecting a web page to pop up). Example": "TO downlaod the files that you will need for today's class, click on the following link.." Then name the link Download Class Files (or something like that).

    here's what it looks like: To download a small sample web site, click on the following link: Advanced Media Production Sample Web Site.
  10. Upload both the zipped file and the file from which you made the link.
  11. For users to download the file, all they need to do is click on this link try it with the link above!).

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