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[Tip] 7-Zip GUI for multi-level archives   [Tip]

By: Art Kocsis     So Calif  
Date: Apr 24,2015 at 08:03
In Response to: [Tip] PowerArchiver v4.01 for tar.gz: creation needs -k (Oliver Pretzel)

> I have never tried to generate tar archives, so have not come across
> this problem.
> I always thought -k meant do not change the date of the archive itself,
> but it looks as though this is necessary and should be added to the
> default settings.
> Thank you Hartmut.
> Oliver

I use the GUI version of 7zip (7-zip.org), to view tar archives. The GUI version handles many more archive types than the console version. Don't know why. I would have thought the author, Igor Pavlov, would have used the same archive engine. Anyway, with this version you can follow any branch and bore down as many levels as there are levels in the archive. Being a GUI it is select and extract rather than tag and extract but it works well.

To make it easy (because I am lazy?), I made an F9 Appl menu entry for it so it is scroll and CRLF simple:

Rem ZTree F9 Script for opening archive with 7-Zip
Start "" "D:\WinUtils\Disk\Archivers\7-Zip\7zFM.exe" %1
Rem #ZTExit

I use the GUI version for viewing if the console version gives up and use the console version for compressing - just because it is easy to work in ZTree.

I get blown away by the performance of 7z. It typically compresses text files to less than 5% of the original size and usually (not just sometimes), gets down to 1 or 2%! I couldn't believe it at first but the files were always all there.

One caveat though: 7z files are like MS cab files. They are one continuous archive. Unlike PKZip where the compression engine restarts for each additional file, 7z just keeps adding to the stream. This allows better compression but if you want to extract just a file, the entire archive must be decoded up to the location of the target file. PKzip has an internal index table to directly access and extract any file, independent of its location in the archive. That being said, it only has an impact for multi-megabyte archives and then only when browsing for single files. For extracting the entire archive it doesn't make much difference.

Namaste', Art

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