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Compressing and Extracting from Archives

Smartcrypt is a program for, among other things, working with archives. An archive is a file that you use like a suitcase to hold other files. As a rule, files that you put in an archive are compressed so that they take up less space, and Smartcrypt ordinarily compresses files unless you tell it not to. You can also use Smartcrypt to encrypt and digitally sign files that you add to a ZIP or OpenPGP archive.

Smartcrypt also extracts and uncompresses files in an archive so that you can work with them again. When Smartcrypt extracts files, it also decrypts them if they are encrypted (if they were encrypted specifically for you, or you supply the passphrase!).

While you will probably work most often with ZIP archives, Smartcrypt can extract archives using many formats, and can even create archives in some of these other formats. Archive types differ in the number of files they can contain—some  can contain only one file, some can contain multiple files—and there are other differences as well. By default, Smartcrypt creates ZIP archives. A ZIP archive can contain multiple compressed files, and Smartcrypt can encrypt and digitally sign these files.

You do not need to do anything special to use Smartcrypt with a non-ZIP archive. If you are extracting, Smartcrypt will identify the archive type and extract the archive's file(s). If you want to create a new non-ZIP archive, you can select the type you want when you save the archive.

The following table lists the types of archives that Smartcrypt can create or extract from and the file name extensions customarily associated with these types. For some archive types, Smartcrypt can only extract,  not create new archives.

Archive TypeSmartcrypt Can Create/ExtractUsual File Name Extension


Extract only.7z


Extract only.arj


Extract only.hqx


Create and extract.bz2, .tbz




Extract only.cdr

compress (UNIX, LZW)

Extract only.Z


Create and extract.gz, .tgz


Extract only.img


Extract only.iso


Create and extract.jar, .ear, .war


Extract only.lzh, .lha


Create and extract.pgp, .gpg


Extract only.rar


Create and extract.tar


Create and extract.uue


Create and extract.xxe


Create and, .zipx

Self-Extracting PKSFX Archives

Smartcrypt also creates self-extracting, PKSFX® archives. PKSFX archives have a .exe file name extension (instead of .zip, for instance). They can be extracted just by double-clicking them, even by someone who does not have Smartcrypt or another ZIP utility.

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