7-zip rar files vs Compressed files?

My question is this. What is the difference between the 7-zip rar files and when I use the compressed (zipped) folder selection on a file? What's the rar files for?

I rarely send zipped files. I used to have WinZip on my old computer. My generic office PC tower computer has XP Pro, SP3, Office 2003. (By the way, awhile back I upgraded to Office 2007 but found it totally lame and went back to 2003). A few reciepents of some PDF architectural building plan files say they cannot open my files when I send them with 7-zip. These are sometimes 30-60 page pdf building plans.

Please explain.


It depends on what you mean by "better"?

Are you looking for a file compression utility that can work with many different compressed formats?
Are you willing to pay for a file compression utility or do you want a free one?
Are you looking for a file compression utility that makes the smallest files?

In the end, it comes down mainly to personal preference.  Here's one site that claims to have received "over 500 comments" in an effort to select the most popular file compression utility: http://lifehacker.com/5065324/five-best-file-compression-tools

And, if you're interested in self-promotion, here's how 7-zip compares its file compression ability with that of a few others: http://www.7-zip.org/

Personally, I'd go with free rather than paying $29 for WinRAR, WinZip, or PKZip.  For most people, the built-in zip file ability in Windows is sufficient.  If you are likely to get files compressed in a variety of formats, 7-zip is probably the way to go (Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM; Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z).
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MS MVP (Windows Desktop Experience) 2006-2009
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Last updated June 19, 2019 Views 1,722 Applies to: