WinZip, the [long awaited] Unicode edition!!!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/05/13 10:01 -04:00, original URI:

I have talked about WinZip and Zip in the past, in particular their odd relationship with Unicode, in blogs like:

Now if you spend some time in the comments in that Zipping up Unicode file names blog, several people talked about how the ZIP formt itself has extensions to handle Unicode. Of course without implementers that is quite the theoretical point. If you know what I mean.

But do you know what?

Well, the gloves are off now, baby!

In my INBOX yesterday, from the folks over at WinZip:

We are pleased to inform you that we have just released WinZip 11.2, the second update to our most recent major release, WinZip 11.

WinZip 11.2 takes WinZip and the Zip compression standard to a wider global audience by integrating the Zip format’s newly-added Unicode support, allowing accurate rendering of international characters in file names when using the same Zip file on computers with different code pages. WinZip 11.2 changes include:

  • Unicode support to ensure proper display of international characters for file names in a Zip file
  • Integrated support for LHA (.LHA and .LZH support)
  • Removal of support for DOS-based, third-party programs such as ARJ and ARC
  • Minor bug fixes and enhancements

If you need assistance with the operation of the software, or have questions or comments about WinZip products, please contact us.

Your use of WinZip is governed by the terms of the WinZip License.

Thank you,
WinZip Computing

This is completely and entirely awesome.

Folks over in Windows now have a job to do for next version -- and I have some email to send tomorrow.... :-)

I also have to talk to the site license folks, too. More mail. But a good kind....

WinZip, you rock!


This post brought to you by Ž (U+017d, a.k.a. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z WITH CARON)
(An entirely zippable character in the new version of WinZip!)

# Mihai on 13 May 2008 12:18 PM:

Cool! Now I want the command-line version!

# benski on 13 May 2008 1:08 PM:

Too late, I switched to 7-zip a long time ago for my Unicode file archiving needs :)

# tyler on 13 May 2008 3:28 PM:

I'm confused why it took so long.  Is it really so hard to switch to the wchar APIs?

# Michael S. Kaplan on 13 May 2008 5:38 PM:

That part isn't too hard, no.  But there are a whole bunch of other issues like being one of the first implementations to widely extend the ZIP spec, and dealing with the interop questions that come up as well...

# REFINCH on 15 May 2008 2:39 AM:

Why did they remove support for ARJ and ARC?

Yuhong Bao on 12 Mar 2009 8:45 PM:

"Why did they remove support for ARJ and ARC?"

Because they depended on DOS programs which cannot run on 64-bit Windows, for example.

George on 4 Aug 2009 4:41 PM:

Anyone else having problems with the unicode horizontal ellipsis character?  …

The offensive file name looks fine when I open the archive and look at it.  But when I open the archive programatically (SharpZLib) the IsUnicodeText flag is set to false and my extractor garbles the name...

Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Aug 2009 5:14 PM:

Sounds like it might be a bug for the SharpZLib folks to comment on if it works fine in WinZip?

David Pierson on 4 Mar 2010 8:10 PM:

Better Unicode support for filenames in SharpZipLib is my current priority. This is a feature that I am very keen to see in the library in the next release.

SharpZipLib (a Zip, GZip, Tar and BZip2 library written entirely in C# for the .NET platform) has many users from around the globe for whom English is not their native language. All the zip format implementors have only gotten away with lack of Unicode for this long thanks to the fact that most of us never stray from their local code page.

Michael, your blog posts such as the "Zipping up Unicode file names" entry have been a particularly useful resource for us in providing a reliable live commentary on the state of play in this regard.

Michael S. Kaplan on 5 Mar 2010 7:50 PM:

David, this is great news. Glad I could assist. :-)

Ed Qualls on 26 Apr 2010 2:23 PM:

Oy! Even Windows 7 STILL can't zip files with CJK characters in them! One would have thought this would have been addressed (i.e., fixed)!  (At least my version of W7 Home Professional upgraded to Ultimate still fails like Win2K:  viz., " 'EA\大阪市交通局は23日.doc' cannot be compressed because it includes characters that cannot be used in a compressed folder, such as 大阪市交通局は23日. You should rename this file or directory.")

Michael S. Kaplan on 26 Apr 2010 2:30 PM:

Please note where I said the fix was -- in WinZip, not Windows....

referenced by

2012/01/04 If someone blathers on about how Windows supports Unicode, you can suggest they just ZIP it, if you like!

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