How to Compress File Size for Email Attachments and More


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When you compress a file or a group of files, you shrink them so they take up less space on your hard drive. There are two ways to compress files: those that lose data and those that don't. Most types of computer files have the same information in them more than once. Lossless compression finds and eliminates these duplicates to store data more efficiently.

Since all the information is lost or erased, lossless compression can be done in both directions. Lossless compression is best for keeping words, images, or data quality. For example, lossless compression of medical pictures ensures that all important information is kept and that the original image can be retrieved.

During compression, no data is lost, and when the picture is decompressed, it will not be messed up. The file size can be shrunk to make it easier to store and send, but perfect compression makes it bigger than lossy compression. With lossy compression, you can reduce the size of a file by removing bits of data that are not needed.

This makes files much smaller, making it impossible to get them back to how they were before they were compressed. Most of the time, lossy compression is used for video files where data loss is not visible to the human ear or eye.

For example, JPEG is a lossy picture file type widely used for web-based pictures because it makes the pictures as small as possible to speed up load times and improve the user experience. When people working together share files back and forth and use lossy compression, more and more data is lost with each compression cycle. At some point, the loss will be obvious.

Top Benefits of Compressing Files

Most people think of storage space optimization when considering the main benefit of file compression. For example, cloud services price their storage choices based on how many people use them and how much data they store. Organizations that need to keep many files safe will stress the cloud's computers, making the storage option more expensive. Here are just a few advantages of compressing files:

Better use of a storage room. On hard drives and computers, uncompressed files take up more room. With file compression, you can shrink files to anywhere from 15% to 90% of their original size based on the data they hold.

Faster transfer speeds. How quickly you can send and receive files depends on their size. On average, it takes ten times less time to send a compressed file than it does to send the same file without compression.

Better movement. As remote and mixed work settings become more popular, ensuring people in different places can talk to each other quickly and safely is important. Compressed files are easier to reach on mobile devices so that teams can work together anytime and anywhere.

Better protection of info. Some file compression programs, like WinZip® Enterprise, secure your files to keep private information safe. Encryption lets you view data with unique keys, giving you more control over how files are opened.

What Files Need to be Compressed?

A file can be many different sizes depending on what's in it. For example, a plain-text file with no connected or contained styles will be much smaller than other file types. But most word processors today use "rich text," which includes styles and layout information that makes the file bigger overall. Media files like movies, pictures, music, and photos have information contained in them that makes the file bigger:

The amount of pixels per inch (PPI) is used to determine an image file's size. A high PPI holds more information, which makes a high-quality picture with a bigger file size.

Digital audio data is built into audio files to improve sound quality and eliminate distortion, making them bigger.

The size of a video file is based on its quality, speed, and frame rate. This is why, for example, a minute of a 1080p movie takes up 103 MB of space.

Other popular file types include Word papers, spreadsheets, and PDFs. The size of these files varies on how much and what kind of information they contain:

Microsoft Word files can have fonts built in, which makes the file bigger. Adding pictures to a Word document will also make the file bigger.

Even if they don't have much information, Excel files can take up a lot of room. Excel will still handle empty, useless cells as if they have data in them, which makes them a major cause of spreadsheet files that are too big. Referring to hundreds or thousands of empty cells will create a file size bigger than it needs to be.

PDF files can have pictures, links, movies, and other data. More info means a bigger file. Fonts that are built into a PDF can also make it bigger.

The Importance of Compressing Files for Sensitive Data

Compression is useful for more than just making files smaller or faster. It also lets you add protection to your private files at the file level. Encryption keeps data from being seen by people who shouldn't be able to. For example, 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption makes data unavailable to anyone who doesn't have the right decoding key or password.

AES algorithms have the worldwide standard for protecting private, limited open, and classified information because they are almost impossible to break. Experts say it would take trillions of years to use a brute-force attack to get around 256-bit AES encryption. AES encryption is symmetric, which implies that the same key is used to secure and decode data.

This makes it easier to share and secure files. When you secure a file with a unique key and send it to a friend, they can decode it using the same symmetric key. Compressing and encrypting a file ensures that its information is safe and follows laws about data privacy. Some examples of these kinds of rules include, but aren't restricted to:

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) commands apply to medical workers, government programs, insurance companies, and business partners of protected organizations. This includes measures like encryption to protect electronic protected health information (ePHI).

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) says that financial institutions must use encryption to protect private information about customers and consumers.

The Federal Information Security Modernisation Act (FISMA) says that government bodies must use encryption units approved by FIPS to protect secret and private information.

How to Convert a PDF to an Email

WinZip Enterprise is an all-in-one option that lets you protect your important data and zip, secure, and send almost any file type, including PDFs. With WinZip Enterprise, it only takes a few steps to shrink a PDF:

Find the file or files you require to shrink.

Right-clicking will bring up the WinZip Enterprise drop-down menu, from which you can choose one of the following:

Put in the Zip file: You can make your Zip file name, compression type, encrypting method, and other settings with this choice.

Add to [name of file].zip(x): If you choose this, the usual compression method will be used to make a Zip file.

Right-clicking on the zipped folder will open it in WinZip Enterprise and give you access to more powerful tools for managing files.

After writing your email, click "Attach File". Choose the file(s) you zipped, attach them to the email, and send it.