7Zip despite being an excellent tool for archiving data, does not include profiles and lists. By using archiving profiles and lists, you can lessen the overall effort to archive or extract files to a pre-selected directory. J7Z is an alternative open source GUI of 7Zip that enables users to create custom profiles for saving and extracting archives. By default, it comes with five different profiles, whereas users can create additional profiles as well. The pre-defined profiles include the Default profile, Flash (profile for saving archives to a flash drive), Local (for saving data to local drives), Remote (for saving archives to a remote location) and Storage (for saving archives to any kind of storage device e.g. external drive).
To create an archive, right-click on a file or folder and select a profile to create the archive to, e.g. default, Flash, Remote, Storage, etc or click on Custom to create a custom profile from the GUI interface. You can also extract an archive in a similar way.
Alternatively, you can open the GUI and specify an algorithm type e.g. 7-Zip, G-Zip, Zip, etc. Moreover, the compression ratio can also be changed to fastest, fast, normal, maximum, or ultra. Optionally a password can also be specified for the archive that is to be created.
Now move to Locations tab and specify a directory to save the archive (if not compressing via right-click context menu) and click Create to create the archive.
Make sure that you save your profile from Profile –> Save. If you want to customize a profile first, then open it from Profile -> Load.
To summarize the process, you can either directly save the archive to a specified location by using profiles via right-click context menu or go to the GUI to specify additional details such as algorithm type, compression ratio, password, directory to save the data to, and click Create to create the archive. The same approach applies for extracting archive(s).
While the archives are extracted to a pre-defined location, the directory tree is preserved.
J7Z is a Java app, therefore the default skin is not appealing. Make sure you change the skin to ‘Windows’ from Options. It works on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.