Monday, September 22, 2008

ExtractNow - A Utility for Extracting RAR files.

I'd like to get the word out about this little software find. It's known by many I'm sure but I believe that information about this little program that can save lots of time and aggravation when it comes time to deal with a rar archive needs to spread.

For those of you who don't know, rar archives are very much like zip files. Everyone is probably more familiar with zip files and for good reason, as zip files are more widely used in the the common computer space.

There are rar files and I'm sure many of you have encountered them when downloading a software program or mp3 files or whatever. The most common thing to do to extract them is to download WinRAR, install it and then deal with the original problem that you were trying to take care of - almost an hour later.

Although the compression algorithm in WinRAR far exceeds that of Zip files, zip has become the de-facto standard. with Microsoft incorporating into windows explorer right on the desktop and the common computer folk needing nearly no experience to create or extract the files with the zip files, it's become very common and simple to handle zips. Rar files similarly are compressed files and being that rar compression technology isn't incorporated into the windows explorer shell, needs a program to work.

The common thing to do at this point and I've done this many times is to download d install WinRAR and then decompress the files and then get on with what it was you were trying to originally accomplish with the archived files and directories. This to me is annoying as once I download and install the software to extract the current archive, I don;t use WinRAR again for a while. If I need to compress something I just zip it using explorer. Yet WinRAR is installed and often becomes a nuisance it the installation changes file associations, bloats the registry a bit, alters the explorer context menu with about 4 or more items listed.

There is an alternative to programs like fatter programs like WinRAR. I found a nice little program called ExtractNow from The download is only one megabyte (1MB) and it installs in seconds - for real. Check the file association for rar files and that's it. it enables you to drag rar files right into it's windows for extraction or just use the open file menu - quick easy and simple to use. I have to mention that the drag and drop didn't exactly work 100 percent on Vista but I'm sure it will.

Need to extract .rar compressed files but want the extra bells and wistles of winRAR?
Information and user opinion for using ExtractNow to Extract rar files without WinRAR can be found at this personal site.

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