Windows compression programs

Anyone familiar with Netzip knows that it allows you to use zip files as if they were normal folders.
Is there any other software that has that feature? Also, less importantly, is there a name for that feature?

I think Windows ME and newer versions have that built in. They call zip files “compressed folders”.

I guess I’ll find out if I get Win ME, or better yet, a new computer with XP built in. Until then I’m using Windows 98. But thanks for the info.

It’s only built-in with zip, though, right? The OP wants different compression programs with the folder mechanism, if I understand correctly.

For now, I have Windows 98 which has no built in abilities for what I’m asking about.
On one of my two computers (the one which my wife primarily uses) we have Netzip. One of its abilities is Netzip Folders, which lets you treat zip files as folders (or for you DOS geeks, directories :D). Anyway, I recently erased everything off of the other computer, and when I went on-line to redownload it, it seems that Real (as in Real Player) took over it, and there is no more shareware version. You have to buy it first.
So I was hoping to find another program, shareware, or preferably freeware, that let you do the same thing. I think Zip Magic does, so I’m going to check it out, but I was just curious if there were other programs that let you do that also.

Compressed folder support for win98 is one of the features in microsoft plus 98 (about the only feature I ever found useful). You can probably find a copy of plus pretty darn cheap these days. You might want to check around and see if any of your friends have an old copy gathering dust somewhere.

OK, thanks.

Sounds to me that what you require is not so much a compression program with the above feature, but rather, a file manager program that treats zip files as folders.

I used to use Norton File Manager in place of Windows Explorer, NFM allowed me to look inside zip files just like a normal folder, move/copy/delete files in a zip file just like it was a normal folder, and extract/add files to and from the zip file just like it was a normal folder. NFM isn’t freeware/shareware, but I suspect that it will be easier to find a File Manager having this functionality, then it is to find a compression program with this functionality.

The name for this kind of feature is shell folder extension or more generally, shell extension. It’s a program that integrates with Windows’ Explorer interface and lets you browse archive (such as Zip archives) like ordinary folders.

There are a bunch of such tools – ZipMagic comes to mind. The downside to these tools is that they tend to make the operating system less stable. If the tool crashes, Explorer crashes too (usually including the task bar), because the tool “lives inside” Explorer.

Another problem is that the integration is not complete. There are plenty of programs which are not fooled by the illusion presented by the Zip folders. For example, from my experience you cannot open a text file inside a Zip archive in an editor and then save the file back into the archive.

Personally I would recommend a product such as WinRAR, which is a standalone app that supports a myriad of compressed archival formats. WinRAR’s preferred format, RAR, is also much, much more space-efficient than Zip.

Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP support compressed folders, where the files themselves are transparently compressed in the file system, and there’s no trickery involved, and because it’s fully integrated into the lower levels of the operating system, it works with absolutely all programs.

However, archives are designed to let you easily move groups of files around (such as over the Internet) atomically, without caring about the individual files. Compressed folders don’t solve that problem.

OK, thanks to everybody for their help.