Let Extractions Begin

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Supports ZIP, RAR, ACE, JAR, ISO, IMG, IMA, IMZ, BIN, MP3 (MP3>WAV), LHA, LHZ, & SIT formats
  • (11 more, see all...)

Archiving is a very useful solution when it comes to shrinking your data in order for it to fit the hard disc. What most users know about this is that by means of a software, you manage to make the file size of a folder smaller.

The most popular data compression formats on the market today are the well known ZIP, followed closely by RAR and ACE. Of course there are some other popular archive formats like .iso, .7z, .msi or .jar.

Archiving the information allows you to easier apply a password to more than one file at once and sometimes this is the only way to transport them via web (email, p2p software, ftp, etc.). The archiving software practically takes a list of files and sequentially concatenates the content into the archive.

Whether you "archive" or "pack" a folder, it means the same thing. Unwinding the archiving process is called "unarchiving", "extracting" or "unpacking". For this task, as well as for "packing" the files, you need a stand-alone software or an application with a built-in unpacking engine.

The following application is such"unpacking" software. It is called ExtractNow and it is a free application developed by Nathan Moinvaziri. The installation file "weighs" a little under 1MB (I haven't tried to archive the .exe, but I am sure that it will not "shrink" too much).

The minimalist interface is so easy to use that even a monkey could use the software. To be frank, I was expecting lots of buttons, but I was wrong. The application has only four buttons, out of which one is the History button (the others are Settings, Clear and Extract). All of them are located in the lower part of the window (two in the left and two in the right).

I won't lie to you and I admit that the first time I saw the application window, I thought of looking for some other software to review. But I took a look in the Settings menu and I changed my mind. There are over thirty settings to customize the application. The options available are designed to save time and ease your work.

You should know that ExtractNow is primarily designed to extract multiple files at once. All you have to do is drag and drop the supported archive formats into the window and press Extract. The software sends the unpacked files to the folder of the archives by default.

The formats it supports are of course the famous ZIP, RAR and ACE but it can also work with a handful of other formats, like .iso, .bin, .img, .ima, .imz, .7z, .jar, .gz, .lhz, .lha and .sit. The .sit archive format needs the SIT.dll in order to work.

But let's get back to the Settings menu. I will go through the most important options in here because I do not want to prolong the boring session too long. ExtractNow can be configured to send the archive files to the Recycle Bin or permanently deleted, after they have been successfully extracted, no matter if the archive has multiple volumes or not.

You can also set the application to add the archive's file folder structure to the extraction saving path so that you know exactly where to locate the uncompressed folders. Also path related is adding the archive's parent folder to the extraction destination path.

By checking the Windows Always Show On Top option, the application window will never be hidden at the opening of the other windows (very useful when you drag and drop the files directly into the application).

If you are always in a hurry or resemble the Duracell bunny, you can configure the software to automatically extract the files on dropping them into the window; or to automatically extract them by associating the archive formats with ExtractNow (this way you don't even have to open the software).

You do not have to check for updates every certain number of days as in the Settings menu you can set the software to automatically check for updates at system startup.

The Good

The software is unbelievably small and the interface is extremely easy to use. In the Settings menu you can make all the necessary settings so that you do not even need to open the application in order to extract the archives.

Batch extracting is made in a simple way and with the least effort possible.

The Bad

I wish there were more archive formats supported, although the ones included are the most used ones.

The Truth

Have I mentioned that the software is free? I'm sure I did. And it works extremely well. The only two things that you have to keep in mind in order to use the software are DROP and EXTRACT.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 5
features 4
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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