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About filters

Filters are used to refine your file selections. For example, you can use exclude filters to skip files that match wildcard patterns that you specify, and you can use include filters to zip only files matching wildcard patterns.

For example, suppose you want to zip a folder and all of its subfolders, but you do not want to zip files with a BAK extension. You could do this by going into the Select Items dialog and unchecking all of the .BAK files, but this is tedious, and any new .BAK files would get zipped.

A better way is to create an exclude filter for "*.BAK". The exclude filter causes WinZip® to skip any files matching the filter's file specification (which typically uses wildcards).

On the other hand, suppose you want to zip only the DOC and XLS files in the folders that you have selected. Again, the easiest way is to use a filter, in this case an include filter. By specifying "*.DOC" and "*.XLS" as include filters, only DOC and XLS files will be zipped.

How filters work

Exclude and include filters work slightly differently.

  • Include filters are applied to every folder that you have specified in the Select Items dialog. WinZip does this very simply by appending each filter to each folder that you have selected.

    For example, if you've specified *.DOC and *.BAK as include filters, and you have checked the folders C:\Folder1 and C:\Folder2, the four actual file specifications used by WinZip during zipping will be:


    Notes on include filters:

    • If subfolders of the folders you've selected are also being zipped, the filters are applied to the subfolders as well.
    • Although include filters commonly use wildcards, they are not required. You can use a specific file name such as "JUNE-21.XLS" to include specific files (but remember that all files with that name in the selected folders will be included).
    • You can specify folders in your filters when needed. Just remember that your filters are always appended to the folder names you selected in the Select Items dialog.
  • Exclude filters are not applied to the specified folders in the same way that include filters are. Rather, WinZip builds a complete list of files to be zipped using the file/folder selections and the include filters and then removes from the list any files that match the exclude filters.

    You can use exclude filters to exclude entire folders. For example, suppose you have the following folders and that you have checked C:\Test in the Select Items dialog:


    If you want to zip the two folders beginning with "2" (20 and 21) but skip the two folders beginning with "1" (10 and 11), the following exclude filter would do the job:


Using the Filters dialog

The Filters dialog has two tabs, one for Include filters and one for Exclude filters. Click the tab for the type of filter you want to work with. Then:

  • To add a filter, click Add a pattern, type the new filter in the Add New Pattern dialog, and click OK.
  • To remove a filter, highlight the filter by clicking it once, then click Remove a pattern.

Click OK when you are done.