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WZT95: Mark Nabors' Windows Zipping/Unzipping Tool

Click here to download this program.

WZT is a file compression utility for Windows. It was written in 1996 by Mark Nabors, using code from the InfoZip group. This is version 0.99C.

First, I should clarify a couple things. Although the WZT program was written by Mark Nabors, the page you are reading wasn't. I have no association with Mark Nabors. I don't know where he lives, where he's from, what he's doing now... nothing. Wouldn't know the guy if he walked up to me on the street and whacked me on the head with a stick. (A guy in Guatemala did that to me once, but that's another story.)

So why have I written this page to distribute his program? Because it's a really good program. It's lean and it's simple and it's reliable. I've used it on practically every Microsoft OS since Windows 95: Win98, WinME (ugh!), WinNT, Win2K, WinXP, Server 2003.

The best thing about WZT? It's small enough to fit on a floppy disk, and it doesn't clutter your system with stupid dll's, vxd's, or other components.

Normally, I wouldn't distribute someone else's program without expressed permission, and I certainly wouldn't modify it in any way without permission. I'm making an exception here because I really like this tool, and I haven't been able to find the original author. I do know that the program used to be available on many free software sites such as NoNags and Tucows; it's no longer there, probably because it is no longer updated. Here's what it says in the Introduction in the program's Help file:

This is the second public release of WZT95.

WZT is an archiving program compatible with archives using the format popularized by PKZIP.
No registration of any kind is required for version 0.99B for personal use. E-mail would be nice, though.

Commercial use is prohibited.

No warranties are expressed or implied for its use for any reason.

Use at your own risk.

Constructive feedback is welcome.
Contact the author at
(an email address that is now long gone).


I've made two trivial changes to this program: I've changed the icon, and I've removed another program which was originally bundled with WZT.

Why change the icon? I noticed a consistent problem when I would install WZT on someone's computer: they'd go right ahead and install WinZip or some other program, even though WZT could do everything they needed to do. Why? Because they didn't know what WZT was. Its original icon was a blue square with the yellow letters "WZT." That's fine if you already know what WZT is, but if you don't, it's not really very intuitive. To get around that, I found a nifty image of a clamp on a Japanese Geocities site. I edited it a little to suit my tastes, then opened the original wzt95.exe with Visual C++, and voila.

The component I removed -- wiguard.exe -- was some sort of installation monitor. In all the years I used WZT, I never once used wiguard, and somewhere along the way stopped copying it altogether.

I haven't changed anything else because I don't have the source code, and even if I did, it wouldn't do me any good: any program more complex than "Hello, World" is pretty much beyond me.

There is one limitation of this program that might be important for a few people: WZT cannot create or open password-protected archives. Aside from that, I'm aware of only one other problem with this program: insufficient permissions can cause it to fail, and the error message it generates will not give you any indication of why it failed. The fact that it fails in these instances, of course, is not the program's fault; any program trying to modify a file without sufficient access rights will fail. In a perfect world, however, the program would tell you *why* it had failed. That's a pretty minor complaint, though, especially when you consider how long I've been using this tool.

Another quirk of this program is that it does not automatically associate the .zip extension with the wzt95.exe executable. Depending on your point of view, that's either a virtue or an annoyance. If zip files currently have no association, double-clicking a .zip file will give you a dialog box where you can set the association to wzt95, or whatever you want. And if you already have .zip files associated with something else, you might want to keep things just the way they are. Either way, you decide: WZT isn't going to do it for you.

How does it stack up against other compression tools? It can't make self-extracting archives, and it can't make password-protected archives. It's also not as pretty as tools like WinZip or PKZip, but those programs aren't free. If you're looking for a completely free tool, Ivan Petrovic's EasyZip, from http://ipsoft.cjb.net/, is pretty nice. It has several features that WZT doesn't have. But it's also larger, and it isn't nearly as fast.

Since newer versions of Windows now have zipping and unzipping capabilities built into the OS, the days of simple standalone compression tools like WZT are numbered. As it stands, though, there are still plenty of people who need a small, fast program to zip and unzip files. For those people, courtesy of some guy named Mark Nabors, I give you WZT95: the Windows Zipping Tool.

Well done, Mark, wherever you are.

WZT: Windows Zipping Tool
A nifty, fast, small, reliable zipping and unzipping tool for Windows. Notice, however, that I'm offering to let you download an unzipping tool... and the tool itself is zipped up! If you don't currently have a way to unzip files, you can download this file: wzt.ex_. This file is a self-extracting .exe, but because this server's security settings will not permit requests for .exe files, you'll have to download the file first, then rename it wzt.exe. Double-click the .exe to extract the files, and you're on your way.