Extract Zip And RAR Files In Google Docs With This Chrome Extension

Here is some good news for folks who have to deal with a lot of email attachments that are sent in archive formats e.g ZIP or RAR.

Google has just rolled out support for previewing the files and contents of archive files in Gmail and Google Docs viewer, which means you can now extract the contents and files of a ZIP or RAR file right from your Gmail or Google Docs account. When you receive a new email attachment in ZIP or RAR format, there will be a new option “View” as shown below:

Extract ZIP and RAR files in Google Docs

Clicking this option would open your Google Docs account where Google will automatically extract the content of the ZIP attachment and will let you preview all the files that are contained within the zip file. You can then download only selected files from the ZIP or RAR attachment or copy some of them to your Google Docs account.

Preview the contents of a zip file in Gmail

To download only selected files from the ZIP attachment, click the action drop down and select “download”. Else, you can also copy all the files to your Google Docs account and download them later. On the left pane of Google Docs viewer, other details e.g file type, actual size and compressed size will be listed.

This is indeed very useful because the ability to extract a zip file from Gmail and Google Docs is going to save a heck lot of time. There is no need to download the entire attachment on the local computer because you can extract the zip file from Gmail, copy the files to your Google Docs account and download them whenever you may want to. When you are using someone else’s computer which does not have an archiving utility installed, don’t rush to download Winzip, 7Zip, Winrar or any other software.

Instead, copy all the files to your Google Docs account and download them in one shot. These files will be preserved in your Google Docs account so you can download them from multiple computers, without any problems as such.

Google has been increasingly focusing on support for more file types in Gmail, Google Docs and Google Chrome. They added support for PDF files sometime back while support for videos and more file types in Google Docs viewer was implemented a couple of months ago. I guess this is in direct conjunction with the launch of Google Chrome OS powered notebooks, which is Google’s upcoming venture on the operating system market for web users.

There are already quite a number of tools available to create ZIP and RAR files online or convert one zip format to another before extracting the files in your browser. However, when this ability is tightly integrated in Gmail and Google Docs, I guess we can bid good bye to them.

Google Chrome Extension To Extract The Contents Of A Zip File To Google Docs

My friend Arpit has created a superb extension for Google Chrome which lets you extract and copy all the content of an online ZIP or RAR file, directly to your Google Docs account. Just install the extension from Chrome web store and you will get a new entry in Google Chrome context menu, as shown below:

Open Zip and RAR files in Google Docs

Whenever you want to extract the contents of a link that points to a ZIP or RAR download, right click and choose “Open with Google Docs”. The extension will unpack all the contents of the zip file and copy all of them to your Google Docs account. Next, you can download the files from your Google Docs account itself, without having to worry on the availability of the download in the target website.

Pretty handy, when you are in a state of hurry and need a quick way to archive a file download without having to download it on the local computer itself.

Amit Banerjee is the founding editor and owner of Ampercent. He is a die hard technology enthusiast and writes about all things technology, How to guides, tutorials and search engines. Follow him on Twitter, read his personal blog or drop him an email.