Zipped vs. Unzipped Files
When you download designs from your order
history, you'll usually find two options: unzipped, and zipped.
Embroidery machines cannot read zipped files; they can only read
Sometimes people wonder about the difference between the two, why
certain files are available as zipped downloads only, how to unzip, and
why (if machines cannot read zipped files, anyone would bother with them
anyway). This page will address these questions concerning zipped files
and demonstrate ways to unzip files.
Zipped designs are "compressed." They've been "zipped" or "compressed"
to make the file size smaller. Several years ago when high-speed
Internet connections weren't available in certain areas, and storage
devices and hard drives had less capacity than they have, many stitchers
preferred "zipped" files for faster down-loading and more efficient
Today these things aren't as common, but many people still prefer to
download zipped files. That is why we offer both options when
Some products are only available as zipped downloads. Designs that
consist of more than one piece, such as applique designs,
three-piece banners, and in-the-hoop products, are only available as
zipped downloads. This is because two or more parts of the design are
zipped together into one downloadable product.
Design packs are zipped. This is because a design pack contains several
designs, all zipped together into one downloadable product. Many design
packs can be expanded in the order history, allowing people to download
the designs inside as unzipped files. Look for the "expand/unzip packs"
button in the order; click it, and see the pack expand. Individual
downloading buttons will appear by each product. (A note about this: If
the design pack contains applique, in-the-hoop, or multi-piece designs,
then those designs inside the pack will still remain a zipped download
There are several programs that can unzip designs. We'll show you three
different methods and show you how to find more options, too.
The first method is unzipping designs with WinZip, available from
If you download a zipped file, it might look
like this, sort of like a "vise" holding files or drawers.
To open the zipped file, right click on the
file and choose "open with WinZip." If WinZip is installed on your
computer, you will have this option.
The zipped file will open, and you'll see
the unzipped files inside.
From there you can drag the unzipped files
to another folder.
Most newer versions of Windows have a
built-in device for unzipping files. It's called an "extraction/
compression wizard." Windows XP and more recent versions have this
wizard. The following instructions are for Windows XP.
Right click once on the zipped file. Choose 'Extract All...' The extraction
wizard will start. Follow the steps until the process is finished.
(If using Windows Vista, double-click on the zipped file rather than
right-clicking on it. More explicit instructions are
When the process is complete, click the
'Finish' button. A new window will display with the unzipped
designs. Drag the individual unzipped designs out of the folder.
Some embroidery software programs can open
zipped files. This method shows you how to unzip files with Buzz
Catalog. Buzz Catalog and direct it to the zipped folder.
Click on "Tools," and then "Extract Zip'd
Unzip the entire catalog of zipped
Then go to the folder where your zipped file
is, and you'll see the unzipped files there, too.
To find out if your computer operating
system has a method of opening zipped files, go to Google.com and type
in the words "unzipping with xxxxx" where "xxxxx" is the name of your
operating system. You'll likely find several sites that demonstrate how
to unzip files with your operating system.
If you're not able to open the zipped files
using any of these methods, no problem! Send an email to
Include the following:
**Your order number
**Names of the products you need unzipped
Please include the above information in your email. We'll then email the
designs to you, unzipped.