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Unzipping Cross Stitch Patterns (or any other files):

You've probably noticed that most cross stitch patterns you can download from the internet are "zipped" and in order to use them, it is necessary to unzip them. It's easy to tell that a file is zipped, by looking at it's extension, which will end with ".zip".

First, you may want to know why it's a common practice to zip files. It's more than just a craze or fashion. There are three main reasons for zipping files:

1. To allow you to download several files at once, packed in a special zip archive. It's like packing a few books in a box, to make them "mail friendly" instead of going to the "post office" several times and mailing each book separately, you do all at once.

2. To allow you to download many files at once that are organized in a specific logical folder structure, that can only be preserved by zipping.

3. To allow you to download files faster. As you may have guessed, zip files "weigh" less than unzipped ones; the smaller their weight, the faster you can download them!

Zipping is actually a huge convenience, not the extra trouble, that some people think it is at the beginning.

Unzipping files is a simple task. If you use an earlier operating system (older that Windows XP), you need to have some kind of third-party unzipping program installed on your PC to be able to unzip files. The most popular unzipping software is WinZip. It offers a fully functional 30-day demo, if you'd like to try it.

We have a special page with screenshots, explaining how to unzip embroidery pattern files using WinZip.

There is also a Free unzipping software that you may use forever at no charge called "FilZip". It can be downloaded here:
We won't cover the exact steps required to use "FilZip" since it's not very popular; most people prefer to use Windows XP's built-in extraction wizard or WinZip. But if you really need a free program, keep in mind that "FilZip" exists.

Windows XP users enjoy a built-in extracting utility for zipped files. If you're a happy owner of Windows XP, all you need to do is navigate to the zipped file you've downloaded, mark it using your mouse cursor, and click on the RIGHT button of your mouse. A small menu will pop up. Look at this menu and select the "Extract All..." option on it. When you do this, the extraction wizard will start to guide you through the process. All you'll be asked to do is click "Next" a couple of times. After the unzipping process is finished, you may delete the zipped file and keep the normal one.

Here are step-by-step screenshots of the unzipping process using Windows XP's extraction wizard:

1. Navigate to the folder where your zipped file is stored (in our case, to C:\Embbroidery_Patterns\). Point your mouse cursor on that zipped files icon. Click once on the icon, using left mouse button.

Locate the Folder with Embroidery Patterns Stored

2. When the file is "selected" (looks blue), click on right mouse button. Once you see a small menu pop up, select the "Extract All..." option inside of that menu. This action will launch the XP extraction wizard.
Choose Extract All Option

3. Click "Next".
Press Next to Extract Files

4. Verify that the file is being extracted to the folder you want, then click "Next" again...
Choose Embroidery Patterns Folder to Extract

5. Now that the file is extracted, you may view it. Click "Finish".
Press Finish to See Extracted Files

6. The "Embroidery Patterns" folder now contains 2 items - a zipped file called and a folder with the extracted Violets design. You don't need it any longer, so delete the zipped version.
Delete Ziped Version of Embroidery Pattern's File

7. Now you may go inside the extracted design's folder, to see if everything is ok with the file and to see its thread change list. The stitch file is ready for use, and can now be copied to the embroidery machine. Open Unzipes Folder with Embroidery Patterns

Charts with Counted Embroidery Patterns

Wish you a Most Wonderful Day & Happy Stitching!

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