There are virtual filesystem plug-ins to allow archive files like Zip, RAR, or 7Zip to be opened and handled by Multi Commander.
Multi Commander sees the archive first as a normal file, but when opening it, will browse the content of the archive as if it were a folder.
Since archives are handled as folders it is possible to browse an archive and select files and then press copy (or drag them) and only the selected files will be unpacked and copied.
If the virtual filesystem supports writing, it is possible to copy files into the archive just as if the archive were a folder. The archive will then be updated with the new files.
Delete and Rename are also supported (if the plug-in for that archive format supports it). Not all archive plug-ins support write/modify operations.
Most operation that can be preformed on normal files can be performed on files inside an archive. The virtual filesystem will unpack the files to a temporary location if needed.
When viewing or editing a file inside an archive the virtual filesystem layer will automatically extract and update the archive as needed.
In many places inside Multi Commander it is possible to reference a file that is located inside an archive. The virtual file system will then automatically open the file inside the archive.
Pack / Unpack
With Pack and Unpack it is possible to quickly pack or unpack files within an archive file.
Unpacking can also be done by browsing the archive, selecting what to copy and then copying the content to a target location.
Create New Archive Automatically
Because the virtual filesystem will automatically open or create archives it is possible to create a new archive by copying files to an archive that does not yet exist. If it does exist, however, the existing archive will be updated instead.
In the image above the right panel has the folder "Network" and the files "Network.hpp" and "mine.hpp" selected.
A copy operation of the selected files and folders to the target panel to the left is then issued. In the "Copyfile to..." confirmation window an archive file name ( NewZipArchive.zip) is added to the target path.
The copy operation will now copy the selected file into the new zip archive named NewZipArchive.zip.
After the copy is completed there is now a new zip archive in the target location: "NewZipArchive.zip"
The virtual Filesystem knows that the .zip extension is a virtual file system object. Therefore, when the target location is a path that ends in an archive, the virtual filesystem layer will create that archive file if it can. If the file already exists the existing file will be updated instead.
Just as if the target archive file was actually a folder.
This virtual filesystem plug-in adds support for opening and modifying and creating zip archives.
Zip is a very old format and because of that it does not handle well filenames that have characters that do not fit into the 7-Bit Ascii Table. The Zip standard has been updated to support UTF-8 encoded filenames, and FS-Zip does support that, but many other programs that create/read zip files to not support UTF-8 encoding. This can make the filenames look differently if zip archives are moved between computers with different language settings or capabilities.
In the settings for the Zip FileSystem plug-in it is possible to configure which codepage should use when opening zip archives (those that are not encoded using UTF-8).
The settings page is found under the Configuration menu.
Is is also possible to enable/disable whether a new zip archive should be created using UTF-8 encoding.
This virtual filesystem plug-in provides read only support for RAR files. It will allow browsing and unpacking rar archives, but files cannot be added.