This is a tutorial about how to use Winrar.
The program has many features, but I am gonna only present you the ones that you need with Sims.
What is Winrar?
Winrar is a program that allows you to pack files, single and multiple, to an archive that takes much less space than the original file. It also allows you to extract these files to be able to use them again.
Why pages that have custom content downloadable for Sims use it? Why do I need it?
Uploading/downloading these files takes less time. They also take less space on the site. You need Winrar to be able to extract the files to use.
(There are other programs too, 7z, Winzip.... But I use this one, so this is the one I can do tutorial about)
Here is a LINK to download if you don't have it already. Select the one that matches your system, 32/64bit. It is also available in many languages, so you may find one in your own language too.
Winrar is "nagware" meaning it is a trial, unless you buy it, but you can still continue using it after the trial time ends, it just nags about it.
Read this tutorial through first, before doing anything!!
OK. Lets start using the program.
At this point you have of course installed it to your PC.
Extracting files of the archive:
There are few different ways how to get the files out of the archives. Here is a scenario for you:
Let's say You have downloaded a house from modthesims.info. You go to the folder where your browser saved it to, and see something like this:
This is a Rar-file. If it was a Zip-file, it would look the same. You can't use the house in game while it is compressed to rar, so you need to extract it.
There are 3 ways how to do it.
You can open the file in the actual program. To do that you need to either double click it, or right click it, to open it.
Here is how it looks right clicked:
When you open it, it takes you to Winrar program. (You can right click on the pics and select open in new tab/window to see them bigger)
What you see in the program, is the file/s that are in the rar/zip. In this case it only has one file, the sims3pack of the house. Select it so that it's blue like mine here and press 'Extract to'.
It opens a new window. Here you can browse the destination, folder you want the file to go in. With sims3pack that would be the Downloads folder in Sims 3 user files. The box in red is the only one you need to touch. Browse the folder and select OK. (You can press + marks to see the sub folders, - marks to hide them)
With one file this operation is very quick, so I had no luck in taking a screenshot of it (i tried many times, but I'm not fast enough) Basicly what it does, it puts the file inside the rar to the selected destination. it doesn't open any new folders/windows. If you have doubts about did it do anything, you can go to the selected destination to see if the file is there.
You can right click on the file and select the destination, without opening the actual program. Select 'Extract files...'
It opens the same browse window, as with using the actual program.
Browse the destination you want the file to go in and select OK.
You can take the file and copy-paste it to the folder you want the file to go in, downloads for example. Then you right click on the rar and select 'Extract Here'.
Doing this extracts the file/s inside the rar to the same folder the rar is in. No browse windows.
Any of these ways work and does the same thing, you can use the one that feels comfortable to you.
Extracting multiple rars at once:
If you have multiple rars with files you want all to go to same folder, you don't need to unpack them one by one, you can do all at once.
Select all the rars you want to extract, either holding ctrl and clicking on them one by one, or "painting" over them with mouse.
Right click on one of them (with all selected) and select 'Extract files' or 'Extract here' like I showed you earlier.
It works the same than with single files. I don't suggest selecting 'Open' cause it opens each rar to single program windows, so it's basically the same than doing them one by one.
That is all you need to know about extracting. End of scenario :)
Compressing files to an archive:
Other part of the program that is useful for you, is compressing the files to an archive, basically doing the exact opposite of what we have done so far.
Lets say you have a sims3pack of a house you want to upload to website, or for example send as email to a friend.
You can compress the file (or multiple files if you want) to an archive, rar or zip. There are 2 ways that I use.
Right click on the file and select 'Add to an archive...'
It opens a new window like this.
On archive name you can rename the archive if you want (this doesn't rename the file). Don't touch the part after dot, this is the filetype.
In archive format you can choose do you want to make a rar or a zip.
Then press OK.
It makes the archive to the same folder the original file is at.
(When extracting, it looks the same, just with opposite texts...)
You can make it a rar file with single click if you don't want to rename it. Select 'Add to "filename.rar" and it makes a rar of it to the folder the original file is at. Really simple :)
That's about it.
There are more advantaged settings in compressing, but I am not going to present them here. This info should be enough for you to get all the houses, hairs, objects, stuff available to put to your game.
You notice that I didn't really tell you where to put the stuff in, as there are other tutorials on that matter, this tutorial is purely about how to use Winrar to Extract/compress the files.
Also you may have noticed I spoke of rars almost all the tutorial. The ways are same with zips. It is basically just another fileformat.
I haven't tested every single version of Winrar there is, these pictures are taken in Winrar 3.80. The features are the same in newer versions (I suppose). You should get at least the basic idea how to use it in this tutorial.
I hope you find this tutorial useful :)