How do I unzip compressed ICPSR files?

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ICPSR codebooks, data files, data definition statements, and export files can be downloaded in either compressed or uncompressed formats. Compressed files allow for faster downloading, but these will need to be decompressed on your computer or disk before they can be used. Follow these steps to decompress your files after you have saved them to your computer or local disk:

  1. Use a decompression or unzip program that can handle .gz files. Many versions of Windows come with a client already installed. Simply right-click the zipped folder to see if "Extract" or "Unzip"  are options. Both WinZip, a shareware program, and PowerArchiver, a freeware program, can also handle these types of files.
  2. Using your decompression program, locate the file that you wish to unzip by selecting "Open" from the toolbar, then looking in the directory to which you saved the file. Select the file, then click on "Open."
  3. Click on the filename for the file that you wish to unzip, then select "Extract" from the toolbar. The program will prompt you to choose a directory in which to place the extracted file. You may want to choose c:\temp. Click on extract.
  4. The file has now been decompressed or unzipped. Use SPSS, SAS or another statistical software program to use the data file.