Introduction to WinRAR interface


Introduction to WinRAR interface

This topic briefly describes the main elements of the WinRAR interface.

WinRAR has the following menus: File, Commands, Tools, Favorites, Options and Help. Select the appropriate topic to read about commands of a particular menu.

The next interface item is the toolbar. It is placed below menus, but above the file list. Toolbar buttons duplicate items of the Commands menu (note that all items of this menu also have keyboard shortcuts). When WinRAR displays an archive contents, some buttons may be disabled, if corresponding archive management functions are not applicable to the archive. If you wish, you may choose buttons to display, remove buttons text or reduce buttons size using General settings dialog or clicking by the right mouse button on the toolbar.

Below the toolbar buttons you will see the small "Up" button and the disks list. "Up" button changes the current folder to the parent. Disks list is needed to select the current disk or, for example, the network. You may open it either using mouse or pressing F4 key. It is possible to drag "Up" button and the disks list to the right corner of toolbar. Pressing Ctrl+D or clicking the small "Disk" icon on status bar can also be used to change the current disk.

The list of files is located below the toolbar. It may show either the unpacked contents of the current folder or, if WinRAR is entered to an archive, archived files. These are so called file management and archive management modes. For each file the following parameters are shown: name, size, type and modification time. Archived files also have two additional parameters: packed size and checksum. Checksum is a special value calculated based on file data and allowing to detect if archived file was damaged. WinRAR can use either CRC32 or BLAKE2 algorithm to calculate the checksum.

All parameters are organized into columns. By clicking on the column title you may change the files sort order (a blue arrow drawn in the title shows sort direction). Also it is possible to change the width of columns by dragging the column title separators with a mouse. Several additional list options are available in the File list dialog.

If an archived file is encrypted, its name is followed by an asterisk. If a file is continued in a next volume, its name is followed by "-->". If a file is continued from a previous volume, its name is followed by "<--". And if a file is continued both in a next and from a previous volume, its name is followed by "<->".

Before processing files you need to select them in the list. In additionally to the standard Windows methods of selecting files WinRAR provides several more keys for this purpose: Space, Ins, "Gray +", "Gray -". More details will be found in the topic Selecting files.

The following keys may be used to navigate in the file list. Backspace (BS) or Ctrl+PgUp or double-click on the folder with ".." name to go to the parent disk or archive folder. The same action will close an archive, if you are viewing the archive root folder. Press Enter or Ctrl+PgDn or double-click on any other folder to enter to it. The same action applied to an archive name will open this archive. Ctrl+\ sets the root disk or archive folder as the current.

If you press the right mouse button in the files list, the menu containing file management and interface commands will appear. These commands are also accessible in the usual WinRAR menus, toolbar and keyboard, so you may select whichever activation method is most convenient for you.

Left pane of WinRAR window can contain the folder tree panel if it is enabled in "Folder tree" submenu of Options. Folder tree is convenient if you need to navigate in disk or archive folders quickly. You may change the width of folder tree by dragging its right border with the mouse.

Depending upon the "Show archive comment" option in General settings dialog and the presence of a comment in the opened archive, the right part of the file list may be overlapped by the archive comment window. You may change the width of the comment window by dragging its left border with the mouse.

The status bar is placed below the files list, at the bottom of the WinRAR window. The left part of the status bar contains two small icons: "Drive" and "Key". By clicking on the "Drive" icon you may change the current disk. To change the current password click on the "Key" icon. Both of these commands are also present in the File menu. By default the "Key" icon is yellow, but if a password is entered, the icon will be red. The middle part of the status bar shows either the total size of selected files or information about the current operation. The right part of the status bar displays the number and size of files in the current folder.