CIT 591 Using Zip Files and Blackboard
Fall 2003, David Matuszek

Note: We will not be making full use of Blackboard. Do not expect to see web pages, announcements, etc. here. We will post your assignment grades here, but it may take a little while to get around to it.

To turn in an assignment:

To "zip" files is to compress them into one small bundle. Blackboard lets you turn in one file per assignment, so you need to zip all your files up into one file.

Zip your files into one .zip file, using WinZip, FreeZip, Power Archiver, or some similar package. (All of these programs produce the same result.) Give your zipped file some meaningful name. There are some brief instructions below on how to zip files.

Turn in all files related to your project. This includes all .java files, all compiled .class files, BlueJ's .pkg and .pkh files, etc. It's easiest for us if we can just open your project from inside BlueJ. We have a lot of programs to grade; we don't want to have to compile your files before we can use them.

Please do not turn in unrelated files, old versions, etc. Just give us the good stuff.

Next, go to and log in using your usual name and password.

  1. Click the Tools button on the left.
  2. Click the Digital Drop Box. (There's a Manual that you might look at when you have some free time.)
  3. Click Send File. If this is the first time you've submitted something, Send File may not work--try it and wait a while (it's pretty slow). If it doesn't work, do this:
    1. Click on Add File.
    2. Ignore the Title: and Comments: fields.
    3. Use the Browse... button to select your zip file.
    4. Click the Submit button.
    5. Click OK. Keep going--you are not done!
    6. Now click Send File.
  4. Use the drop-down menu or the Browse: button to locate a file.
  5. Fill in the Title: field with the assignment name and number, for example, 1--Drawing Applet.
  6. Click Submit.
  7. If you get the message [your Title] has been sent to the instructor(s), you are done (after you click OK a couple more times).

Zipping in Linux:

Zipping files is actually much easier in Linux than in other operating systems, but you have to use the command line. (If there is an icon utility to do it, I haven't found it yet.) Just cd into the directory with your files ("directory" is another name for "folder"), and type:

zip -r  file1  file2  file3  ...  fileN

where is a name you make up (but use the .zip extension!) and file1 ... fileN are the names of your files. After you do this, will be the zipped file you need to submit.

If you have all the files you want to turn in in a single directory, and only those files, you can either:

cd into the directory, and
enter the command zip -r  *

(the * is Unix's way of saying "all the files in this directory"); or you can:

cd to the directory containing the directory of files you want to submit, and
enter the command zip -r  myDirectory

where myDirectory is the directory of files you want to submit.


If you have WinZip, you probably already know how to use it.

  1. Start up WinZip by double-clicking on the WinZip icon.
  2. Agree to the terms.
  3. Don't change the settings (click No) unless you want to.
  4. If WinZip starts up in WinZip Classic, then click the Wizard icon at the far right of the tool bar. If WinZip starts up in WinZip Wizard, don't do anything.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Choose Create a new Zip file and click Next.
  7. Either:
    1. Type in a name for your new zip file and click Next, or
    2. Click the Browse... button, then
      1. navigate until the directory shown at the top is where you want to put the new zip file
      2. type in a name for your new zip file
      3. click OK
      4. click Next
  8. Click Add folders...
  9. Select (but don't open) the folder containing the files you want to zip up (it should be selected and should have a + sign in front of it), and click OK.
  10. Click Zip Now
  11. Click Close.
  12. Use Blackboard to submit your new zip file to be graded.


All the labs have a zip utility installed called PowerArchiver. To create a zip file:

  1. Choose Start -> Network Software -> Power Archiver 6.11
  2. Choose File -> New Archive
  3. Navigate to where you want to create the archive, enter a name for the archive, hit OK.
  4. In the Add window that appears, navigate to the file or folder that you want to add, select it, and click the Add button.
  5. Wait until PowerArchiver finishes (it's very slow).
  6. If you want to add more files or folders,
    1. Under the Actions menu, choose Add.
    2. Navigate to the file or folder that you want to add, select it, and click the Add button.
    3. Wait.
  7. Close the PowerArchiver window.


There is a utility called FreeZip which is free, extremely fast, and much simpler to use than the others. Download it from or from any of your favorite software download sites.

To install FreeZip, double-click on the freezip.exe file and click Yes to accept the conditions. (You won't find better conditions anywhere!). FreeZip installs almost instantly.

There is one thing that I found very strange about the way FreeZip works. To run it, you right-click on a folder and choose Zip. FreeZip then zips up everything in the folder that you are in (not the one you just clicked on). For example, suppose you right-click on the folder named Version 3 and choose Zip:

This creates a file named (which you should rename!). It contains, not just the Version 3 folder and its contents, but the entire contents of C:\Assignment--that is, Version 1, Version 2, Version 3, and test.html.

To check the contents of your new zip directory, right-click on it and choose ListZip.