7-Zip can be used to create more than 7z compressed files, it can also create GZip compressed files and directories. GZip can compressed a single file on its own, however if you need to compress a directory an extra step is required where the directory is first archived with the help of tar and then compressed with GZip. This tutorial will cover single file compression and directory compression.
Download 7zip from http://www.7-zip.org/ and install the application.
Start the 7zip application and browse the location where the file you want to compress is located. Right click on the file_name > 7-Zip > Add to archive… For Archive format: select gzip and click on OK to start compressing. Compression progress. The file is now compressed.
Compressing a directory takes an extra step, first you need to create a tar of the directory you want to compress. Select the source directory > 7-Zip > Add to archive… For Archive format: select tar and click on OK. Progress being displayed. Once again go back to 7-Zip select the new tar file(filename.tar) > 7-Zip > Add to archive… For Archive format select gzip and click on OK. Progress being displayed. The resulting compressed directory with the new extension ending in .tar.gz.
While GZip files may not be all that common in Windows they are commonly used in other operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD. This post is specially useful since many Linux installation only have support for GZip, including support for Zip and 7z is not even an option. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below.