What’s a JAR file and how do I look inside it?

I was speaking to a developer friend of mine who told me he pulled some images out of a JAR file. What’s that and how do I pull stuff out of it?

The letters J.A.R. stand for Java ARchive and it’s really similar is structure to a standard ZIP file. In fact, most archiving software will open up this archive and show you the files that live inside it. If you really want to look inside it, I would recommend using 7-Zip which is a free archiving package.

Obviously JAR files are more useful it you actually want to execute them. In order to do this you need a JRE, a Java Runtime Environment which you can download for free too. Once your JRE is installed, all you need to do is double-click on your JAR file and the application will execute, whether it’s a dvd discount voucher application, a game or any other JAR file you may have downloaded.

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