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Jigs@w Tips by Jimi

The following was first published at Jigs@w Puzzle Fans eGroup and is used with permission of the author. Also see my review of Tibo Jigs@w Puzzle.


Pzl files are the files which are used within the Jigs@w Puzzle game. These files represent each of the current puzzles which are loaded within our game.

Within the group we've been distributing our puzzles as .exe files. Exe files are those which when saved and opened will automatically load a puzzle into our game.

The main difference between these two files is the size. Exe files are much larger and take up a considerable amount of space, while .pzl files are much smaller and take up less space. This is rather important, especially considering that we have a limited amount of free space within our Yahoo Group. By distributing .pzl files instead of .exe we would be able to store a much greater amount of puzzles in the group.

Within my last tutorial I covered how to save a puzzle as an .exe file which could be shared with friends. We learned how to create a puzzle, create a "gift" and email it or upload it to the group's files section.

These .exe files as we know are "self loading", they automatically install into the proper folder for use within our Jigs@w Puzzle Program. As I've stated above, .pzl files are those which represent each of the puzzles we have within our game. Each time you create a new puzzle it creates a new .pzl file. The .exe files are nothing more than a .pzl file which is placed into a small self extracting program. It is the self extracting program which manages to increase the file size greatly.

Lets take a look at the difference between the size of these files. One of the current puzzles stored within the group is "King Tut's Mask". This .exe file is 538KB in size. The .pzl file for this puzzle is only 45KB, that means 493KB of this file is used for the self extracting program. That's a considerable amount especially since we have a limited total of 20480KB available to us. Some of our .exe files are even larger in size, 540KB to 580KB. This means that we're able to store somewhere around 20 - 25 puzzles within the group at any given time when they are saved as .exe files. If we were to use .pzl files instead, we could manage to fit over 300+ puzzles within the group.

As a few of us have been adding new puzzles on a regular basis the free space within the group gets used up rather quickly, this means that puzzles need to be deleted every few days to make room for new ones. It's possible that a few members here may miss out on downloading some of these since they are removed rather quickly. Also new members to the group would not have access to them unless of course these puzzles were to be uploaded again in the future.

By making the change to distribute .pzl files within the group we could manage to create a large collection of puzzles which would be available to members here. Quite possibly the largest collection available online.

The trick to using .pzl files instead of .exe files is knowing where they need to be saved in order to be used within the game. Instead of letting the self extracting file save them to the proper location we would need to do this ourselves. It's not very difficult at all once you know where they need to be saved.

I'm sure that members here are using various versions of Windows, so I will try to explain the best I can how to locate where the .pzl files are located.

If you're using Windows XP click on "Start", "My Computer", under Hard Disk Drives double click on "(C:)". Locate the folder titled "Program Files" then double click it to open. Locate the folder titled "Jigs@w Puzzle" and double click that to open it. Here is where all of your Jigs@w Puzzle files are stored. Locate the folder titled "Puzzles" then double click it to open and you will see a list of files. These are your .pzl files. You will notice that there is one for each of the puzzles you have stored within your game.

If you're using another version of Windows begin by double clicking on "My Computer", under Hard Disk Drives double click on "(C:)". Locate the folder titled "Program Files" then double click it to open. Locate the folder titled "Jigs@w Puzzle" and double click that to open it. Here is where all of your Jigs@w Puzzle files are stored. Locate the folder titled "Puzzles"

Now we have managed to find the proper folder where our .pzl files are located. This is the location we want to save any .pzl files we download for use in the Jigs@w Puzzle game.

When downloading a .pzl file you have to select the location to where it will be saved. Within the group's files section click on a .pzl file to download. A small window pops up and you have the option to where you'd like to save it. Just like above save it to this location:
C:\Program Files\Jigs@w Puzzle\Puzzles

If you have the Platinum Edition of Jigs@w Puzzle the location would be:
C:\Program Files\Jigs@w Puzzle Platinum Edition\Puzzles

Once you have downloaded the new .pzl file(s) start your Jigs@w Puzzle program and you will see these new puzzles located within your storage room ready for you to put together.

One more note about the .exe files. Once you open them and they are installed within your game you can and should delete the .exe file. There is little reason to keep them on your computer, especially since you've already got the puzzle loaded within your game.I usually save the .exe files on my desktop and move them to the recycle bin right after I install the puzzle. These files only manage to take up a lot of space on your computer, so there is no sense to save them once they've been installed.

Storage Room in Jigs@w Puzzle

Is your storage room filled with puzzles, many of which you've already put together several times? One complaint a few people have had about the Tibo Jigs@w Puzzle program is the fact that there are no storage shelves available within the game. This can manage to make your storage room rather messy and full with puzzles stacked on top of one another. Well there is a little trick to keep things nice and tidy without having to delete puzzles.

Now that we know where our .pzl (puzzle) files are located we can sort them any way we like. Here's a tip which will allow you to have as many puzzles as you like stored on your computer. Lets go into our Puzzles folder again, C:\Program Files\Jigs@w Puzzle\Puzzles. Again there are our .pzl files. If we were to remove, or delete one of those files it would no longer be within our game. One thing we can do to keep our storage room tidy is remove old puzzles, but many of us just hate to delete a puzzle we like even if we have already put it together several times. What we can do is move the puzzle's .pzl file to a new folder where we can store it. It wouldn't show up within our game, but we would still have it saved on our computer for future use.

 What we'd want to do here is to create a new folder somewhere on our computer where we could store these old puzzles. We wouldn't want to create another folder named "Puzzles" where our current one is, as this could possibly cause the game to get confused. So instead we'd need to find a new location for our new folder. Someplace where we can easily find it and get to it. Possibly the best place to do this would be within the "My Documents" folder or right on your desktop.

To create a new folder within our "My Documents" folder simply open "My Documents" at the top left click on "File", click "New", click "Folder" This creates a new sub-folder within our "My Documents" folder. Now type in a name for this folder, something like "My Puzzles" or "My Extra Puzzles" would be good. Here is where we can move our older puzzles for safe keeping till we want to load them back into our game.

To get your puzzles here we'll need to copy and paste. Lets open our Jigs@w Puzzle Program and look at our puzzles. Take a look at the puzzles you'd like to remove from the game, yet would like to store somewhere for future use. Click once on the puzzle and look at the "Info Tab". Here the name of the puzzle is displayed. You can either remember the names of those puzzles you would like to move, or you could write them down so you don't forget or make a possible mistake. Next close the Jigs@w Puzzle Program and open the C:\Program Files\Jigs@w Puzzle\Puzzles folder again. Locate the first puzzle you'd like to move, click and hold down with the right mouse button on the file and select "COPY". This creates a copy of that file. Next go to the new folder we have created "My Puzzles" or "My Extra Puzzles" whichever you named it. Open the new folder and again using the right mouse button click, hold and this time select "PASTE". You will now see that a copy of your .pzl file is here. You can go back to your Puzzle folder "C:\Program Files\Jigs@w Puzzle\Puzzles" and delete the .pzl file with the same name.

To get these puzzles back into our game we just need to copy & paste the .pzl file back into the C:\Program Files\Jigs@w Puzzle\Puzzles folder. If you'd like to move ALL of your puzzles to a new folder you could just open the Puzzles folder, click "edit" click "select all", clcik on "edit" again and select "copy". Then go to your new folder and click "edit" and "paste". Now all of your .pzl files are stored here as well. You can then go back to the original Puzzle folder and remove any you wish to make room in your storage room.

It may take a little while to get used to doing it, but once you manage you'll find it's rather easy to do.

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