RE: Is "untar" an acceptable verb?

Subject: RE: Is "untar" an acceptable verb?
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: Jeff Scattini <jeff -dot- scattini -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2012 15:08:11 -0700

Jeff Scattini wrote:

> I started a new contract a little while ago, and the software in
> question
> can be delivered by TAR (.tgz) files.
> Is the term "untar" acceptable the same way you can "unzip" a
> collection of
> files? A quick search in Google seems to suggest that it is acceptable,
> but
> I wanted to throw the question to a TARgeted (sorry) audience of
> techwr-lrs.

"Extract the files from the archive."

"Untar" may be understood by all the *NIX geeks, but it's slangy and presents problems for translation, ESL users, and users not steeped in that culture.

BTW, .tgz isn't strictly speaking a TAR file (.tar extension). It's a TAR file that's been compressed with GZip (GNU zip). The extension .tar.gz is sometimes used.

The Unix command for uncompressing these files is gunzip, and then the tar command is used to extract the contents. Or, if it's available, gtar can do both at once.

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help. Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need.

Try Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.


You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @

Is "untar" an acceptable verb?: From: Jeff Scattini

Previous by Author: RE: More Low Paying Jobs
Next by Author: RE: Lossy, smaller JPG files
Previous by Thread: Re: Is "untar" an acceptable verb?
Next by Thread: MadCap Flare users - using "Togglers" ?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads