The point of it...
Batch processing is used when you want to make separate lists, but you don't want the trouble of doing it one by one, manually selecting each text file, making the word list or concordance, saving it, and so on.
If you have selected more than one text file you can ask WordList, Concord and KeyWords to process as a batch.
This screen shot shows a process which has already created over 34,000 word lists and they are going to be stored in one large .zip file.
One file / One file per folder?
The first alternative (default) makes one .zip file with all your individual word-lists in it. Each word-list or concordance or keywords list is for one source text.
But what if your text files are structured like this:
The One file per folder, individual zipfiles makes a separate .zip of each separate folderful of textfiles (eg. one for humanities, another for medicine, etc.), with one list for each source text.
The One file per folder, amalgamated zipfiles makes a separate .zip of each folderful, but makes one word-list or concordance from that whole folderful of texts.
Batch Processing and Excel
These options may also offer a chance for data to be copied automatically to an Excel file.
The advantage of a .zip file is that it takes up much less disk space and is easy to email to others. WordSmith can access the results from within a .zip file, letting you choose which word list, concordance etc. you want to see.
Getting at the results in WordSmith
Choose File | Open as usual, then change the file-type to "Batch file *.zip*". When you choose a .zip file, you will see a window listing its contents. Double-click on any one to open it.
Note: of course Concord will only succeed in opening a concordance and KeyWords a key word list file. If you choose a .zip file which contains something else, it will give an error message.
See also: batch scripts