The following shows an example of LZ77 compression in which the compressed word references data that is not wholly contained in the uncompressed buffer at the time when the word is processed. In this scenario, the compressed word is processed by copying data from the start of the uncompressed target region to the end.
The following ANSI string, including the terminal NUL, is 142 bytes in length.
F# F# G A A G F# E D D E F# F# E E F# F# G A A G F# E D D E F# E D D E E F# D E F# G F# D E F# G F# E D E A F# F# G A A G F# E D D E F# E D D
The algorithm, using the standard compression engine, produces the following hexadecimal output with a length of 59 bytes.
0x00000000: 38 b0 88 46 23 20 00 20 0x00000008: 47 20 41 00 10 a2 47 01 0x00000010: a0 45 20 44 00 08 45 01 0x00000018: 50 79 00 c0 45 20 05 24 0x00000020: 13 88 05 b4 02 4a 44 ef 0x00000028: 03 58 02 8c 09 16 01 48 0x00000030: 45 00 be 00 9e 00 04 01 0x00000038: 18 90 00
The compressed data is contained in a single chunk. The chunk header, interpreted as a 16-bit value, is 0xB038. Bit 15 is 1, so the chunk is compressed; bits 14 through 12 are the correct signature value (3); and bits 11 through 0 are decimal 56, so the chunk is 59 bytes in size.
The next byte, 0x88, is a flag byte. Bits 0, 1, and 2 of this byte are clear, so the next 3 bytes are not compressed. They are 0x46 ('F'), 0x23 ('#'), and 0x20 (a space). The output stream now contains "F# ".
Bit 3 of the flag byte is set, however, so the next two bytes are part of a compressed word; in this case, that word is 0x2000. Here, the offset from the start of the uncompressed data, U, is 3 bytes; there is no value M such that M >= 4 and 2M-1 < U, so the compressed word has 4 bits of displacement and 12 bits of length. The stored displacement is 2 (0010) and the stored length is 0 (0000 0000 0000); the actual displacement is 3 (2 + 1 = 3) and the length is 3 (0 + 3 = 3). The next 3 characters of uncompressed data are "F# ", which results in an uncompressed string of length 6: "F# F# ".
Bits 4 through 6 of the flag byte are clear, so the next three bytes are literals: 0x47 ('G'), 0x20 (a space), and 0x41 ('A'). The string is now "F# F# G A". Bit 7 is set, so the next two bytes are a compressed word, 0x1000. The offset from the start of the chunk is 9 bytes, so the compressed word once again has 4 bits of displacement and 12 bits of length. The stored displacement is 1 (0001) and the stored length is 0 (0000 0000 0000); thus, the final displacement is 2 (1 + 1 = 2) and the final length is 3 (0 + 3 = 3).
This is a case in which the current uncompressed length (9 bytes) minus the displacement plus the length (10 bytes) actually exceeds the amount of uncompressed data, so character-by-character copying from the beginning of the displaced region is important. The first character is a space, so the string is "F# F# G A "; the next character is an A, resulting in "F# F# G A A"; and the next is the space that was just written, resulting in "F# F# G A A ".
The rest of the decompression proceeds similarly.
The final flag byte is located at offset 0x37. This is the 56th byte of compressed data; only three bytes remain. The flag byte is 0x01, so the next two bytes are a single compressed word. The final byte is a literal value, 0x00. The remainder of the flag byte is ignored because no data remains in the buffer.