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Tar Extract a Single File(s) From a Large Tarball

Q. I've couple of large tarballs such as www.tar and images.tar. Is it possible to extract a single file or a list of files from a large tarball such as images.tar instead of extracting the entire tarball? How do I extract specific files under Linux / UNIX operating systems?
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Q. I've download ed .tbz file. How do I open .tbz file under Linux / UNIX operating system using a shell prompt or GUI application?
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How can I keep out certain files when creating a tarball? For example:

/home/me/file1
/home/me/dir1
/home/me/dir2
/home/me/abc
/home/me/xyz

How do I exclude zyz and abc file while using a tar command?
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