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About ZIP files
If you download files from the web frequently sooner or later you are going to run into what are called zip files. A zip file is a special file type that compresses other files together into a single archive. A good analogy is using a briefcase to contain all your individual papers in a single location. Not only does a zip file reduce the overall size of the combined information within it, but it also puts everything into a single object which can be easily moved and downloaded.
Zip files cannot be read normally as is, however. Before you can use what is contained inside them you will need to unzip them using a special program. This program opens the zip file and allows you to save its contents to your disk so that you can work with them.
A number of unzipping programs are available for use in this task. The most popular on Windows systems is WinZip as it is very intuitive for the beginning user and has some nice features. You can get more information about these programs and the systems they are available on by going to the web sites listed below.