Dear Computer Lady,
Do you have any information about zipfiles? How do I open them, store them, zip them back, or send them?
Do you need a program such as WinZip to open them easier?
Zipped files are just files that have been compressed to make them smaller and must be “unzipped” or uncompressed before they can be used. Since zipped files are smaller, they take up less space when stored, and can be emailed or downloaded faster. Zipped files can be stored and sent just like any other file on your computer.
A few years ago, you would have needed a program like Winzip in order to open or create zipped files, but starting with Windows XP, Microsoft has included a the ability to zip and unzip files in Windows. Let’s look at how you can work with zipped files in Windows XP or Vista.
When you are looking at files in Windows Explorer, a zipped file appears as a folder with a zipper going through it like the example below.
When you double click on a zipped folder, Windows explorer will display the contents of the file, but you will not be able to actually use the files until you have, “unzipped” or extracted them.
Windows XP has a link to the left of your files that says, “Extract all files”.
While Windows Vista has a link in the bar above that says, “Extract all files”
Click on the “Extract all files link, and you will be able to open a new folder that contains your newly extracted files.
If you have a bunch of files that you want to zip up (or compress) just follow these directions.
1. Highlight the files you want to zip.
2. Right click on the files.
3. In the context menu that appears, point to “Send To”
4. In the sub-menu under Send To, click on “Compressed (zipped) folder”.