What is a Zip File?

Written by Bruce Hughes on . Posted in Family

Zip is an archive file format created with the purpose of putting together a number of files and folders, usually compressed that can help save storage space or enable easier e-mail conversation and faster file sharing. This file format can support lossless data compression, but it is not necessary for a file to be compressed before archiving. The Zip file format is the most popular archiving format, so almost any file archiver offers this option. This file format also supports a wide selection of compression algorithms, but the most common one is an algorithm called DEFLATE. If you happen to come across a file with the extension .zip, you are dealing with an archive, which may have a number of files and folders. You should instantly recognize an archive by its graphical icon that is often featuring a file with a zipper. Accessing the files is not possible without a specialized program such as a file archiver or compressor.

How to Create a Zip File

It is important to learn how to create a zip file, because this little trick can help you free up space on your hard drives, reduce file uploading time and protect your data through encryption. Creating a zip file is simple and easy. You only require a file archiver that supports this file format, which is not at all difficult to find, because most archive programs support the Zip format. Afterwards, you will only need to follow a couple of steps, which generally explained by the software developer. There is not much difference between an application to another, so you can basically follow the following steps and the archive will probably be ready to send:


  1. Right click on the files and folders you wish to archive
  2. Click on the zip command on the shortcut menu
  3. Select the configure feature to change the options
  4. Your file will be archived


How to Unzip/Open Zip Files


All file archivers that can create a Zip file can also open and extract Zip files, so you can use your already downloaded software to access the contents of an archive. Opening, viewing and extracting Zip files is not difficult. The easiest way you can achieve this is by double clicking on the zip and let the program open it. You can also right click on the file and choose the Extract , Open or View files command from the shortcut menu, depending what you wish to do.


Final Thoughts

All in all, encountering Zip files is only a matter of time, if you own a computer and like to spend time on the Internet. This file format is used for a series of applications from saving space to protect sensitive information, so people use it to send files via e-mail or make room on their hard drives. It is important to know how to create a zip file and how to extract it, if you wish to navigate the Internet without any problems.