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ZIP Files


Often we want to store something, compress it so it takes less space, and/or bundle up several files to store or send to someone.  On the PC we have a special way of doing this.  It is called zipping the files.  Starting with DOS, there were programs called PKZIP.EXE, and PKUNZIP.EXE.   PKZIP would compress one or many files and put them all in one master compressed file ending with the extension ZIP.  To get them out you used PKUNZIP.EXE.   When windows came out the same procedure was still followed, but newer programs came along which made the job easier. 

Many times files on the web are stored this way.  To use zip files you use the following procedure. You ZIP them to put them together, but you must unzip them to separate them before you can use them in the software they were intended for.


  1. To process zip files you must have a program which does this installed on your PC.  If so skip to part B. If you do not have an unzip program do the following:

1.      Go to a shareware site such as, search for unzip, select one of the choices for your type of computer and operating system (Linux, MAC, Windows 9X, or Windows 2000), and download and install the unzip program.

2.      Many of these programs allow you to both zip and unzip files.  The DOS programs, pkzip, only zips, and pkunzip only unzips.  I like free zip which is at:

3.      If you have a Macintosh, they have a different file structure and compression/decompression programs, like stuffit.  But to exchange to and from the PC you can use something like Maczipit:


  1. Once you have an installed ZIP program You can download the zip file to your PC and unzip it

1.      First download the file as directed. Take note of where the files are downloaded. 

2.      Open windows explorer and double click the file.

3.      If you have an unzip program such as freezip, winzip, etc this will unzip the files for you automatically. 

4.      Take note of where the unzip files are put so you can then go back and find them!  Some programs automatically put them in a temp folder inside windows.  Others give you the option of where they should go.

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