Zip files are types of computer files that are designed to contain multiple other files. So, the file itself doesn’t contain any data as such - it is merely used to bring together other files, data and documents to keep them together in one place. The name of these files comes from their file extension .zip.
Zip files have a variety of purposes. They are, perhaps, most commonly used by people who want to send a lot of different documents by email to other people. Sending a lot of documents at once or large files can be difficult and sending a few at a time by separate emails can take a lot of time and effort. Sending them in a zip file simply allows them to be sent at once in one attachment so they all stay together.
The biggest advantage of using zip files, however, is the fact that they can compress the files and documents that they hold to make them take up less space. This can make it easier to send even one large document by email as it will become smaller when it is zipped. This can help avoid problems with email storage and sending limits for large pieces of data and can make it quicker to get documents sent in this way.
So, if you use zip files to bring together one or more documents the process will compress the file(s) when they are sent to the zip folder. A large document, once zipped, will be made much smaller due to the compression methods used. Users that then open the zip file will be taken to the list of documents contained in it and they can simply open them as usual. This process is often referred to as unzipping the file.
Most computers will come with some form of zip files facility built into their system. This allows users to use these files as they need to when they are working. Many will also use these files to store related documents and data as they can give a quick way of saving disk space and storage and can help some people organise their file systems.
In some cases users may choose to download their own specific forms of zip files software. They may, for example, not have it already loaded on to their computer. Or, they may want to try out a different program.