Many of you have used WinZip for years to handle zip files. I’m still more comfortable with it than anything else, but it’s worth noting that Microsoft has integrated support for zip files into its operating systems, beginning with Windows Me and now continuing in Windows XP.

To compress a file or folder, select it, right-click it, and select Send To | Compressed (Zipped) Folder. A simple wizard will launch that will guide you through the rest of the process. If you receive a zip file, it’s treated as if it was a normal folder full of files. To see the contents of a zip file, just double-click it in Windows Explorer. Extracting files is similarly straightforward. Right-click the zip file and select Extract All.