Ok, so a lot has changed since I wrote my first Win-Zip tutorial. (You're probably going - what is Win-Zip?) Since then Windows caught up and most of your versions of Windows can unzip files for you, without a special program. So I'm re-writing this, trying to cover all the bases and explain the whole thing.
If you want to digi-scrap, you will need to un-zip files. If you've never done this before, don't worry -- it's not as scary as it seems.
Files are "Zipped" -- compressed -- for easier downloading. When files are zipped, you can download SEVERAL files all at once instead of one at a time. ('Cause dude . . . one at a time SUCKS.) Zipped files are a little smaller and faster to download. You have to unzip them before you use them. When you're done un-zipping, the zipped originals don't need to be saved (unless you want to back them up for archiving -- but then you've have to unzip them again, and why waste the time?)
I explain everything with the assumption that you're working from a Windows XP or higher operating system. Apple users and dinosaur operating systems, sorry, can't help ya.
A zipped file has a very distinct graphic. If you have Win-Zip on your computer, the zipped file will look like a file cabinet in a vice. If not, it will look like a regular folder, but with a zipper on it.
Let's talk un-zipping a file in Windows.
Right-click on the zipped file . . . my old computer, I was able to choose "Open With" and "Compressed (zipped) Folders." This is a part of Windows for me. (See image at right for visual.) This immediately opened up the folder for me and I was able to just drag the extracted folder to a place on my desktop. No problem.
My current computer, I just right click and then choose "Extract All." I'm going to have some faith in you that you can follow the prompts that come next, like allowing you to choose where the file save to, then hitting the "extract" button.
* When you're downloading new elements and given the choice where to save your file, save it on your desktop or to a folder on your desktop just for new downloads. After you extract the files, you can delete the zipped download. This helps you keep track of new downloads and what has been unzipped and taken care of. *
Sometimes when you download a file, you're not given the option of where to save it. It saves SOMEWHERE to your computer, and you're left wondering where. It's probably in your Temporary Internet Files. To find your temporary files, open "My Computer" on your desktop, then the "C:Local Disk" drive. Next choose "Documents & Settings" and "Default user" or "xpguest" (or whatever screenname you use on your computer windows sign-in.) From here, open "Local Settings" and then "Temporary Internet Files." If you've been browsing the internet alot, there will probably be a ton of files here. I would recommend cleaning out your Temporary Internet Files BEFORE you go to download, so they downloads are easier to find if they end up here. And really? You need to do it regularly anyway.
Ok, so to clean up the Temporary Internet Files. Open "My Computer," then RIGHT CLICK the "C:Local Disk" drive. This will give you a pop-up menu. Choose "Properties" at the bottom. The general tab will show you a pie graph of your computer's capacity. Next to the pie is a "Disk Clean-up" button. Click it and it opens a new screen. This will show you all the useless crap your computer is holding on to for no good reason. Click "ok" to clean these up, and watch how your free space on the pie graph increases! Do this from time to time to keep your computer running smoothly.