File compression software is used to make files smaller.  As programs and documents become increasingly larger, due to multimedia capabilities, it becomes important to have a way to make files smaller without losing the integrity of the file.  There are 2 main types of file compression – A Compressed File or a Self-Extracting file.  When you have a compressed file, such as those created with WinZip, you must have a copy of the compression software to extract the file (return it to the uncompressed state) when you want to open the file.  With a self-extracting file, the extraction instructions are part of the file and therefore you can extract the file without having the compression software on the specific machine where you are trying to use the file.

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