Zip files are files which have been compressed in a standard way. WordSmith can now read and write to .zip files.
The point of it…
Apart from the obvious advantage of your files being considerably smaller than the originals were, the other advantage is that less disk space gets wasted like this: any text file, even a short one containing on the word "hello", will take up on your disk something like 4,000 bytes or maybe up to 32,000 depending on your system. If you have 100 short files, you would be losing many thousands of bytes of space. If you "zip" 100 short files they may fit into just 1 such space. Zip files are used a lot in Internet transmissions because of these advantages. If you have a lot of word lists to store, it will be much more efficient to store them in one .zip file.
The "cost" of zipping is a) the very small amount of time this takes, b) the resulting .zip file can only be read by software which understands the standard format. There are numerous zip programs on the market, including PKZip™ and Winzip™. If you zip up a word list, these programs can unzip it but won't be able to do anything with the finished list. WordSmith can first unzip it and then show it to you.
How to do it…
Where you see an option to create a zip file, this can be checked, and the results will be stored where you choose but in zipped form with the .zip ending.
If you choose to open a zipped word list, concordance, text file, etc. and it contains more than one file within it, you will get a chance to decide which file(s) within it to open up. Otherwise the process will happen in the background and will not affect your normal WordSmith processing.