I downloaded a Word handout but it's a zip file with XML gibberish

Some handouts are available as .docx files, which is the format used by the current version of Word (Word 2007). Sometimes when you download a file in .docx format, your system doesn't recognize it and creates a .zip file instead. 

The file is still in the right format; your system is just confused. One of the following methods should solve the problem:

  • Rename the .zip file to give it a .docx extension. You might first need to tell your system to show file extensions. 


  • Open Word and tell it you want to open a file. From the file type drop-down, choose "all available files." Then choose the .zip file and it should open normally.