I have installed Forge and want to download a mod, and I know that you need the zip file, but how do I find out what it's zip file is? and when I do, do I insert it into the mods section? (It says search...)?
A ZIP file is a file that has basically been compressed for the sake of storage or transmission. If you want to be able to locate the ZIP file, then look for the file within your mod that ends with ".zip". If you do not see that (it has most likely been renamed or put into another file already in the mod) then look for the file that has the image of a file with a zipper down it. I dont have that much experience with mods, but, like downloading a map (you would have to drag the maps zip file to the .minecraft saves file), I am guessing you just drag the mod's zip file into your .minecraft mods file. Hope this helps.
[Insert some logos of ZIP and JAR archives - Will edit in when on a PC]
A ZIP Archive (.zip file) is a file, which is comprised of compressed a singular or series/group/set of file(s) and folder(s) tucked into one file (the .zip archive), which is "smaller" than the grand total of all the files it holds when separated.
Most commonly, they are used for compressing data for transmission or simply to save space.
In Minecraft, the ZIP Archive is used to house mods, similar to Java Executables (.jar files) as they're they're essentially the same file format (method of storage) but handled differently; opens in different applications in Windiws Explorer.
As for usage in Minecraft and Minecraft Forge, simply drag the .zip or .jar archives of your mod into the
mods folder, which is created in your
%AppData%\.minecraft folder on the first successful launch of Forge Mod Loader.
Do not decompress your .zip or .jar files as they require to be compressed for Java to be recognize and to be used.
Also note that maps and other content may arrive in .zip files too, whether it is simply resource packs (goes compressed; untouched to the
resourcepack folder) or just backups of your homework (not used for Minecraft).
For that case, refer to instructions given for each type of content.