Files are non-html and non-image files such as PDF files, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and so on. There are two different ways in which Zope can store files: Internally in its own storage database, and Externally in the File System. The former is better for occasional small documents. The latter is better for larger documents or systematic document collections.
Some general points:
File Size: The maximum file size that can be stored in Zope via the Edit interface is 16Mb. Larger files can be stored via the Zope Management interface but may cause performance problems. If there are numerous files over 1Mb in size please consider using a document store.
Portable Document Format: PDF is the preferred file format for non-html documents. It is a compact and efficient format that should not cause browser or platform problems. Most office documents can be easily converted to PDF (Word, Excel, Powerpoint).
Microsoft Word: You can put Word on the web and most, but not all, users will be able to open word documents. However, note that exchange of Word documents has revealed that almost all University Staff have no idea how to use a Word Processor properly! Some users will refuse to open Word documents for fear of infection with a macro-virus.
Powerpoint: Presentation files with lots of graphics can be very big. Find out how to make a PDF and compare the file sizes.
User Information: Files are delivered to the end user separately from pages and need a separate Viewer installed. Try to tell the user the format and file size in the download link text!