Sniffing out a good bargain in Mac software can be painfully difficult these days.
That’s not because value software is difficult to find. It’s more an issue of difficult to choose.
Take file compression utilities as an example. For Mac OS X there are two obvious choices.
The first choice is the .zip archive that comes with Mac OS X Tiger. It works. It’s fast. It’s nearly universal.
Extending compression life far beyond that of mortal man is Allume’s venerable Stuffit. It works. It’s not too slow. It’s a necessity for older Macs.
The .zip archive is built in and ready to use, as in mostly automatic. Stuffit continues to receive updates, now at 11.x.
Other than the price tag, there’s plenty to like and many useful utilities. To be honest, I stopped buying Stuffit Deluxe at version 8.x.
In between the free and the mighty, there are all kinds of file compression and file archiving tools for the Mac.
One of my favorites is CleanArchiver. As you might suspect with a quickie review from the Mac360 Value Vixen, it’s free.
As you might suspect with a near perfect Mac utility, there’s not much to it.
CleanArchiver warrants five stars because it does what it does so well. It archives, as in gzip, bzip2, zip, and compressed Disk Image (for Mac OS X).
When you open CleanArchiver you’re besieged by a gazillion preferences. Well, not quite. You won’t use up all the fingers on both hands.
Select an Archive Type, as in gzip, zip, Disk Image, etc. That leaves up to six additional preferences which can be handy.
One is to save the Resource Fork, another is to exclude Apple’s pesky .DS_Store file, another excludes the Icon File, and so on.
That’s about it. After that, it’s all drag and drop simplicity. Once you’ve set the preferences (which you can change at any time), you’re ready.
Being ready and being done with an archive or compression are two different things, though they take about the same amount of time.
How much time? How’s this: drag, drop, done.
There’s a little pause between the drop and the done, depending on which Archive Type you chose earlier, but that’s it.
You were expecting more for something that’s free and easy? This drag and drop stuff can be pretty handy, especially if you use Mac OS X’s Dock or a launcher such as DragThing.
I use both, but for the sake of those not blessed with the wonders of DragThing, the Dock is good for a start.
Open CleanArchiver, set the preferences, load up some files in a folder, drag it to the CleanArchiver icon in the Dock. Bing. Done.
How’s that for handy? Did I mention that CleanArchiver is free? I love using that word.
OK, archiving and compressing files on a Mac can be done a dozen ways or so. .zip for Mac OS X, the popular and aging Stuffit, or the near perfect CleanArchiver.
What do you use to compress files or archive files? Mac OS X’s Disk Utility (I had to say it first)? What else?