Remember Stuffit? Way back in the day Stuffit was the utility we Mac users used to compress and archive files and folders of files to send to others and to save space on our itty bitty tiny little hard disk drives.
Stuffit still lives, has more features than ever, but has largely been replaced by the built-in archive compress function of OS X’s Finder which creates ZIP files. Select a file, right-click, select Compress, and OS X creates a ZIP archive. Need more features? Sorry. Try this instead.
Zip Better, BetterZip
One archiving utility I’ve used for a number of years is BetterZip, which creates archives, views archives without opening, and opens archives. BetterZip resides at the other end of the spectrum from the Mac’s built-in ZIP archive function, and the latest version does even more.
Here’s the basic list. BetterZip creates and updates most archive formats. Use it to open and extract files from an archive, preview the files and folders within an archive without opening it, create an archive with AES 256-bit encryption, generate and manage passwords, and perform far more options than most archive tools.
Considering the long list of features, BetterZip is not complicated to use once you understand what it does.
BetterZip creates these archive file formats– ZIP, TAR, TGZ, TBZ, TXZ (new), 7-ZIP, and — using the external commandline utility — RAR. It can also remove Mac specific file cruft when sharing an archive with non-Mac users. The list is even longer for archive formats that BetterZip can open, including ZIP, TAR, TGZ, TBZ, TXZ (new), 7-ZIP, RAR, Apple Disk Images (DMG), TNEF (winmail.dat), ARJ, LHA, LZH, ISO, CHM, CAB, CPIO/CPGZ, DEB, RPM, StuffIt’s SIT, BinHex, MacBinary, ePub, JAR/WAR/EAR/SAR/PAR/WSR Java archives, CBZ/CBR e-books, GZip, BZip2, WIM.
See? It can even open those pesky Winmail.dat files as well as OS X disk images. Archives created by BetterZip can be encrypted and password protected using a built-in password generator that looks and works much like the one in Safari. If you’re new to the archive world, BetterZip comes with a bunch of presets– settings which make it easy to apply commonly used archives.
BetterZip isn’t the priciest of Mac archive utilities, yet it may have the most features you’ll find anywhere. Thanks to the presets, it’s as easy to use as anything except OS X’s built-in, right-click and Compress archive function. Check out this list of additional zip archive apps.