Wait. What? Zipping files? Easy peasy, right? Compressing files and folders is a time honored routine for Mac users, and dates back to the last century with the famous Stuffit apps which helped us save space and share files.
Mac users, like their Windows PC brethren, archive files and folders for various reasons. Back when disk drives were small and expensive and storage was a premium, we Mac users would stuff files to save space and share files. Those days are gone. Storage is cheap. But we still stuff files. Here’s another way to do it better.
Stuff And Archive
With the advent of OS X back in the day, Apple introduced a built-in zip archive function in the Finder. It’s still there today. Open the Finder, select a file or files in a folder, right-click, and select Compress. What you get is an archived zip file of the files which compresses the files and makes them easier to move and share.
Enter Keka, a free Mac utility which does the same but more so. Keka is a simple and straightforward file archiver which compresses files into 7-zip format, Zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, IOS, and even Apple’s own DMG. Not bad for a few bucks, right?
Keka also extracts various file archive formats including RAR, 7z, Lzma, xz, Zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, ISO, EXE, CAB, PAX, among many.
The Finder has a built-in zip archive compression tool, but Keka is better for a number of reasons. First, it’s drag and drop. Second, it has multiple compression options. Third, files can be extracted easily by just dragging the archive to the Dock icon from the Finder. Last, Keka has another setting the Finder’s zip archive does not.
Adding a password to a Keka compressed archive of files is child’s play.
Just enter the password in the Keka app. Other options include excluding the Mac’s resource forks (meta data) which Windows users may prefer. For security, there’s an option to delete files after compression, too.
There isn’t much to zipping up files into a compressed archive. That’s why a bare bones version has been built in to macOS from the beginning of OS X. It’s still there. It’s still free. But it’s mostly zip only and no password option unless you want to get nitty gritty with the Terminal.app.
Keka avoids all the hassles. It’s donationware from the developer and just a couple of dollars on the Mac App Store to help support development. The password protection option alone is worth the nominal price tag.