Remember Stuffit? Remember zipped files? Zip is alive and well on your Mac but it’s called Archive, a built-in Mac utility that zips up files and folders so you can store, distribute, or share.
The Mac’s built-in archive tool is sufficient for most of us, but if you’re a heavy zipper, there are half a dozen alternatives. Number one on my list is BetterZip. It’s drag and drop and zip so it works much like the built-in Archive tool, but it comes with plenty of handy extras that give you more control over zipped archives and handles about every format you need.
Look at all those archive file formats.
BetterZip does better than Apple’s archive tool (built-in to the Finder). It opens zipped archives so you can see what’s inside before extracting the contents. If you want, you can extract only those files you want, leaving the archive intact.
It even makes Windows-friendly archives. Take that, WinZip.
The user interface is Finder-like. You can use the controls in the Toolbar, or drag and drop files onto BetterZip to extract or archive.
So far as archive formats go, BetterZip is as good as you’ll find. It does ZIP, TAR, TGZ, TBZ, TXZ, 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.
That should be enough, right?
Note the winmail.dat options TNEF. That helps clean up Windows email attachments which are a scourge to Mac users.
BetterZip also password protects your archives as needed, including a WinZip compatible AES-256 encrypted archive. Please note that the Mac’s built-in zip Archive tool does not do password protection (unless you want to dig into Terminal.app).
You can even add a file to an existing archive. For me, the best function was the ability to strip out all of the Mac’s specific meta data and resource forks when uploading archives to remote servers. OS X clogs up Archives with a few proprietary files which don’t work on Windows or Linux. BetterZip takes care of that.
This is an app I depend on to archive files and folders the way I prefer. The only negative has been an occasional crash when archiving, which seems to go away upon restarting the app. The latest version can open, extract and view Apple’s own .DMG files, and do the same for ePub files (but it’s not really an editor). Every file in an archive is easy to view in Quick Look preview.
The only other negative is merely the result of a utility that can do so much. BetterZip is easy to use but has so many additional functions that they can be overwhelming to a new archive user. Regardless, this is best in class.