My First Mac Archive

This article was first published on 2007-10-17. Due to the age of this article, it is included here for archive purposes only.


If you have recently switched, you may be wondering where the Mac equivalent of WinZip is and how the process works on a Mac. Or perhaps you’ve just heard of zip files and are wondering if that is something you need to know. I’ll review how you zip files on a Mac and why you would want to below.

What is a zip file?
A zip file is a single compressed file that contains one or more files and folders inside of it. Sometimes we also use the word zipped as a verb, to zip. That means taking a group of files and making a zip file from them.

Zipping files doesn’t alter your original files, but makes a copy of them when compressing them. When you open, or decompress, a zip file, you now have a copy in addition to the originals.

Why use a zip file?
The most common use for zip files these days is to reduce the complexity and size when sharing files with others. For instance, you might want to email 14 photos to your family. This makes for a cluttered email and it might end up being too big to send through your ISP. If you zip up a folder of photos and then attach the zip file to your email, it will be just one file and it will be smaller than the total size of all the separate files. Usually it’s at least half as small as what the total would be.

Another common use is when prepping some files to be sent via FTP or a substitute like YouSendIt. In this case, you make it easy to download by zipping many files into one file, AND the process takes less time because the overall file size is smaller. That makes for less time to upload and download, which can really add up with larger file sizes.

Lastly, sometimes I am trying to send a file over YouSendIt that is just over the 100MB free sending option. In this case I zip it to get the file size under 100MB to use the service.

What happens when a zip file is opened?
If you put a bunch of files in a folder and then zipped the folder, it will create a new file called name-of-folder.zip. When it is unzipped, there will be  a copy of that original folder sitting next to the zip file with copies of all the original files in there.


OK, how do I do it? Where’s the Mac version of WinZip?
As it turns out, the function is hidden in the Finder under the term "Archive". For some reason, Apple chose to use the term Archive instead of zip. Look in the File menu over half way down and you’ll see, "Create Archive of" whatever is selected. This is how you make a zip file.

For example, you have a folder of vacation photos called Hawaii. Select the folder and then go to the File menu and choose, Create Archive of Hawaii. There should be a little process bar window and then next to the folder in the Finder will be another file called Hawaii.zip. That is your zip file.

In this example I used a folder, but you can just select one or more files and folders and then the menu item will read, Create Archive off 8 items. However, I suggest that you be kind to your recipient and put them in a folder first to help them reduce clutter on their end.

Leopard Update: "Archive" is now called "Compress" in the Finder menus.

How do I unzip a zip file?
This is the easiest one of all. Just double-click it in the Finder and it will decompress the file(s) and put them right nearby. If the originals weren’t put in a folder first, they may be scattered on your desktop or where ever the zip file was stored. You might need to look around.


Will PC users be able to open my zip files?
Yes, zip files are cross platform. Us long time Mac users are delighted that Apple finally sided with a cross platform standard for compressed files. There used to be issues exchanging compressed files with PC users, but no more. Whoo-hoo!


What about other compression formats?
There are other utilities that add options to zipping files and compress in other file formats. The old Mac standard was .sit files that a program called StuffIt worked with. Some of these other file formats may be more efficient, but zip seems to be the standard and works well for me.

What do you think? Still have questions or better answers? Let us know in the Comments section below!

18 Responses to “My First Mac Archive”

  1. Nell says:

    I like what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the superb works guys I’ve included
    you guys to my blogroll.

    My blog: world cup soccer news

  2. Roberta says:

    I benefit from looking at your website. With thanks!

    my site 2014 world cup news

  3. Phoebe says:

    How goes it, tidy internet site you’ve got going here.

    My blog post: latest soccer news

  4. Martin says:

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that
    over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

    Also visit my web blog :: liposuction

  5. Adeline says:

    You might want a car to ferry your large family around to school, clubs and outings.

    Dealer Invoice is the actual cost paid by the dealer.
    Though it will probably take you years to learn what you need to learn.

    my web blog :: best value small car (Jeanna)

  6. Billie says:

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am
    not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty.
    You are amazing! Thanks!

    Also visit my site … Alloy wheel refurb Barnsley (Anderson)

  7. Eugene says:

    It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to
    be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things
    or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read more things about it!

    Feel free to visit my blog: omega 3 max, Roseanne,

  8. Carmelo says:

    There’s certainly a lot to learn about this topic.
    I love all of the points you made.

    Here is my homepage :: 服飾小物

  9. Matt says:

    Australia’s seven State and Territory based motoring clubs have acknowledged three Hyundai models as class-winners in the 2010 Australia’s Best
    Car national awards. Most will give a slight increase in MPG, but some
    of these can really have significant gas mileage improvements.
    This can be attributed to the fact that at the time, car makers from Germany,
    Japan, Italy, and America were all competing amongst
    themselves for dominance in the worldwide automotive market.

    My blog post ::

  10. Gidget says:

    Thanks for supplying these kinds of awesome subject matter.

    Review my blog – soccer news transfers

  11. Ivey says:

    Good day! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this
    site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve
    had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of
    a good platform.

    Stop by my blog :: 20/20 Tax Resolution Tips videos

  12. Stephany says:

    Google Chrome has ƅеen called the fastest internet webb browser and iѕ basically ɑ stripped
    down version of most web browsers and thiѕ is whаt
    ǥives chrome іt’s “speed” and it ɦas good malware and fraud
    protection. Simply typing іn words relevant to your
    subject mіght not neϲessarily yield tthe most usefսl informatiоn. It
    is aboսt geting pekple tο notice аnd react to yоur brand so as
    tо write a review or share thedir personal tҺoughts
    ɑbout іt оn tҺeir

  13. Peggy says:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you
    wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead
    of that, this is fantastic blog. A fantastic read.
    I’ll certainly be back.

    Here is my web blog loi des finances 2014 immobilier

  14. Caleb says:

    Especially informative look ahead to returning.

    Here is my web site – latest soccer news

  15. Shani says:

    Incluso hay muchos que se han especializado solamente en cirugia plastica facial.

    my web site; sitio que hablan sobre la nariz y rinoplastia

  16. Jens says:

    You’ve amazing stuff in this case.

    My web page … world cup soccer news

  17. Jillian says:

    Wow, this paragraph is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing these
    things, thus I am going to let know her.

    My web site – soccer news

  18. Uta says:

    I enjoy perusing your web site. Many thanks!

    my homepage; soccer news transfers

Leave a New Comment Related to "My First Mac Archive"

:
:
:

0/500 (500 character limit -- please state your comment succinctly and do not try to get around this limit by posting two comments)