Macworld - If you've ever sent, or received, a big file via email, you've undoubtably encountered a zip file. Double-click one of these and it expands to show files hidden inside. A zip file, or archive, takes up less space than the original files, so that your documents, images and whatnot are easier to send or store. But what do you do if a file won't expand or you come across a different type of archive? Here are answers to frequently asked questions about working with compressed files on Mac OS X.
Q: How does compression work?
A: File compression technology looks for repeated data and writes archives that eliminate these repetitions to save space. You'll find some files shrink a lot--compressed text files can be half the size of the originals--and others not so much. If you try to compress a JPEG file, for instance, you won't see much benefit, as the JPEG format already includes compression.
Q: How do I make a zip file on my Mac?
A: To compress a file, a folder, or a group of files in Mac OS X, select the item(s) in the Finder and then either choose File -> Compress Item Name, or right-click on the selected item(s) and choose Compress Item Name. If you compress a single file, the process will be very quick. If you compress a large folder containing several gigabytes of data, it could take several minutes.
Q: How do I open a zip file that I've received?
A: To uncompress a zip archive, double-click it. A system utility called Archive Utility leaps into action automatically. Archive Utility can work with many types of archives--others you might encounter include .bz, .gz and .tar. You can tell if it will work when the file is labeled with the standard zip icon.
Q: I'd like to have my archives expanded to a specific folder. Can I do this?
A: First, find Archive Utility: it's located at /System/Library/Core Services/Archive Utility. Double-click its icon, and it appears in your Dock. A menu will display, but it won't show any window. Choose Archive Utility -> Preferences.
Here you'll see the option to choose where expanded files are placed. By default, these files expand into their current folder (or directory). To change the default destination click on the Save Expanded Files menu and choose Into. In the sheet that appears, select a new folder. For example, if you often download files and would like to expand archives into a folder other than your Downloads folder, you can create a separate folder for these archives.
Q: I've got old zip archives all over my hard drive. Is there a way to get rid of them automatically?
- 2014 Healthcare Data Management Survey Summary This report provides insights into how much information Healthcare IT organizations are managing, the rate of data growth they are experiencing and which...
- State of Cloud Security Report In a relatively short time, cloud computing, specifically Infrastructure-as a-Service, has shifted from a new but unproven approach to an accepted, even inevitable,...
- What is this "File Sync" Thing and Why Should I Care About It? All of a sudden, getting a file from your work laptop to your iPad became as simple as clicking "Save." So it's no...
- Server and system administrators challenged to keep up with enterprise storage explosion Read this whitepaper to learn how administrators are leveraging their existing skills to simplify the management of storage and servers.
- Brunswick Moves Messaging and Collaboration to the IBM cloud Gerry Orten, Jr, Electronic Messaging Manager at Brunswick talks about why Brunswick moved to the IBM cloud.
- Increase Your Data Center IQ Discover how to improve network efficiency, lower IT costs and more proactively manage your physical, virtual and cloud environments. All Data Storage White Papers | Webcasts