Recently I found myself needing to transfer a 3GB file to another computer with a 512MB Flash Drive. There are a fair amount of ways to do that, but I knew one that was much simpler and more Mac-like than the others: BetterZip.
BetterZip by MacItBetter retails for only $19.95, compared to $79.99 for a tool like Stuffit Deluxe, which doesn’t even have as many features as BetterZip. BetterZip can not only split files into pieces of a certain size, but it can also open archives without having to expand them and then extract only certain files! For someone like me who likes to archive his mail every year (about 100MB .zip file), this is perfect so I can see what mail is there and only extract a certain message. If you want to protect your files you can use up to 256 bits of encryption on your archives. It is the perfect piece of software for all your zipping and archiving in a flash!
BetterZip 1.6 has just been released, which includes a great new feature which directly extracts archives instead of opening a new window with its contents. In versions before this, it got annoying to have to click on “Extract” in the big window that popped up, so I’m glad that this has been fixed. It also helps for quick accessing of all files in an archive. You can turn this feature on or off in the general preferences if you don’t like it. Even when it is on you can open an archive in a window by holding down the Control and Command keys while the archive is opening with BetterZip.
Another feature of BetterZip, and new in 1.6, is instead of reading file extensions to get the format, it reads the data. Before, if you renamed a .zip into a .sit, it would try to decompress it as a .sit. When you did that, it would usually not decompress. BetterZip can also show hidden files in archives, so you can see every file that is being extracted onto your computer. But if you have the quick extraction feature on (as described above) it does not show you those files.
BetterZip also lets you choose which types of files are handled by the program. This made my switch from Stuffit much easier, so now every compressed file is opened with BetterZip. This feature is located in the “File Types” tab of the preferences. You can just click “Handle All” to handle all files, and “Handle None”, if for some reason you don’t want to handle files in BetterZip.
BetterZip is a great program for handling compressed files, extracting only certain files from archives and seeing all files in an archive, but it wouldn’t be complete without the BetterZip QuickLook generator. This plugin can be downloaded from their website. You just drag it to your QuickLook plugins folder, and when you use QuickLook on a file handled by BetterZip, you will see a list of the files in the archive! This is my total favorite feature of BetterZip, because it makes it so easy to quickly view all files of an archive. You don’t even have to open the file with BetterZip for this to work! It does not, however, save the folder (open or closed) states. So with archives that have many folders with many items, every time you view it in QuickLook the folders will be opened.
MacItBetter has very generously given MacApper 5 licenses to giveaway! If you want to enter the giveaway, just comment on this with one feature that you would like to see in BetterZip. The giveaway will end on April 25th. And remember, if you don’t win, BetterZip costs only $19.95.