Stuffit Deluxe 2010 by Smith Micro Software is an elegant suite of Mac file compression and archiving utilities. It takes file compression, storage, management and portability far beyond the simple “.zip” mode and provides a stunning array of archiving options that include lightning fast compression and expansion and handling oversized file transporting tasks on the web.
Among other things, with Stuffit Deluxe, Mac users can now compress, send and share huge files through e-mail via its secure web site accessible by passwords received separately by network users.
Four Programs For the Price of One
For $79.99 Smith Micro offers this feature-rich suite of amazingly powerful and configurable compression capabilities. The program loads in a smooth and intuitive way and deposits its three main utility icons on the Mac dock as well as a permanent “Magic Menu” icon in the top menu area. (The SEA program icon discussed below is added the first time the program is accessed through the MagicMenu, the “clamp” icon.)
The program also comes with a detailed user’s guide (located in the Extras folder in the Stuffit application folder). Most users will be able get off to a fairly quick start with Stuffit’s compress and expand tools, but a leisurely visit and browse through this wonderfully detailed and illustrated (albeit nontechnical) guide is worth the trouble.
Setting preferences first
Stuffit Deluxe offers its users an array of options when compressing and expanding (returning compressed files to original size). The options are accessible through the MagicMenu and the expander. New users might prefer not to delete the files being compressed or expanded. Also the option to keep the archive in the same folder as the originals saves trying to remember where the archive/expanded files were sent.
*Here is a brief rundown of what comes with Stuffit Deluxe 2010:
Drag and Drop Stuff with DropStuff
Anyone who has used a compression program (WinZip, etc.) will be able to get the hang of Drop Stuff quickly. Activate the DropStuff window and drag the file or group of files to the large green ball in the center to make Stuffit X compressed files in the same folder the files came from.
Alternatively, drag and drop the file(s) to the small red Make Zip ball at the bottom right to make Zip files, or choose from the remaining two icons for Zip or .tar (UNIX) compressions. The extra ball with the question mark is reserved for a user-configured compression; for example, this space could be reserved for a Stuffit compression that includes backwards-compatible compression for older versions, etc.
Return Compressed Files to Normal with Stuffit Expander
By default, compressed files are archived in their original destination, and Stuffit X files receive a distinctive icon. (Zip files receive a distinctive black and white zipper icon.)
To bring the files back to their original state, just activate the Expander. Drag and drop the archived icon to the expander and presto!, the compressed files load back into a new, expanded folder. (Note that the expander window has an options menu for better file management.)
Manage Compressed Archives with Stuffit Archive Manager
Stuffit 2010’s premier tool is its Archive Manager. The Archive Manager automatically tracks and compiles Archives created through DropStuff. It serves as a sort of “command center” by serving as the central place to see all the files and archives stored on the computer. It is automatically updated as the contents of the hard drive change.
What makes the Archive Manager especially useful is its astonishing Custom Collections capability. The Custom Collections feature hunts down groups of files that can be compressed into an archive that will save tons of space on a hard drive. Users who store large video and sound files will appreciate this outstanding feature.
Create self-extracting files with SEA Maker
Stuffit’s SEA (Self-Extracting Archive) Maker includes application code in an archive and allows other users to open and install the files without having Stuffix installed on their computer. Just drag and drop the file or group of files into the SEA Maker window. Save the package to the local computer for e-mailing or follow the steps on pages 68-71 of the Stuffit reference guide to upload files to an ftp server.
Stuffit Deluxe 2010 has evolved from its 20-year-old predecessor into a truly useful and powerful suite of compression and archive utilities. Mac users will appreciate its “cross-platform” capabilities and easy packaging and handling of all types of compressed files.
Download a free 30-day trial from SmithMicro’s home page at http://my.smithmicro.com/mac/index.html.