14 Comments

Summary:

Before converting to Mac I ran Windows, which to my knowledge, has no built-in capability to create zip files forcing users to download and install a third party application. After converting to Mac it took me several years to realize that OS X had the built-in […]

Before converting to Mac I ran Windows, which to my knowledge, has no built-in capability to create zip files forcing users to download and install a third party application. After converting to Mac it took me several years to realize that OS X had the built-in functionality to create zip files, which delighted me!

To create a zip file in OS X (Tiger or Leopard):

  1. Right click on the file or folder you would like to zip
  2. Select “Compress … ” or in Tiger “Create an Archive of …”

Creating zips is great if you heavily rely on email for your main form of communication; instead of attaching several documents to an email I make a new folder, name it properly, drop in all of my files, and zip it. Then I log into my favorite email client and attach the one zipped file instead of several single files, which saves me time and is easier for both me, the sender, and the receiver who now only has to download one file.

By Jenny Kortina
  1. On Windows: select files, right click, “Send to”, “Compressed folder”

    Share
  2. You realize that if you attach a folder to a message in Mail, Mail will transparently zip it for you, right? You’re making it needlessly complicated.

    Share
  3. @elpres: Is that in all versions of Windows? Or just Vista? I know back when I used windows I always just used WinZip thinking Windows didn’t have anything available. But I could very well have just missed it. :)

    @Jim: Thanks for the tip for Mail. The tip obviously still applies for other uses, though.

    Share
  4. @Josh Built in to Windows Explorer beginning with WinXP. So, probably about 99% of Windows machines at this point.

    Share
  5. @elpres @ Josh: same thing with me, I haven’t used Windows in a VERY long time, but when I used to use it I thought you had to install a 3rd party app.

    Share
  6. John is correct. Built-in since XP.

    Share
  7. gosh, Jenny, what were you using? Windows 3.1? That’s a cheap shot at Windows who has had built-in zip for a long time!

    Share
  8. Mac OS was the LAST OS to have a .zip compression utility built-in. Remember PKZip? It was ugly and cumbersome, but it was there long before the Mac OS had it.

    Share
  9. Thanks for the tip, Jenny. I, like you, thought you still had to use WinZip to zip stuff on Windows. Anyway, your post, combined with the comments, has been extremely helpful. Keep ‘em coming!

    Share
  10. Only problem is that the zips you create aren’t very windows friendly (some Mac system files always find their way in).

    Anyone got a solution for that?

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post