Product Reviews

StuffIt Deluxe 7.5

There really aren't a lot of choices in compression programs. WinZip continues to be the one that most people think of first (indeed, many Windows users have probably never even heard of PKWare these days). But StuffIt 7.5 sports an impressive array of functionality and a low price that makes it worth considering when you're looking for a compression program.

Of course, StuffIt supports all the common compression formats, including Zip and their own Sit archives (which will be more familiar to Mac users; this is a cross-platform program), as well as lesser-used (on Windows, at least) formats such as tar, bzip, and gzip. But it's the extra touches that make the program shine. For example, you can search for files in archives with an interface very similar to Windows own Search window; specify a file name (with wildcards, if necessary) and a location, and StuffIt will look inside all of the archives to see what it can find. There are also easy shortcuts for operations such as compressing and mailing in a single operation, as well as drag-and-drop functions. Even more impressive from the automation standpoint is the included StuffIt Express, which lets you script whole sequences of actions such as locating files, compressing them, and FTPing the result to another computer. Couple that with Windows task scheduler and you can automate a lot of backup operations.

Another included utility makes self-extracting archives with nice touches such as custom icons and window titles, as well as the ability to send an e-mail message after the files have been extracted. Within the StuffIt application, a Windows Explorer interface makes it easy to find files to work with, although I found this a bit slow on a large drive with a deeply-nested file structure. The program also integrates with the regular Explorer shortcut menus if you prefer to work that way.

You can purchase the program directly from Aladdin's web site, where you can also download a trial version of the program.

[This review originally appeared in

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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