Mac users are lucky to have one of the most advanced and user-friendly operating systems ever created to use for their computing needs. Many of the functions that in the past we users have had to manually add now come built in out of the box. Today let’s look at one of the handiest functions you will find if you do a lot of sharing – File Zipping and Unzipping, also known as file compressing.
Why Use File Zipping?
First of all, why would you want to zip a single or any number of files? Well, there are many reasons, but one of the most popular is simply to save space – a zipped file takes up much less room than its unzipped counterpart for most file types. This means that you can email, airdrop, backup, or otherwise share the file much easier and quicker than you could otherwise.
Another good reason to zip up files is to keep them together and organized. Let’s say that you have a collection of recipes and you want to keep them all together for safe keeping. By zipping up your favorite collection you can keep all of Grandma’s heirloom family recipes safe and secure. And since you can zip different kinds of files together in a single archive you could keep Grandma’s recipes, PDFs of her marriage license for posterity’s sake, and even that video of her breakdancing at your Uncle’s wedding all together in one place.
You can probably see why you might want to use file zipping, but now you want to know how to do it. So, how do you quickly and easily compress files on a Mac? Well, it couldn’t be easier.
How To Use File Zipping On A Mac
To do file zipping on a Mac, simply pull up or open a new Finder window and navigate to the files you want to compress into a zip file. Now, select the files you want to include in your archive, either by selecting the first and shift-clicking the last one or by holding command and selecting each file. Once you have your files selected, you have two ways you can launch the compression. The first is to command-click or two-finger click (if using a trackpad) on the selected files, then select “Compress X Items” (where X will be the number of items selected) from the menu.
The other convenient way to compress files once you have them selected is to use the menu bar at the top of your screen. Simply click on the Finder File menu and then select “Compress X Items”.
Once you have compressed your selected files, you will have an “Archive.zip” file sitting next to your selected files. Congratulations, you have just used file zipping on your Mac. Please note that your original files are safe and untouched, right where they were when you started.
At this point, you may want to rename your zip file to something meaningful, since “Archive.zip” doesn’t really tell you that all of Grandma’s secrets are buried inside of it. To rename your file, you can either click it once and pause, two-finger or control-click the file, or use the Finder file menu after the file is selected. It really is intuitive once you figure out your preferences.
How To Unzip A File On the Mac
Okay, so now you have your zip file, but let’s say that it is in a different place and you want to unzip it. How do you do that one? Well, thanks to the built capabilities of the Mac OS, it really couldn’t be easier (notice a theme yet?) To unzip your file previously created with file zipping, simply double-click on it. The file will decompress, and you will find a new directory next to your zip file containing all of the files that were inside the archive. Now wasn’t that easy?
I hope your new found Ninja File Zipping skills come in handy as you use your Mac, it really does make for a better computing experience when dealing with large or multiple files. Join us next time as we talk about other ways to use your tech gear to make your life easier.
When he is not writing on his wife’s blog or has his head buried in software code, Greg Chaffins can be found celebrating nerdy things on his own website, NerdBeach.