Stuffit Deluxe 2009 review

With archiving and decompressing capabilities now built directly into OS X, is there really a need to buy tools that do the same task? If you’re a Mac-based professional, the short answer will always be yes. We’re working in a multi-platform world, with different PC, Mac and Linux archive formats of various vintages in circulation. While your Mac now understands the computing world’s most popular archive type – ZIP – it still needs help with all the others. Stuffit has been doing this since 1987, and this new Deluxe 2009 edition builds on a very solid foundation.

After installation you’ll notice the Stuffit suite of tools have been added to your dock: Expander, DropStuff and Archive Manager. Users of the freeware version of Stuffit will know the drill with Expander – it’s Stuffit’s standalone dearchiver, able to tackle any Stuffit file and a choice list of other formats too. DropStuff’s the tool that makes it easy to archive files – and using Stuffit’s native format you can get better compression results than any of the open-source alternatives. You’re not stuck with SITX though, if it doesn’t suit your workflow. It’ll output to one of 25 supported formats.

For us, the killer tool is Archive Manager. It’s a search and organisation program that tracks down every archive on your drive enabling you to filter by archive type or even file format. It also tracks down image files, music and PDFs, enabling you to archive them quickly with the ‘MagicMenu’ – a feature that lets you compress selected files with a keyboard shortcut.

Stuffit Deluxe 2009 is closely integrated with Leopard, taking full advantage of its built-in features. Archive Manager uses Quick Look to make the contents of compressed files easy to view. Even in the Finder, you can now look through the contents of an archive as though it were a plain folder – about time, too. Continuing the cutting-edge theme, there’s built-in support for FTP to remote servers, iDisk and MobileMe connectivity. Though reluctant to part with Yellow Mug’s cheap-and-cheerful FileChute (www.yellowmug.com) it’s great to have the functionality here.

OUR VERDICT

At $80 (£42.47) for the full version, this is less of a bargain now the pound has weakened against the dollar, but if you’re in any office with a mix of machines, or you need to bundle up large files for clients, there’s nothing that beats Stuffit Deluxe 2009. If that’s you, get it.

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