How to Quickly Make a Zip Archive from the OS X Finder
An incredibly useful feature that is built right into Mac OS X is the ability to create an archive instantly of anything, be it a single document, a folder, or multiple files. Creating archives is great for may reasons, they save space, and it’s a polite and easier way to send a group of files to someone else. Every once in a while we all get emails with a group of files attached that when we save the attachments, suddenly our desktop is littered with a mess of JPG’s, Word documents, and whatever else the sender attached. Spare someone else this annoyance by creating an archive first. Here’s how to complete the process and build a zip archive from any selected documents, files, or folders available in the Mac file system.
Creating an archive is extremely easy and built right into Mac OS X, here’s how in three easy steps:
- Gather the files or folders you want to create an archive with. Simply drag and select them (it can be as many or as few as you’d like).
- While these items are still selected, right-click (or control-click, or two-fingered trackpad click) on a single highlighted file to bring up a menu.
- Navigate this menu to “Compress Items” (or, with older versions of OS X, look for “Create Archive of ___ items”) and click on it to build the zip archive file
That’s all. If you selected a folder to archive, the archive file will be named after the folder, with a .zip extension. If you selected a group of files to archive, it will be simply named Archive.zip. In both cases, the archive will appear in the same location as the files you selected.
Creating these zip archives also saves a lot of space, great for backups, emails, storage, and making it easier to transfer files to an individual with a lower bandwidth connection. Often, a compressed archive will take up 1/3 or less the space of its decompressed content.
Update: in newer versions of Mac OS X, it is now labeled ‘Compress Items’ rather than ‘Create Archive’, the functionality is the same. Happy archiving!