StuffIt Deluxe 7 is a complete file archiving and compression utility for the Macintosh.
It supports the most common compression and encoding formats for Macintosh, Windows,
and UNIX platforms. The new StuffIt X file format improves compression and adds security
and safety options.
This software was reviewed on a Power Macintosh G4 Quicksilver 867 MHz with 1.125
GB of RAM running Mac OS X 10.2.4 and Mac OS 9.2.2.
Besides the new StuffIt X file format, StuffIt Deluxe 7 has other notable new features:
- Strong encryption
to protect sensitive data - StuffIt X adds 512 bit encryption (previously 40 bit)
which makes sensitive data more secure.
- Prevention of data
loss with error correction - StuffIt can add error correction information to archives
to repair and reconstruct files that become damaged by bad media or transfer errors.
(This will result in a larger compressed archive size).
- Improved compression
- Aladdin claims up to 30% better.
- Larger archive sizes
- Previous StuffIt versions had a 2 GB archive size maximum, now archives can allow
terabytes of data.
- Long File name support
- Use up to 256 characters, the OS X limit.
- Microsoft integration
- Compress and email from Microsoft Word 2001 and X.
- Full file support
for Zip archives- Full support for browsing and editing Zip archives, including copying
data between .Sit, .Sitx and .Zip archives.
- Stuff and Mail additions
- Supports Entourage and Apple Mail email clients.
- Magic Menu browsing
- Search through StuffIt and Zip archives with Magic Menu.
- New OS X Finder support
- Use keyboard shortcuts to Stuff (Command S) or Unstuff (Command U) files.
- OS X command line
tools - Access to terminal functions and options.
- StuffIt Helper -
(Mac OS Classic only) StuffIt Helper background application frees up the Finder so
users can continue work on other files while compressing. The Helper application
launches at start up as part of the True Finder Integration Control Panel to allow
access to those functions.
Below is a screen-shot of the Stuffit Deluxe interface under OS X. The interface
for the OS 8.6/9 version is basically identical. The StuffIt toolbar can be oriented
horizontally as shown or vertically and can be anchored to the top to the screen
or can float. You can also use smaller icons if screen real estate is a premium.
StuffIt Deluxe supports Drag and Drop. To added files to the archive, you can drag
files to the archive window. To exact files from the archive you can drag files from
the window. There is also a set of Drag and Drop applications that perform one function.
These include StuffIt Expander, DropStuff, DropTar, DropZip, DropConvert, DropSegment,
and Secure Delete. StuffIt Expander is probably the application that you will use
the most since it is used in conjunction with a Web Browser to decode and expand
downloaded files. Aladdin also offers StuffIt Expander as freeware for those that
do not need the compression features.
New in StuffIt Deluxe 7 are command line tools for those that want that flexibility.
These tools can be accessed from the OS X Terminal window.
StuffIt Deluxe 7 supports most of the commonly used compression and archive format
on the most popular platforms. These include Tar and Gzip for UNIX and Zip for Windows.
Also supported are MacBinary, BinHex, UUEncode, and AppleSingle encoding.
Microsoft Word Integration is included with a StuffIt Add-in. The appropriate Add-In
is installed in the Office/Startup/Word folder for either Word 2001 or Word X. The
new StuffIt commands will then be available in the File menu.
The majority of use for this review was done under OS X. However, under Mac OS Classic
(9.2.2), a problem with the StuffIt Helper background application was observed. One
of the True Finder Integration features that only the Classic version has is the
ability to compress and decompress by adding or deleting the .sit or .zip suffix
(Archive Via Rename). When I tried this, it worked the first time when I added .sit
to a folder but the Helper application quit for an unknown reason and adding the
extension did nothing thereafter. The Magic Menu and the contextual menu no longer
worked either. A restart was required and then everything worked as it should and
I had no further problems. Previous versions of StuffIt Deluxe allowed you to open
a StuffIt archive in a Finder window via the StuffIt Browser. If you had a previous
version, the StuffIt Browser is not deleted when version 7 is installed. It will
still work but will not browse .sitx or .zip files. Aladdin recommends you remove
StuffIt Browser and use the StuffIt Deluxe application instead.
Under OS X Finder, the Magic Menu (located on the menu bar) and StuffIt Contextual
Menu (accessed by control-clicking) worked well for quickly archiving or expanding
and I saw little need for compressing via adding a suffix. I do wish you could select
the StuffIt or StuffIt X format from the menu instead of having to change it via
I found a bug in StuffIt Deluxe when a StuffIt X archive is open and you want to
"Save A Copy As". If you click the options and turn on encryption, it shows
"128-bit" not the advertised 512-bit. This may be just a typo. However,
when you save it, a prompt for a password never appears so the archive is not password
protected. When I opened a StuffIt X archive that was password protected and tried
to save it as a non-encrypted archive, the application unexpectedly quit.
One interesting application that comes with the package is StuffIt Express Personal
Edition. For example, with Stuffit Express, you can create a Drop Box application
that will compress and upload files to a FTP site by just dropping the files on top
of the Drop Box. When I first launched StuffIt Express, it complained that the proper
files were not installed and in fact when I searched for those files, the previous
versions files were in my user area while the new ones were in the general areas.
I copied the new versions over to my user area and no more complaints so there is
a problem with the StuffIt Deluxe installation script at least under OS X. I created
a Stuff and FTP upload Drop Box and a FTP upload Drop Box for my personal website
and both worked perfectly.
The biggest difference between version 6.5 and 7 is the new StuffIt X format, the
Magic Menu now works under OS X Jaguar, Microsoft Word integration, and OS X command
line tools. If you can live without these, you may want to wait to upgrade at the
The table below shows the compression results for creating different archives supported
by StuffIt Deluxe. The original folder, Web Pages, contained HTML code and GIF images.
Be aware that even though some archive formats seemed to compress more than the StuffIt
archives, the Mac information such as icons and relative positions inside the folders
is lost. In this example, the StuffIt X archive is about 15% smaller than the StuffIt
||StuffIt X Archive
||StuffIt X Archive with
||Zip Self-Extracting Archive
||Gzip Compressed TAR Archive
||UNIX Compressed TAR Archive
||Bzip Compressed TAR Archive
If you download the program from Aladdin as I did, the StuffIt Deluxe User's Guide
PDF file is included. It is a fairly complete user's guide and I found answers to
all my questions in it. Additionally, there is an iSupport menu in StuffIt Deluxe
that will connect you to the Internet to check for updates, register the software,
and product support.
StuffIt Deluxe 7 is the standard for Mac file compression and archiving. For many
people, StuffIt Expander may meet their needs if expanding downloaded files is their
main concern. But if your archiving and compression needs are more demanding and
you want a full-featured package, this is the one utility suite to have.
- Versions for Mac
OS Classic and OS X
- Easy to use interface
- Solid performance
- Excellent compatibility
with popular formats
- StuffIt Deluxe Users
Guide PDF file included
- Worth of upgrade
from 6.5 version questionable
- Sometimes unpredictable
under OS 9 using StuffIt Helper
- StuffIt Deluxe "Save
A Copy As" does not encrypt properly
4 out of 5 Mice