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as of 03/08/2021 (Details)
While Aladdin System's StuffIt compression and decompression software has been available for Windows for quite a while, it's the last few versions that have really started giving Windows stalwarts PKZIP and WinZip a run for their compression. The latest Windows incarnation, StuffIt Deluxe 7.5, includes a variety of features that make it worth the upgrade. Integrated with Microsoft Office, the OfficeReady StuffIt component of StuffIt Deluxe lets users automatically compress or compress and e-mail a file from Word, Excel, or PowerPoint with a single click. (Note: It does require at least Microsoft Outlook 98 to e-mail the compressed files.) Aladdin claims that StuffIt Deluxe 7.5 offers the tightest compression of any zip application out today and our informal tests backed up their claim. Compressing a 50 MB video file with both WinZip and StuffIt resulted in a 45 MB and a 44.4 MB archive, respectively. And when we compacted five PDF files (with a total size of 691 KB), WinZip compressed them down to 569 KB while StuffIt managed slightly better, packing them down to 567 KB. Neither StuffIt compression job was that much smaller than WinZip, but the .6 MB on the video file could make a difference when storing it or transferring it online. StuffIt Deluxe 7.5 also includes 128-bit encryption built in. If you couple that with its password-protection capabilities, you can ensure that your archives are for your eyes only--or for those recipients to whom you supply the password. But it's the easy-to-use interface that has always held appeal for StuffIt users. You can easily compress or decompress files by dragging and dropping them into the StuffIt window. After you customize a few settings (where to expand an archive, what panes to have in the window, etc.), you don't even have to click through any options. And the cross-platform capability means that you can share your files with Macintosh users as well as users with Linux and Solaris machines. StuffIt Deluxe can also search through archives on your computer--both ZIP and SIT archives--to find files that are buried within. And StuffIt Deluxe includes a full self-extracting archive-creation tool that now lets you send a text message with the archive and receive an e-mail confirmation when the archive has been opened (for sharing presentations or other work with collaborators). StuffIt Deluxe 7.5 also includes the personal edition of StuffIt Express, which integrates with Windows Task Scheduler to automate functions such as performing backups or transferring archives to an FTP site, so you can schedule the entire process of backup and offsite upload of your data. You can download StuffIt Expander for free, but the relatively inexpensive cost of StuffIt Deluxe 7.5 is definitely worth considering if you share a lot of Microsoft Office files or have the need to create your own self-extracting archives. --J. Curtis
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