Home > Links > Utilities > Archiving and Compression

Archiving and Compression

Archiving utilities, such as tar (*.tar), combine several files into one file. Compression utilities, such as compress (*.Z) and gzip (*.gz), reduce file size. A number of formats, such as ZIP (*.zip) and StuffIt (*.sit), both archive and compress files.


Compresses files to and extracts files from BH (BlakHole), CAB, LHA, LZH, TAR (*.tar), TAR.GZ, TAR.BZ2 and ZIP format. Additionally, extracts files from ACE, ARC, ARJ, BZIP2, GZ, RAR, UUE, XXE and ZOO format.

PowerArchiver runs on Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000.

The latest version (as of January 30, 2001) is PowerArchiver 2001 v6.1.

StuffIt Expander

StuffIt Expander extracts files from the most popular archiving and compression formats:

  • Arc (*.arc)
  • Arj (*.arj, *.pak)
  • BinHex (*.hqx)
  • Bzip2 (*.bz2, *.tbz, *.tbz2, *.tar.bz2)
  • compress (*.Z, *.tar.Z, *.tz)
  • gzip (*.gz, *.tgz, *.tar.gz)
  • LHa (*.lha, *.lzh)
  • MIME/Base 64 (*.mime, *.mim, *.b64)
  • Private File (*.pf)
  • Rar (*.rar)
  • StuffIt (*.sit, *.sea)
  • tar (.tar)
  • uuencoded (*.uu, *.uue, *.enc)
  • ZIP (*.zip, *.exe)

There are some minor differences in supported formats between platforms.

StuffIt Expander is available for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris. The latest versions (as of April 28, 2003) are:

  • StuffIt Expander 8.0 for Windows
  • StuffIt Expander 7.0.3 for Macintosh
  • StuffIt Expander 5.2 for Linux
  • StuffIt Expander 5.2 for Solaris

StuffIt Expander is by Aladdin Systems, and is freeware.

Zip and UnZip


Zip archives and compresses files in the popular ZIP (*.zip) format. UnZip extracts files from ZIP (*zip) format. They are available for a large number of platforms. Both have command line user interfaces. For some platforms, graphical user interfaces are available.

The latest versions (as of January 30, 2001) are:

  • Zip 2.3 (released on December 4, 1999)
  • UnZip 5.4.2 (released on January 14, 2001)

Zip and UnZip are by Info-ZIP and are freeware.



WiZ archives/compresses and extracts files in ZIP (*.zip) format. Versions are available for Windows 3.x and Windows 95/98/NT. WiZ provides a graphical user interface for the Zip and UnZip utilities. The user interface could be improved, but for occasional users it is way better than using the command line version of Zip and UnZip.

The latest version (as of January 30, 2001) is WiZ 5.02 (released on September 25, 2000).

WiZ is by Info-ZIP and is freeware.



Gzip (GNU zip) compresses files in gzip (*.gz) format and extracts files in gzip (*.gz), ZIP (*.zip) (if it contains only one file), compress (*.Z), compress -H or LZH (*.lzh), and pack (*.z) format. Files in gzip format can only contain one file.

Gzip has a command line user interface. To decompress a file, type:

gzip -d file

or copy gzip to gunzip and type:

gunzip file

This replaces the original file.

The latest version (as of January 30, 2001) is gzip 1.2.4.

Gzip is freeware.