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Archive Manager Preferences and Settings

Archive Manager's preferences are divided into four sections described below.


  • Default Archive Type: This setting determines the type of archive that will be created when you use the "New Archive" command. The choices are StuffIt X and Zip.
  • Default Archive Name: Determines the default name StuffIt will use when creating a new archive.

    Note: You can rename the archive when choosing a save location.

Basic Compression Settings

By default, Archive Manager displays Basic compression settings that allow you to quickly set compression level and other basic options for StuffIt or Zip.

Type: Choose a format from this pop-up menu to access the basic options for that format. Use the Expert checkbox to toggle between Basic and Expert Compression Settings.

StuffIt X Compression Settings

  • Compression level: You can change the compression level that will be used when items are added to an archive. You can choose "Fastest", "Optimal" or "Smallest". There is a trade-off between making archives as small as possible and making archives quickly. As the names suggest the Fastest compression method makes archives more quickly, usually at the expense of compression size. The Smallest compression method uses our best General compression method and enables all Recompressors to make archives as small as possible. As this option is working much harder to find and compress data, it will take longer. The default, "Optimal" setting balances compression speed with archive size, giving generally superior compression as fast as possible.

    Note: Fastest and Optimal use only Bit-perfect Recompressors. Smallest uses all Recompressors. You can read more about Recompressors in the Expert Settings help.

  • Create searchable index archive: Creates a proxy "Index" archive at the same time a StuffIt X archive is created.
    Click here for more information on Index Archives.

  • Create backwards compatible archives: When this option is checked StuffIt X Archives will be created using only compression methods compatible with version 7.0 of StuffIt Expander for Macintosh.

Zip Compression Settings

Use the Expert checkbox to toggle between Basic and Expert Compression Settings.<

  • Compression level: As well as changing the format in which the archive will be created, you can also change the compression level that will be used when items are added to the archive. The choices are "Faster Compression" and "Better Compression". As the names suggest, the Faster Compression method makes archives more quickly, and the Better Compression method creates smaller archives. An additional choice, No Compression is also available. When No Compression is selected, files will be added to the archive without any compression.
  • Preserve Macintosh Content: This option determines whether or not Macintosh specific file attributes (such as a resource fork and Finder information) is preserved when adding files to Zip archives. Typically, if you are sending files to a Windows user you do not need to preserve this information, as it will not be used on a Windows-based computer. If you are sending files to a Macintosh user, we would recommend that you preserve Macintosh file information by sending your files in an archive format designed for the Macintosh, such as StuffIt X.

    Note: If you do need to send Macintosh files to other Macintosh users in Zip format, checking this option will preserve Macintosh file information in a way that is compatible with Apple's Zip implementation used in the Finder in Mac OS X 10.3 and later, but other options such as encryption may not be compatible with Apple's Zip implementation. Also note that Zip archives using Apple's method of preserving resource forks are not compatible with pre-9.x versions of StuffIt Expander for Macintosh.

Global Compression Settings

The Ignore Special Finder Files applies to the creation of all archive formats. When enabled, Archive Manager will not add invisible Finder files (such as Desktop Database files from Classic Mac OS or .DS_Store files from OS X) to an archive.


The Expansion Preferences are used to determine how Archive Manager goes about the task of expanding an archive or encoded file.
  • Scan for Viruses: Archive Manager allows you to automatically scan files that are extracted from archives and encoded files for viruses with your virus protection software. Archive Manager supports McAfee Virex, Symantec/Norton Anti-Virus, and Intego VirusBarrier. If you would like to try using a different anti-virus program, choose "Other..." from the pop-up menu.
  • Set execute permissions by default: This preference determines whether Archive Manager should set the execute file permission attribute on items expanded from archives that do not typically store UNIX file permissions, such as Zip (.zip) and the older StuffIt (.sit). If you un-check this box, OS X applications expanded from such archives may not run correctly.

    Note: StuffIt X archives (.sitx) are designed to preserve UNIX permissions and ignore this setting.


The Scheduler Preferences are used with Archive Manager's Scheduler feature.
  • Email activity logs to:When enabled, StuffIt Scheduler will send notifications via email to the address you specify.
  • Retain a maximum number of logs: When enabled, you can limit the number of logs StuffIt Scheduler will keep.
  • Put temporary archives in: You can specify a directory for StuffIt Scheduler to store archives before burning them to CD, or uploading to FTP or MobileMe iDisk.