StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 for Windows is the latest version of Aladdin's full-featured archiving and compression program. In addition to the most popular compression formats, it includes a new format called StuffIt X (SITX) that compresses files smaller and faster than in the ZIP format. Unfortunately, unless the people you exchange files with also use StuffIt 8.0, they won't be able to take advantage of this improvement. Nonetheless, with its easy-to-use interface, encryption options, and impressive scheduling and automation features, StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 is a good choice for a complete archiving solution and a bargain at $39.99. Also, because StuffIt Deluxe remains the most popular Macintosh compression program, this Windows version is the best choice for PC users who work with compressed files from both platforms.
StuffIt Deluxe installs easily with no restart required. Like PKZip and PentaSuite, StuffIt Deluxe integrates with Windows Explorer by adding right-click options for archiving, encrypting, compressing, and e-mailing and for creating self-extracting files. However, StuffIt Deluxe's main program interface also supports drag and drop and the ability to view file archives as a detailed list or as icons.
StuffIt's easy-to-use drag-and-drop screen eliminates the need for menu-driven commands.
From within the program's interface, you can also browse, search through files, access a catalog of all of the compressed files on your hard drive, or use a simple drag-and-drop window to construct your archives. New to this version are wizards for archiving, transferring files via FTP, and e-mailing compressed files, so these common tasks are a breeze.
The archiving wizard simplifies many common tasks such as compressing a file for e-mail.
StuffIt Deluxe also comes with StuffIt SEA builder, which creates a file that automatically decompresses a compressed file when clicked, and StuffIt Express, a powerful scripting tool. StuffIt Express lets you create folders; copy, move, and rename files; and e-mail and FTP from within StuffIt Deluxe. The easy-to-use StuffIt Express interface makes it child's play to automate common file-transfer and compression tasks.
StuffIt Deluxe 8.0 for Windows includes all the features a complete archiving solution should have and then some. For starters, its new SITX format can compress files much smaller than can zip programs. In our tests, we logged file savings of approximately 20 percent on 50MB files and nearly 35 percent on much larger 1GB compressions. This means that if you regularly compress large amounts of data, you'll see some real savings in storage or file-transfer costs and times.
The new StuffIt X (SITX) format supports many options, such as encryption.
Within SITX, the new compression format, is support for a unique redundancy option, a powerful error-correction setting that repairs corrupted or incomplete archives. Of course, you'll sacrifice some of the file-size savings of SITX to get this peace of mind. Also, like most competing archiving programs, StuffIt now includes strong security options, including 512-bit RC4 encryption for compressed files.
Like other compression apps, StuffIt Deluxe integrates tightly with e-mail programs, providing one-click access to a Compress And Mail command from within the Windows right-click menu. StuffIt also has built-in FTP capability, making it very easy to move your compressed files around the Internet.
A handy Catalog feature automatically scans your system, as well as any connected network drives, for compressed files and creates a single listing of them. This eliminates the time wasted searching for where you stuck that missing ZIP file you downloaded the other day.
The StuffIt Express automation feature is a powerful scripting tool.
StuffIt Express provides a way to automate all of the standard archiving and file-transfer functions, and it can be used to create detailed and complex backup schemes. Plus, power users can access StuffIt from external batch scripts or the Windows Command Line using StuffIt's command line utilities.
StuffIt's integrated help system does a good job of explaining how to use the program. Aladdin also provides an online FAQ, which is helpful for troubleshooting.
The StuffIt Deluxe for Windows help system includes tutorials and a useful reference guide.
If your question isn't answered by the in-system help file or online FAQ, you can e-mail technical support directly. Although you'll have to navigate through many pages on the support site to find the e-mail form, the tech team at StuffIt was quick to respond once we submitted a question.