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The Zip Archive format is a compression and archive format that is used by the Finder's Compress (Create Archive) command, and is also widely used on the Windows operating system. The Zip Archive format takes multiple files and encodes them into a single file, compressing the data to take up less space at the same time. Zip archives typically have names ending with the extension ".zip". Fetch can create Zip archives when putting files, and automatically decode them when getting files.

Like Compress (Create Archive) in the Finder, Fetch's Zip archives preserve both data and resource forks, long file names, and other Macintosh Finder information. Zip Archive format is a good choice if you want to combine a set of files together in one archive for downloading by Windows users, or if you know that the users who will download your files use Mac OS X 10.3 or later (Finder archives were introduced in Mac OS X 10.3).

Fetch's automatic decoding can decode Zip archives on the Macintosh. StuffIt Expander can also decode Zip archives created by Fetch, however, StuffIt versions earlier than 9.0 may not properly decode the special Macintosh information encoded in the .zip files.

If a Windows user downloads a Zip archive created by Fetch, it may contain extra data that cannot be interpreted on Windows. Windows users can easily ignore this extra Macintosh-only information. There is no way to create a Zip archive without the extra Macintosh information when uploading in Fetch, although the extra information is usually only added when necessary.

See the upload formats help topic for information about encoding files in Zip Archive format when uploading. You cannot set Zip Archive format as your default upload format.

Fetch automatically recognizes and decodes Zip archives when downloading, although automatic recognition can be turned on and off by either:

  • Selecting a remote file whose name ends with ".zip", choosing Remote > Get Info to show the info window, and, in the Transfer Options pane, checking or unchecking the Automatically decode files like this checkbox — this will enable or disable decoding of Zip archives but will not affect the decoding of other formats, such as StuffIt archives;
  • Or choosing Fetch > Preferences, clicking the Download tab, and checking or unchecking the Allow automatic decoding of downloaded files checkbox — this will enable or disable decoding of all file types.

For more information about using Zip archives in Fetch, see the StuffIt and Archive formats help topic.

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