Changing BetterZip’s Appearance

List Mode

BetterZip has two view modes to display an archive’s contents:

  • Flat list (⌘1)
    All files and folders are shown in a flat list. If you use this mode, you should display the path column. This mode is useful, if you need to sort the files regardless of their position within the folder hierarchy (e.g., by modification date).
  • Outline view (⌘2)
    The files are shown in a tree-like list, like the Finder’s column view.

Font Size

You can increase the font size used in the main window by pressing ⌘+ and decrease it pressing ⌘-.

Customizing BetterZip — the Preferences

Tab General

Start with an empty document
Check this option, if BetterZip should open an empty archive window when started. Empty archive windows are reused when you open an archive.

Start with the Drop Bar
Check this option, if BetterZip should open the Drop Bar when started. You can open the Drop Bar at any time by choosing Window > Drop Bar/Queue from the menu.

Quit after last window closed
Check this option, if you want BetterZip to quit after you closed the last window.

Always open archives in Direct Mode
If possible for this archive format, open it in Direct Mode.

Opening an archive from the Finder immediately extracts it
Instead of displaying the archive’s contents, BetterZip can immediately extract it when opened in the Finder. You can toggle the default behavior temporarily by holding down ^⌘ (ctrl+cmd) while opening the archive.

Show BetterZip button in Finder windows
Check this option, if you want the BetterZip button for quickly compressing and extracting with your presets in the toolbar of all Finder windows. Depending on the currently selected items in the Finder window this will show either show compression or extraction presets.

Show BetterZip menu in Finder’s contextual menus
Check this option, if you want the BetterZip submenu for quickly compressing and extracting with your presets included in Finder’s contextual menus. This menu contains the same actions as the drop-down menu on the BetterZip toolbar button. The Desktop does not have a toolbar, but this gives you access to BetterZip actions anyway.

Show BetterZip icon in menu bar
Check this option, if you want the BetterZip icon to appear in the menu bar. When you click the icon a menu is displayed that gives you access to a few important actions. You can also drag items onto the icon and it will bring up the Drop Bar into which you can drop the items from compression or extraction.

When modifying an archive that currently has no Mac specific stuff in it: …
Choose which action should be taken when you add new items to an archive that doesn’t contain any Mac specific files, including Finder settings (.DS_Store files), and resource forks and metadata (._ files). These are all unwanted on other platforms, but Mac users will want to add these files.

When modifying a file inside an archive: …
Choose which action should be taken when you open a file from an archive and edit it in another app. By default BetterZip will detect the change and ask whether to update the file in the archive or ignore the change. Using this option, you can skip this question and always update the archive or always ignore changes. There is an extra option for this situation when in direct mode, because that is potentially more dangerous.

Automatically check for updates
Check this option to have BetterZip regularly check to see whether new versions are available. You can manually trigger this check with a command in the BetterZip menu.

Reset “Don’t Ask Me” Warnings
Click this button to have BetterZip display all alert panels again which you dismissed at some time checking the box “Don’t show again”.

Tab Presets

This is BetterZip’s most powerful feature, so it’s got its own help page.

Tab Helpers

At the moment BetterZip can only use one external helper tool and that is rar which lets you create rar archives. Extraction is built right into BetterZip, so you don’t need an external tool for this.

Tab Filtering

On this tab you can manage your filter patterns that you can choose from the combobox in the filter pattern entry. Read more about filtering.

Tab Archives

In this list all archive types that BetterZip can handle are displayed. You can choose which types actually to connect with BetterZip. If you select a type, the previous handler will be saved and you can restore it by deselecting the type again.

Tab Files

On this tab you can configure how the various file types inside of archives will be handled. You can choose with which application to open a type and how to display them in the preview sidebar.

Tab Passwords

On this tab you can manage your often used passwords. See the page The Archive Password Manager for more details.

Tab Places

On this tab you can manage your favorite folders that should be shown in the Favorites sidebar, the Move Archive menu, the Extract menu, and the menus of the Finder extension. Add folders either by dragging them into the list from Finder or by using the + button below the list. Then choose where to show the folder by checking the four options in the list.

Tab Quick Look

On this tab you can set options for the BetterZip Quick Look Generator. Since Apple unfortunately removed the option to save settings in QL generators, I have added this work-around, so you can still change the QL generator’s default settings.

Tab Advanced

On this tab you can set a few more options:

Concurrent archive operations: When you use the archive operations queue, BetterZip can throttle the number of operations that are executed at the same time. If this value is set to Auto (recommended), macOS will decide how many operations to execute depending on free system resources.

Temporary folder
You can set the temporary folder location. If you frequently create archives from files on disks other than the system disk, setting this folder to reside on the secondary disk will speed up adding files to new archives considerably.

Open unknown file types with
When you view a file of an unknown type, BetterZip will open the file with this application (by default the Finder). If you use a replacement for Finder like Path Finder, you can set this application here. Other possible uses of this setting are hex editors or text editors.

Post status messages to the Notification Center
BetterZip can notify you through the macOS notification center when operations in the queue have finished.