I always miss 7-zip when I'm working on my Mac. Does anyone know of a good GUI utility that allows me to preview zip file contents and do partial extracts?

I've seen the Unarchiver and various 7-zip based tools like EZ 7z and 7zX but they don't have that. EZ 7z somewhat supports previews by opening a console window when you hit preview, but that's not what I am looking for.

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Zipeg is free. It allows you to view the file hierarchy without extracting any files. It automatically extracts all of the files in the currently viewed directory when that folder is opened, including the archive's root directory. This means that opening an archive and viewing different directories in it are expensive processes. It deletes these files when the viewed folder is changed or the archive is closed. It uses these temporary files to provide previews. It does not support creation of archives.

BetterZip is $20, and people seem to love it. I don't think it's that good. It seems to support Previews by just extracting the entire archive to a temporary folder, but it does have a built-in preview pane that seems to support more than Preview.app does.

  • Zipeg is OK, but it seems to be only an extraction .zip tool. I wish it supported creation of zip files as well. 7zip rules! – Jason S Oct 11 '09 at 14:06
  • Tried both, Zipeg does what I want but doesn't do drag and drop or creation of zip files, BetterZip does have those features and a snappier UI. I think I'll just buy BetterZip. Thanks! – user13886 Oct 11 '09 at 14:15
  • Personally, I hate 7zip's GUI. I don't like it being an archive utility and a file manager. I want those things separate. I personally prefer TUGzip under Windows, where the file manager aspects can be turned off. Too bad it's been abandoned. – wfaulk Oct 12 '09 at 2:54

This might help you out. It's a Quicklook plugin called BetterZip that allows you to view the contents of an archive by simply tapping space. It can preview the following archive formats: ZIP, TAR, GZip, BZip2, ARJ, LZH, ISO, CHM, CAB, CPIO, RAR, 7-Zip, DEB, RPM, StuffIt’s SIT, DiskDoubler, BinHex, and MacBinary.

The partial extract part unfortunately does not work, though. This is only good for previewing.


Pacifist is a shareware app that lets you use the spacebar preview functyion (whatever it's called). It also lets you do partial extracvtions and works with .dmg .zip, .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, and .xar archives, but not 7z apparently. It has a trial mode, it just makes you wait before showing you the contents of the archive.