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How to Open a .sit File: Working With .sit Files

written by: Mike Piero•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 8/27/2010

Need help knowing what to do with a .sit file? This article provides some basic information about what .sit files are, how to make them, and how to open them.

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    What is a .sit File?

    A .sit file is an archival quality, compressed file, similar to a .zip file. The .sit file is created through a program called Stuffit, which is an all-in-one compression/expander utility application originally for the Mac platform. A Mac user more frequently runs into .rar or .zip files, but occasionally someone will compress something in a .sit file, especially if it is a file that is meant for use only on the Mac. Many people used to criticize those who use the .sit compression since for so long it was not a cross-platform format. But now, Stuffit has become available on Windows, so the .sit files are now potentially available for everyone to use. Working with .sit files is not hard at all.

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    How to Open a .sit file

    Opening a .sit file is very easy. While it is going to vary slightly depending on which version of Stuffit that you use for expanding compressed file, the basic operation is going to be the same. In fact, it is going to be essentially the same process as you would use to open a .rar, .tar, .Bz2, or .7z file. The last two mentioned here are open source programs, which I would always encourage everyone to use - they are all supported with Stuffit.

    First, make sure that you have Stuffit installed on your machine. Then, open the Stuffit Expander and drag the .sit file into the window for it to automatically begin to uncompress the file. Depending on the size of the file, this could take either a few seconds or much longer. When the file is finished, the .sit file will be expanded into a folder that includes all of the originally compressed files. This file is created in the same location as the original .sit file.

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    A Note on Compression Formats

    7ziplogo While the .zip file has been around for a long time, you should know that it is not the only, or the best, format available for compressed files. For a long time, the proprietary .zip format, not supported natively in Windows until Win XP, was much used but required the purchase of a separate program, like WinZip. These kinds of proprietary formats tend to make software companies great profits, but there is oftentimes a better way: open source. By supporting free, open source formats and software, one encourages the free development of software that is universal in nature and seeks to create a better user experience without any strings attached or expensive software to buy. There are an increasing number of programs like 7-Zip, which is built to work with many open source compression formats on virtually all computing platforms, they are doing great work. Whenever you have the opportunity to work with and support open source programs, I say go for it!

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