Saturday, January 01, 2005

Windows self-extracting (.exe) archives

MacOSXhints explains how to open a Windows self-extracting Zip archive on a Macintosh:

Sometimes you encounter a file on the Net which is compressed as a self-extracting zip-file for Windows only. Its file extension is ".exe". But you HAVE to have its contents, and you just can't open that .exe file! For instance, a PDF manual from Canon's site -- they tell you to open it with Acrobat, but they made it an exe, saving just 0.2 MB.

Well, there is a "dirty" way to open it. Just rename the file extension to ".zip" (and confirm the dialog), and open it with Stuffit Expander. It doesn't work with Panther's built-in zip-extractor (BOMArchiveHelper) -- so don't double-click the file, but choose "Open with > Stuffit Expander" from the contextual menu (control-click on the file). I tested this with Stuffit Expander 7.0.3, but my guess is that you can use almost any version...

You can also use the command-line utility unzip in Terminal -- in that case, you don't even have to rename the file. A simple unzip thisfile.exe is enough to get things going.