I am trying to compress some files that are really seeming to take up a lot of space on my hard drive, but I can’t do without. Please note that I am using Lion.
Thanks, the DMG option works great!
Well what compression format do you want the files to be in the end or how usable should the compressed files/storage be?
The default and most viable option is to right-click (ctrl + click) the file and chose compress "...filename..." which will create a plain ZIP file. However if you ever want to use the zipped files again you will have to double-click and therefor expand them again.
The second option would be to move all files you want to compress into a single folder. Then drag this folder onto the Disk Utility icon. A new window will popup which gives you some options to set. By default "compressed" is already selected so all you have to do is enter a name for the Image and select where you want to store it. The result is a compressed Disk Image file (DMG). The benefit of this option is that this DMG file is usable! You open it via double-click and will be able to view,edit,add or delete files.
Being a UNIX system you also have to option to create bzip/gz/tar/... files via Terminal or some third-party GUI.
For other options I suggest to take a look at the following link (not all programs listed there are able to create compressed files).