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Use Compressed Disk Images

If you’re really pressed for space, and there are files or applications that you need to use only infrequently, consider moving them to a compressed disk image. Items stored on a compressed disk image will take up less space, but still remain available to you. You will have to deal with the time it takes to mount a disk image when you need to access these items, which is why this technique isn’t ideal for things that you use on a daily basis. Using several disk images, each containing a small number of items, often works better than a single large disk image because smaller images will mount faster. Placing aliases to items stored on compressed disk images can automate the process of mounting the disk image and opening the file or application.

Exactly how much space you’ll save using compressed disk images can vary widely because different types of files compress more than others. Applications that contain a number of smaller files will compress better than applications that are made up of a few large files, although applications as a whole don’t compress all that much. Also, applications moved to a compressed disk image might not be detected properly by Software Update.

As for files, those that are already compressed (including most multimedia file types) do not compress much when stored on a disk image.

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