I recently did a "Basics" post at aplawrence.com about Undoing bad archive extracts. Simply put, it's about cleaning up the mess of accidentally creating files where you don't want them and how to get rid of them.
Later, I came across a MacOSXHints.com hint that does something similar in a graphical way.
So, let's say you unzipped a bunch of files in a place you don't want them because there were already files there and you really wanted the new files in a new, empty directory. Create that new directory and unpack the files again. Now "Select all", and Apple-C or "Copy" from the edit menu and Click Apple-V or Edit->Paste, or just drag 'em to the messed up directory, then "Apply to all" and "Replace". Finally, "Edit->Undo Copy" and the unzipped files are gone, but still available in the new directory where you really want them.
I'm not sure if this behavior is entirely expected, but it's logical. There is at least one "gotcha": if you have any file names beginning with ".", the Finder will stop and complain about the file being "invisible" and then will not continue.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence