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ltf large text file viewer

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Text editor to open big (giant, huge, large) text files [closed]

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I mean 100+ MB big; such text files can push the envelope of editors.

I need to look through a large XML file, but cannot if the editor is buggy.

Any suggestions?

windows xml editor text-editor large-files

edited Mar 14 ’10 at 20:24

community wiki

6 revs, 5 users 56%
Dave Jarvis

closed as not constructive by Kev Jan 27 ’12 at 1:47

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center , please edit the question .

locked by Matt Sep 2 ’15 at 20:08

This question’s answers are a collaborative effort: if you see something that can be improved, just edit the answer to improve it! No additional answers can be added here

  • 166

    Actually, text files of 100+ MB or even 1+ GB is not as uncommon as you may think (i.e. log files from busy servers).
    –  Anders Sandvig
    Dec 19 ’08 at 19:18

  • 15

    Sneakyness: And not exactly text. I think the requirements of reading text files and reading binary files differ somewhat. You might pass it through base64 or uuencode, though.
    –  Joey
    Aug 16 ’09 at 10:24

  • 2

    This should be at least a similar question or even linked as it was asked 18 months prior……
    –  ONDEV
    Jan 19 ’12 at 0:49

  • 1

    I was also looking for the answer to this exact question in order to read some huge log files that I’ve generated!
    –  HorseloverFat
    Jul 20 ’12 at 16:19

  • 1

    @BlairHippo I feel the same way, I’m almost nervous when asking a question because chances are high that someone will say "Close this, it should go in WhateverExchange instead"
    –  Rodolfo
    Dec 17 ’13 at 18:04

comments disabled on deleted / locked posts / reviews  | 
show 12 more comments

2 Answers




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down vote


The 010Editor on Windows will open GIANT (think 50 GB) files in binary mode and allow you to edit and search the text.

Community wiki:

Suggestions are

  • is a free online editor that can open and highlight syntax TB+ files instantly, supports UTF-8, and can run on a modern browser in any OS. (read-only for big files)
  • Liquid Studio Large File Editor Opens and edits TB+ files instantly, supports UTF-8, Unicode, etc. It is free and covered by the community edition (Windows Only).
  • SlickEdit
  • Large Text File Viewer (read only)
  • glogg (read only, read the file directly from disk, handle multi-GB files).
  • HxD hex editor, but good for large files.
  • LogExpert ( download ) did a swell job for more than 6 GB log files. It is free.
  • UltraEdit can open files of more than 6 GB, but the configuration must be changed for this to be practical (menu AdvancedConfigurationFile HandlingTemporary Files“Open file without temp file…”).
  • wxHexEditor can open such files instantly, working on Linux, Windows, MacOSX
  • EmEditor handles very large text files nicely, officially up to 248 GB but up to 900 GB in my experience.

Or, if you just want to peek at the start of the file, the Windows built-in more command might be good enough.


edited Jun 30 at 21:04

community wiki

31 revs, 22 users 23%

  • 52

    VIM, or Emacs… pick your poison, both will handle any file you throw at them. I personally prefer Emacs, but both will beat notepad without so much as a hiccup.
    –  Mike Stone
    Oct 2 ’08 at 8:46

  • 24

    Emacs has a maximum buffer size, dependent on the underlying architecture (32 or 64 bits). I think that on 32 bit systems you get "maximum buffer size exceeded" error on files larger than 128 MB.
    –  Rafał Dowgird
    May 8 ’09 at 13:45

  • 64

    I just tried Notepad++ with a 561MB log file and it said it was too big
    –  barfoon
    Jun 2 ’09 at 14:12

  • 9

    @Rafal Interesting! Looks like on 64bit it is ~1024 petabytes. The reason has to do with the fact that emacs has to track buffer positions (such as the point)
    –  baudtack
    Jul 1 ’09 at 23:31

  • 70

    But be careful, vim will only work as long as the files in question have enough line breaks. I once had to edit a ca. 150 MB file without any line breaks, and had to resort to gedit because vim couldnt handle it.
    –  Benno
    Jan 29 ’10 at 16:47

show 53 more comments

up vote
down vote

Why are you using editors to just look at a (large) file?

Under *nix or Cygwin , just use less (“less is more”, only better, since you can back up). Searching and navigating under less is very similar to Vim , but there is no swap file and little RAM used.

There is a native Win32 port of GNU “less”. See the comment below.

Piggybacking off of some of the comments below, Perl’s “..” (range flip/flop) operator makes a nice selection mechanism to limit the crud you have to wade through, as well.

For example:

$ perl -n -e 'print if ( 1000000 .. 2000000)' humongo.txt | less

(start at line 1 million and stop at line 2 million, sift the output manually in “less”)

$ perl -n -e 'print if ( /interesting regex/ .. /boring regex/)' humongo.txt | less

(start when the “interesting regular expression” finds something, stop when the “boring regular expression” find the end of an interesting block — may find multiple blocks, sift the output…)

Finally, 100 MB isn’t too big. 3 GB is getting kind of big. I used to work at a print & mail facility that created about 2 % of U.S. first class mail. One of the systems for which I was the tech lead accounted for about 15+ % of the pieces of mail. We had some big files to debug here and there.

Community Wiki Suggestions:

Use LogParser to look at the file:

logparser.exe -i:textline -o:tsv "select Index, Text from 'c:\path\to\file.log' where line > 1000 and line < 2000"
logparser.exe -i:textline -o:tsv "select Index, Text from 'c:\path\to\file.log' where line like '%pattern%'"


edited Apr 29 ’15 at 14:37

community wiki

6 revs, 4 users 48%

  • 7

    +1, I recently had some really huge xml files (+1 gigabyte) that I needed to look at. I’m on windows and both vim, emacs, notepad++ and several other editors completely choked on the file to the point where my system almost became unusable when trying to open the file. After a while I realized how unnecessary it was to actually attempt to open the file in an -editor- when I just needed to -view- it. Using cygwin (and some clever grep/less/sed-magic) I easily found the part I was interested in and could read it without any hassle.
    –  wasatz
    Apr 23 ’10 at 11:56

  • 8

    you don’t need cygwin for less, you can also use it under windows:
    –  ChristophK
    Nov 2 ’11 at 9:33

  • 2

    This XML editor here has also a large file viewer component and does provide syntax coloring also for huge files. The files are not loaded completely into memory so a multi-GB document shouldn’t be a problem. In addition this tool can also validate those big XML documents … In my opinion one of the best approaches to work with huge XML data.
    –  lichtfusion
    Apr 21 ’13 at 12:38

  • 5

    OK so I just fixed my own issue. less with word wrap is slow. less -S without word wrap is lightning fast even on large lines. I’m happy again!
    –  Andy Brown
    Jul 20 ’15 at 9:41

  • 3

    Great answer. I want to note that if you have Git for Windows installed, you probably have Git bash as well, which includes less.
    –  transistor1
    Jun 24 ’16 at 12:24

show 5 more comments

protected by Community Sep 9 ’11 at 3:11

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Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count ).

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Large Text File Viewer iconA fast and simple application that allows you to view large text files of more than 1GB and it opens files that are currently being written by other programs

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Read the full changelog

Large Text File Viewer was reviewed by Bogdan Popa


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Large Text File Viewer - Large Text File Viewer was designed to help you open large text files of more than 1GB. Large Text File Viewer - From the Options window, you can easily change the font, size, style, colors and background image.


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