This Viewer For Very Large Text Files Is An Oldie But Goodie


The other day, I needed to view some log files from a server that I look after.  Each of the files was more than 200 MB in size.  Normally I fire up Windows Notepad for looking at text files, but these were sufficiently large that Notepad strugged.  And I didn't really want to be able to edit them anyway - just to view and search the content of them.

A quick web search led me to something called Large Text File Viewer, or LTF Viewer.  It actually dates from 2009, but don't let the lack of a recent update put you off.  It loaded my file in less than a second, and searches were pretty quick too, as was scrolling through the data.  I quickly found what I was looking for.

If you need to view text files large or small, but specifically large, keep a copy of LTF Viewer around.  It's less than 0.5 MB to download, portable, and works on all version of Windows from XP onwards.  And it's fully trustworthy too, according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.  

You can get the download from




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Here is my list of tools to read big (log) files (some of them were tested with files over 2GiB) in order of preference:
See Gnu On Windows - (downloads are at
Notes: Although there are other *nix ports to Windows, I found that only this port of "less" is working properly with big files.

Short Description: "Same program as in version 6.5 of Total Commander."
Notes: Windows-only

Short Description: "glogg is a multi-platform GUI application to browse and search through long or complex log files. It is designed with programmers and system administrators in mind. glogg can be seen as a graphical, interactive combination of grep and less."

Short Description: "... read files larger than 1 GB"
Notes: TODO

Large Text File Viewer (LTFViewer)
Short Description: "...designed for viewing large (>1GB) text files
... split the view either horizontally or vertically, and have each side show different portion of the same file
... high-speed complex text search by means of plain text or regular expression"
Notes: Very slow on search

PilotEdit Lite
Short Description: "PilotEdit is an advanced text editor, html editor, php editor, java editor and hex editor that supports opening of files larger than 50GB."
Notes: Slow file load - about 3 minutes per GiB

LogViewer Pro
Short Description: "Supports any file size (4 Gb and larger)
Highlighting of lines matching a RegEx"
Notes: "License: Freeware for home use, must be registered for work use.
Limitations of non-registered version: nag screen at start, maximum 2 opened tabs."

Cream (VIM)
Short Description: "Cream is a free text editor. A modern configuration of the powerful and famous Vim, Cream is for Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and FreeBSD."
Notes: Slow file load - about 2 minutes per GiB