The default application for viewing and editing text files is Notepad, and whilst it serves well its purpose as a text editor, it is not suitable for users who are working with big files (and by big, I mean GBs big). Jalatext is tool that can open huge text files without trying to squeeze them into the RAM, but by dividing them into pieces and reading one at a time in order to keep memory consumption low.
If you’re a Windows user, you have two options: either install the program using the 32-bit Windows installer, or download a ZIP archive which contains the core files and doesn’t require installation. If you use the installer you won’t have any trouble carrying out the installation procedure, as it is very easy and has no advanced settings.
A version for Linux users is available as well. Other OS users can download the Java-based installer to use the program. The only thing required (for any OS) is to have Java Runtime Environment 1.6 (or above) installed.
As soon as you open the program you will be presented with a simple interface with no signs of complex features and functions. Open the desired file like you would do in any other program (either by “File -> Open File…” or via drag & drop) and its contents will be displayed instantly in the text editing area. The buttons on the toolbar will assist you in copying selected text, searching for keywords/phrases and switching between segments. At the bottom is the status bar, where you can see information regarding the open file.
Jalatext has been designed to open and edit text files bigger than the size of common text files. This means that it will have no problem opening a file that is 1, 10 or 100GB big. To do that, the program cuts the file into small portions that are easy to fit in the system’s memory and opens one piece at a time, since opening the whole file at once would probably result into a crash. The size of each portion is counted by lines and its default value is 1000 lines. It’s more comprehensible if you think of your file as a book; being split into pages makes it easier to read and takes much less space than if it consisted of only one page (it would be a really big page). The pages can be also used as reference points so that you can keep track of the book’s contents. The only difference in Jalatext is that you can adjust the size (number of lines) of each piece, and consequently the number of pieces.
Basic text-editing features are implemented in the program, such as the Search and Replace function, in which regular expressions are supported.
Jalatext can convert line endings between DOS/Windows and Unix/Linux. In addition, it can convert between any character encodings supported by the Java Platform.
There is no easy way to go to a specific line. You can, however, add bookmarks and navigate between them.
Large Text File Viewer (free) is a program that won’t choke on big text files, although it is a bit complicated for beginners. Another alternative is EmEditor (paid), a lightweight text editor that can open large files with no problems. It has more features than Jalatext, such as syntax highlight and messaging between network computers.
Notepad and Word are not the programs you should count on for opening large text files. Jalatext on the contrary, is the right utility for that task and can be used by anyone.
Requirements: Java (JRE) 6
What's new in this version: Bug fix release: Fix a "Map failed" error in certain files and an error loading empty files.
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