5 Best Ways to Edit Large Text Files in Windows

5/5 - (1 vote)

πŸ’Ύ Problem Formulation: Editing very large (huge!, giant!!, massive!!!) text files, XML files, or CSV files (e.g., sizes ranging from 100 GB to 250 GB) on Windows is problematic with standard editors like Notepad, as they often crash or become unresponsive due to their inability to efficiently handle massive data loads. This necessitates the use of more robust text editing tools that can support large-scale file management without compromising on performance or functionality.

Note that if you want to edit in command line, check out my related article:

πŸ‘‰ 5 Easy Ways to Edit a Text File From Command Line (Windows)

Here are several robust text editors, starting with my #1 preference:

1. Notepad++

Notepad++ is a free and open-source editor that supports various programming languages running under the MS Windows environment. It handles large text files more efficiently than Windows Notepad, offering features like syntax highlighting, code folding, and a tabbed document interface.

Strengths: Lightweight, plugin-rich, customizable, and supports multiple languages.

Resource: Notepad++ Official Site

2. EmEditor

EmEditor is a fast, lightweight, yet extensible text editor for Windows. It is specifically designed for editing large files and large data sets, supporting files up to 248 GB or 2.1 billion lines.

Strengths: Optimized for large files, offers speed, reliability, and user-friendly interface. It also supports Unicode and offers advanced search and replace functionalities.

Resource: EmEditor Official Site

3. Sublime Text

Sublime Text is a sophisticated text editor for code, markup, and prose. Known for its speed and powerful API, it features a slick user interface along with extraordinary features like “Goto Anything,” multiple selections, and split editing.

Strengths: Extremely fast, feature-rich, cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux). Great for developers and coders.

Resource: Sublime Text Official Site

4. UltraEdit

UltraEdit is designed specifically to handle large files that typically cause other editors to crash. It can be particularly useful for those dealing with large databases or log files.

Strengths: Robust feature set includes file compare, advanced search, syntax highlighting, and scripting. It’s also part of a larger suite that includes tools for comparing files, FTP, and file management.

Resource: UltraEdit Official Site

5. HxD (Hex Editor)

HxD is a carefully designed and fast hex editor which, additionally to raw disk editing and modifying of main memory (RAM), handles files of any size.

Strengths: It includes tools like checksums/digests, searching and replacing, exporting, insertion of byte patterns, a file shredder, concatenation or splitting of files, statistics and much more.

Resource: HxD Official Site

Conclusion

Personally, I like Notepad++. For general large file editing, EmEditor and UltraEdit are particularly effective. For developers and coders, Notepad++ and Sublime Text offer great versatility and an array of powerful features. If you need to edit the binary content of files, HxD is a top choice.