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Looking for a windows application to parse and filter large volumes of text

Looking for a lean windows application that will let me search through very large log files efficiently for specific error keywords, ideally with the ability to filter such keywords.

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marked as duplicate by Shane Madden, Ward, Michael Hampton, HopelessN00b, Brent Pabst Sep 10 '12 at 12:54

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  • Please don't open or post duplicate questions. – Brent Pabst Sep 10 '12 at 12:54

You'll want something that can do regular expressions - but I agree that this is a superuser/serverfault question...

EDIT - mainly I would install cygwin and use tools like grep. The *nix command line is remarkably powerful for such activities - particularly when you can script them together - or use a scripting language like python or perl.


If you are planning to do this once, you could probably get away with grep and regular expressions.

You don't mention the operating system, so that makes things a bit more difficult to answer very precisely.

Grep is present on Unix/Linux, but you could also get it on Windows with Cygwin. Or there is a lot of other tools that support regular expressions for splitting and recombining things, starting from Perl

Specifically on Windows, you could look at PowerShell that has a bit of a learning curve but is very powerful. You can see the discussion on StackOverflow around it.

Also on Windows, there is a LogParser which is oldie but goodie and designed specifically for logs. Hanselman's article could be a good introduction.

Finally, if you need something with a lot more power for more permanent infrastructure, you could look at LogStash and/or Graylog. There is an article explaining the setup for both.


I would use Python, a powerful but unintimidating scripting language. It may be as simple for you as something like:

log = open("file.log")
for line in log:
    if "Error" in line:
        print line

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