Every once in a while a programmer finds himself in need of a tool that allows him to edit very large text files. By large, I mean several gigabytes. For DBAs it is common, especially if you’re using MySQL dumps a lot. What do you do if you’re doing this on Windows?
If you’re using Notepad++ or any other Scintilla derivatives, you’re out of luck - those editors are not cut out for this kind of work. Using Visual Studio also won’t work. There are some partial solutions just for viewing, like LTFViewer – but it cannot handle large files without line breaks, something common in MySQL dumps. So what do you do?
The answer is simple and somewhat unexpected – use Vim for Windows. It opens a file of any size effortlessly and almost instantly – then you can browse through the file like it was a small script - it just works.
Few things to notice:
For files with very long lines, like dumps, consider using “set nowrap”.
Another thing is the fact that Vim keeps a temporary copy of the file for backup when saving an edited file, so not only it takes a while to save since it writes the entire buffer to the disk, but you also need to delete the temp file afterwards. To disable this behavior, use “set nobackup”.