Mac users have a few tools which can open very large data, log, or database files in a text format, but one that always sits on my Mac is called DB-Text. What it does is simple, but if you need to wade through and edit such files, this is one app to use.
Rules Of Data
Most database, data files, or logs follow certain rules. They can be CSV (comma separated values) or TSV (tab separated values).
Such files come from Unix machines, Linux PCs, Windows PCs, and Macs. And DB-Text doesn’t care much about the source.
Instead, DB-Text can automatically recognize the format of the files so you can view and analyze the data.
If the text can be organized by rows and columns as CSV or TSV files, DB-Text can open, import, edit, and manage the text data and do it better than most Mac text editors.
Look familiar? This is an example of a typical database which can have many tens of thousands of records. DB-Text lets you rummage through the data, making adjustments and edits.
Data in a file can be manipulated and edit as needed, then exported in a variety of formats, including CSV and TSV, as well as HTML or custom format.
The app’s screen lets you search for data, adjust the column sizes as needed; larger or smaller. Sorting and filtering on specific columns happens quickly and right from the search bar.
DB-Text adheres to modern OS X conventions, too, including Resume, Versions, Fullscreen, and Auto Save. It’s fully 64-bit native so it can chew through very large database files. Key fields can be moved and re-ordered with ease. Any single row can be named as a column header for easier sorting and filtering.
If you need to export only certain columns and rows from DB-Text, can do and with only a few clicks.
DB-Text is fun to use, but can be a lifesaver with mission critical data that needs to be massaged and tweaked outside the database app.
Caveats? Yes. On larger data files DB-Text seems to slow down and both editing and navigating is cumbersome. On smaller data files, it works just fine. Now, what’s larger and what’s smaller? That seems to depend on the power of your Mac and the available RAM as it does the size of the files. I dig through log files with 40,000 rows with no problem on a MacBook Air.
Your mileage may vary, but DB-Text can be a big help in the right circumstance.