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    Preview big SQL files with PilotEdit

    Preview big SQL files with PilotEdit

    Challenge: edit or view huge .sql files

    Solution: use the PilotEdit free application that can edit and compare large files

    Programmers, especially those specialized in databases, often run into the problem of opening big SQL files. Databases exported from production environments can have a couple of GBs, or even more.

    In this tutorial, we will learn how to open or edit these huge files.

    Opening big files

    Usually, if you try to open a text file that is over 100MB, your Text Editor will freeze and you will wait a long time to see the opened content. Trying to edit text or save the file will cause longer waiting time or a crash.

    PilotEdit is a Windows program that solves this problem. The Lite version is free to use and allows editing files up to 10GB. To support larger files, even 400GB in size, a License needs to be purchased.

    When opening a file, PilotEdit reads the file byte by byte. Once finished, you will see a text editor with your SQL content. The application is fast, you can easily scroll through the file or jump into a different part of the content.

    Progress bar animation

    Lite vs Paid version

    For previewing and editing database files up to 10GB, the Lite version is a good choice. If you need additional features or faster performance when working with huge files, the paid version is recommended. Are you curious about the differences between the free and paid versions? Here is a comparison table.

     PilotEdit LitePilotEdit (paid)
    four times faster than PilotEdit Lite when opening huge files in ASCII mode.
    Edit huge files of 400GB (40 billion lines) in quick mode.
    Compare and merge two huge files of 100GB (10 billion lines).
    Encrypt/decrypt files larger than 10GB.
    Edit an encrypted file transparently.
    Sort a huge file size of 1GB.
    Find/remove duplicate lines in a file larger than 1GB.
    Extract strings are matching a regular expression.
    Execute PilotEdit scripts to replace strings automatically.
    Automatically detect start tag and end tag.
    Format source code.
    Edit, download/upload large files through SFTP.
    Highlight all occurrences of the selected word.
    Replace millions of occurrences of strings in a huge file in quick mode.
    Change the encoding of big files.


    PilotEdit can be recommended for every developer working with databases. Sometimes, changing the characterset and collation of DB requires editing the dump of a SQL file. With PilotEdit, it is an easy change. Even huge files (a couple of gigabytes, in the paid version – hundreds of gigabytes) can be handled without a problem e.g. during the process of app development.

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