Tip: Using Notepad++ to read log files

I had to read a log file containing a few hundred lines today at work.

My first instinct was to open it using my trusty Notepad++. While the file was not huge it was still difficult to traverse it and my eyes kept jumping between lines. Finding the  errors and warning was proving to be a hard task.

Since each line started with the severity of the message (trace/debug/info/warning/error) all I was missing was basic text highlighting – now where can I find such a tool 🙂



I’ve set out for work – the only question being – how hard would it be (spoiler: easy).


Step 1 – under Language choose Define your language



A new dialog will be opened. If you prefer you can dock it to the screen.

Choose Keywords tab



Define new keywords for Error, Warning  and any other severity you wish to highlight.

Choose the Styler button and set custom background (or foreground) for each severity.



And finally use Save as and name your new “language” – and a new language is born.



This is what the log looks like now – easy to read and spot the errors. I only wish I could have marked the whole line but at least now I can tell where the errors are.



Not too bad for less than one minute of work.

4 thoughts on “Tip: Using Notepad++ to read log files

  1. Thumbs up for Baretail. My favourite too, and it even has a free version which servers the most basic needs.

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