I am viewing text files (logs) with a massive ammount of data. I view them in a typical text editor like Scite or Geany, where the default view formatting is black letters on white background. What would help me immensely is this:

  • Click Ctrl-F (or whatever shortcut) to specify a search pattern
  • You get some sort of a dialog, where you can specify:
    • The search pattern (regex or not)
    • Text (font) color for the found matches (can be unspecified)
    • Background color for the found matches (can be unspecified)
    • Background color for the rest of the line where matches are found (can be unspecified)
  • Once you click OK, your search pattern and the three colors are shown in a list with a checkbox, which you can then check and uncheck to show (or not) the colorization

Here is a quick mockup I've whipped up based on some logfile I found on the net, and the browser GUI of https://regex101.com/:


Anything like that out there? I should mention I use Ubuntu, and I'd prefer free & open-source software... - and that the logfiles I typically view are massive, in the range of megabytes, so a function to "skip/jump to next match" of a selected search pattern would be a life-saver...

Also, I guess this could be a plugin for an existing text editor, instead of a standalone application - I'm fine with that.

And, I'd be fine with an online browser applet/application like regex101 too - as long as it only performs operations locally in the browser via JavaScript, and does not send text content to a server for processing..

  • Hrm... the text editor Geany supports find (and find/replace) using regular expressions, but it only finds one expression at a time. Not sure about something that can find 2 different items at once....
    – ivanivan
    Oct 18, 2017 at 18:45
  • 1
    gnome-system-log (coming pre-installed with most systems at least when a Gnome-based desktop (incl. Cinnamon, in my case) was selected) is capable of that, see this screenshot. Unfortunately, it often crashes on me when configuring those filters (hence just a comment for now – but it could well "just be me").
    – Izzy
    Oct 19, 2017 at 6:29
  • @Izzy tried that and did not crash for me on some simple filters. It's a bit strange that you click on "Apply" filter and nothing happens because you have to activate the filters. And the activated filters get deactivated when adding a new filter... that's strange. Nice find though.
    – pLumo
    Oct 20, 2017 at 6:39
  • @RoVo glad to read it works for you! I've not yet figured what makes it crash on me. For the screenshot I tried to activate highlighting, but that made it crash. Just using the filter (show/hide) works, though… strange. // sdaau: if it fits you as well, let me know and I can expand that to an answer.
    – Izzy
    Oct 20, 2017 at 6:45


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