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DisplayTool Help

DisplayTool is a universal display and editing tool for text files. It was initially developed to analyze log files to assist administrators and software developers. Changes to a log file are always displayed up-to-date by DisplayTool. A text filter can be set to display only relevant information. Later it was expanded to become a text file editing tool.

Display log files
DisplayTool shows you the current status of a log file at any time. You can choose the refresh interval between one second and 30 minutes yourself. You can also turn off the update to analyze files more closely.

Open a file
Click on the "Browse" button and select the file to be opened. Use the "left arrow" button to open the last opened file.

Append files
Click the "Browse" button and select the files you want to open. Use the CTRL and SHIFT keys to open multiple files. Alternatively: Drag one or more files from Windows Explorer into DisplayTool. You will be asked if you want to open all files separately or create a large new file from all files.

Open very large files
DisplayTool has no built-in size limit when opening files. Even files that are larger than the main memory of the computer can be partially opened, s. Open large text files.

Use the filter
Enter a filter word in the filter field in the upper right corner to show only the lines that contain the filter word. Case is not relevant (case insensitive). Use the "|" character to enter two filter words. All lines that contain one of the two (or both) filter words are displayed. Example: warning|error. All lines containing "warning" or "error" are displayed.
Click with the right mouse button on a line and then select "Go to this line" to display the lines in unfiltered state.

Modify text files
DisplayTool makes it extremely easy to modify files so that important information can be extracted. DisplayTool basically does not modify existing files, but creates duplicates containing the modifications.

The context menu (right mouse button)

Goto this line
Removes the filter and displays the highlighted row in the unfiltered view. This menu item can only be selected if a filter is set.

New file from current view
Creates a new file in the temporary directory (%temp%\DisplayTool) from the current view. If a filter is set, only the lines displayed are transferred to the new file. The new file name contains the addition "- New" in the file name.

New file with shortened lines
You have many options for shortening the lines of a file in order to obtain important information and make it more readable.

  • Anything from/after the specified field will be removed
    Creates a new file. Cuts the text of each line before the specified "field" number. If "after" is selected, the end of the line is removed. The field seperator can be specified..

  • Anything from/until this text will be removed
    Creates a new file. Cuts the text of each line from the position where the string you entered is found. If the string is not found, then the line is completely copied to the new file. If "until" is selected, the front of the line is removed. In some cases, it is desirable to obtain the search text itself. Then select "Don't remove the searchtext".

  • Text after/before the following column will be removed
    Creates a new file. Cuts the text of each line from a fixed position. If "before" is selected, the front part of the line is removed. The column number is obtained by double-clicking a row and placing the cursor in the appropriate position.

  • Remove everything except the parenthesized text from
    Creates a new file. Removes any text except those enclosed by two strings. With "... insert following delimiter" you can insert characters between the hits or start a new line.

  • Remove spaces
    Removes unnecessary spaces at the beginning of each line, at the end of each line, or both. All spaces can also be removed.

New file with extended lines
Each line is extended by the entered text. The previous text is in the variable %old% embedded in the new text. Helpful for e.g. to generate a list of commands containing the username from a list of usernames.

New file with less lines
Remove unnecessary lines to better illustrate important information.

  • Create a new file, only with lines in which the following text occurs / doesn't occur
    Creates a new file. Takes over only lines in which a certain text occurs / does not occur. AND and OR operators are possible.

  • Keep / remove the first / last X lines
    Creates a new file. Keeps / removes a certain number of lines at the beginning or end of the file.

  • Remove blank lines
    Creates a new file. Removes all empty lines. You can specify whether lines containing only blanks should also be removed.

  • Remove duplicates
    Creates a new file, removing duplicates. Duplicates are only lines that exactly match the original. If there are a different number of spaces at the beginning or end of the file, these should first be removed with "New file with shortened lines / Remove spaces".

New file with replacements
Create a new file. Replaces strings with new strings. Use "Replace every X. line only" to handle only a part of the lines.

New file from clipboard (Ctrl-V)
Creates a new file from the clipboard. Also possible with Ctrl-V.

Show file in Explorer
Opens Explorer. Marks the file currently opened in DisplayTool.

Open file in Notepad
Opens the file currently being edited in DisplayTool in the editor.

Copy (Ctrl-C)
Copies the currently selected lines to the clipboard. Also possible with Ctrl-C.

Open very large files
DisplayTool allows you to open extremely large text files. The ability to open only parts of a file allows DisplayTool to open files larger than the computer's memory.

Open big files:

  1. Click on the three dots ... and "Open very large file..."

  2. Click on "Browse..." to locate the file or insert the path directly.

  3. You can determine the number of lines as well as the first and last line of the file with "Calculate line count".

  4. Specify which lines should be read. The file is read sequentially. As a result, reading the first lines of a file works very fast, reading the last lines very slowly.

  5. Click on "OK".

Read more about how to open large text files.


Command line

When calling DisplayTool.exe, the following parameters can be passed:

DisplayTool.exe </m> <file with Path> <filter word> <display text> cp:850                                                             

  /m Starts a new instance of DisplayTool. If this parameter is not specified, an already started DisplayTool.exe will be used to display the file.
  <file with path> File to be displayed
  <filter word> The filter word to be passed. The file will be displayed with filter.
  <display text> Shows a headline in DisplayTool for better representation.
  cp:850 File is displayed with code page 850. As a result, umlauts are displayed correctly. If the parameter is omitted, then code page 1252 is used.


DisplayTool.exe /m "C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log" "Search for updates"

Opens the file WindowsUpdate.log and filters for "Search for updates". Starts an additional instance of DisplayTool.

DisplayTool.exe "C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log" "Search for updates" "Windows Update"

Opens the file WindowsUpdate.log and filters for "Search for updates". Does not launch an additional instance of DisplayTool, but uses an already started instance, if any. Displays the heading "Windows Update" and uses code page 1252.

DisplayTool.exe "C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log" "" "" cp:850

Opens the WindowsUpdate.log file and does not filter. Does not launch an additional instance of DisplayTool, but uses an already started instance, if any. Does not display a heading and uses code page 850.


Keyboard shortcuts

Ctrl-F: Set focus to the filter textbox
Ctrl-.: Open 3-Points menu
Ctrl-0: Set font size to default (12 pt)
Change font size
Jump to selected line when filter is applied
F5: Refresh

Licensing Notes
DisplayTool is part of the paid software suite AdminsRobot. DisplayTool may be used free of charge - privately and commercially. DisplayTool may not be modified. It may not be disclosed within a separate software product without the written permission of Lugrain Software GmbH.

(C) Copyright 2021 Lugrain Software GmbH

Content of this page: DisplayTool Help english