Opening large JSON files with Geany

A few days back at work I was trying to open a fairly large unformatted (a single line) JSON file generated through one of the junit tests. At first I tried to open it in Eclipse since my Eclipse JEE IDE contains an inbuilt JSON formatter but it ended in a disaster! So much so that I had to kill the Java process running Eclipse. Then I tried to open it using Mousepad, the default text editor that comes pre-installed with Xubuntu. It also failed and got hung. I even tried with Gedit but still no luck. I copied the file to a Windows machine and opened it using Notepad++. The online JSON formatters were able to prettify it, so I went on with it then. But the fact that I was not able to open it natively on my system was bugging me.

Then later in that day, I was sitting idle and I was thinking about it when suddenly the thought came to my mind that how the other text editors on Linux would handle a file with that size. I had Geany installed, so first tried with that and to my surprise, it opened the file in less than a second! It also detected the source type from the extension and coloured the JSON key values. A quick Googling also gave me the way to format it too. I added the below command to Geany > Edit > Format > Send Selection to > Set Custom Command

python -m json.tool

And formatted with it. I was so impressed with it that I made Geany my default text editor and small purpose IDE. Thought about sharing!


I am a software engineer, an open-source enthusiast and a hobbyist blogger.

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One comment on “Opening large JSON files with Geany
  1. […] via Opening large JSON files with Geany — Subhadip’s Blog […]

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