The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-18-2010, 02:31 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 57,914
Upper limit on Wordpad documents?

I was editing a large text file on Wordpad (yes, I know it's an old program).

I was pasting a section of text in and the file would not accept the entire section of text. I found that the file had apparently reached some kind of limit - I could not add any new characters to the text.

I started a new file to check on this. I kept adding text and it again stopped accepting new text at a certain point.

I have the available memory on the hard drive so that's not the problem.

The first text file locked at 17,113,484 bytes. The test file I made locked at 17,106,977 bytes. Not exactly the same but close enough to make me think there might be an upper limit on how large a file Wordpad can handle.

I did a little online checking and couldn't find any conclusive answers on whether Wordpad has an upper limit on file sizes. Anyone know?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 10-18-2010, 02:39 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
Robot Mod in Beta Testing
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,367
I don't know about the latest versions, but older versions of Wordpad definitely had an upper limit for file sizes. In 2000 and XP if you tried to open a file that was too large with Wordpad, Windows would say that it couldn't do it and would ask if you wanted to use Notepad instead.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-18-2010, 03:01 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
I don't know about the latest versions, but older versions of Wordpad definitely had an upper limit for file sizes. In 2000 and XP if you tried to open a file that was too large with Wordpad, Windows would say that it couldn't do it and would ask if you wanted to use Notepad instead.
Are you sure you don't have this backwards? Notepad is a plain text editor while Wordpad allows markup and such.

Windows 7 has a new version of Wordpad, I don't know if the limits have changed.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-18-2010, 03:22 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
I've always heard Wordpad was an extremely limited version of Ms Word. I never found any documentation on how big a files are allowed.

I've even ran into issues with notepad accepting a big data dump from a file. I had to use the DOS edit program instead. Edit can handle huge files.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-18-2010, 04:20 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I was editing a large text file on Wordpad (yes, I know it's an old program).
It's been updated as recently as 2009; I wouldn't call that old.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-18-2010, 04:40 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
Robot Mod in Beta Testing
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 8,367
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
Are you sure you don't have this backwards? Notepad is a plain text editor while Wordpad allows markup and such.

Windows 7 has a new version of Wordpad, I don't know if the limits have changed.
No, I don't have it backwards. I work at a company that makes industrial control systems, and events on the system are logged to a log file which used to normally open in wordpad. Sometimes these log files can get to be rather huge, and then wordpad won't open them any more and we'd get a message asking to open them in notepad instead, which we did (the log files are just plain text).

So I know from personal experience that the older versions of wordpad definitely have a file size limit. Notepad may be text only, but it doesn't have the same limit.

This wasn't meant to be a comparison between wordpad and notepad, I was just giving details on how I knew wordpad had a limit because I have run into it many times.

We've changed our log files to automatically open in notepad instead of wordpad, so I don't know if the more recent versions of wordpad still have the same limit.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-18-2010, 05:26 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
I know this was the case for Win9x at least: Word of God. There was a 54k or 64k limit on notepad files.

Seems weird that they'd switch it, but with MS who knows the logic behind things.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-18-2010, 06:58 PM
RaftPeople RaftPeople is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
No, I don't have it backwards. I work at a company that makes industrial control systems, and events on the system are logged to a log file which used to normally open in wordpad. Sometimes these log files can get to be rather huge, and then wordpad won't open them any more and we'd get a message asking to open them in notepad instead, which we did (the log files are just plain text).

So I know from personal experience that the older versions of wordpad definitely have a file size limit. Notepad may be text only, but it doesn't have the same limit.

This wasn't meant to be a comparison between wordpad and notepad, I was just giving details on how I knew wordpad had a limit because I have run into it many times.

We've changed our log files to automatically open in notepad instead of wordpad, so I don't know if the more recent versions of wordpad still have the same limit.
I could be mistaken, but I run into the same thing you do all the time and I thought I always switch to wordpad when they are big. Everything defaults to notepad but I could have sworn that wordpad handles large files without a problem.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-18-2010, 07:46 PM
Savannah Savannah is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Ah, Wordpad. Does anyone use it? The only time I've used it is when, let me see. I used my late mother's ancient computer, and it didn't have Office installed on it.

But now that I've opened up Wordpad to re-acquaint myself, for doing plain writing, it could be very useful. It's too easy to procrastinate by making my documents "pretty". Setting it to not view the toolbars leaves a nice, clean interface.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-18-2010, 07:49 PM
johnpost johnpost is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
i recall Notepad having size limits that Wordpad could handle.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-19-2010, 02:40 AM
si_blakely si_blakely is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
To be fair, the OP does not specify an OS/Version for Wordpad - there have been several variants of both Wordpad and Notepad with different limitations.

Notepad was the original text editor, and was the simplest windows application imaginable - a basic multiline text box (EDIT control) in a window. Due to the limitations of x86 real mode segmentation, this text box control had a data segment that was a maximum of 64kb. This limitation stayed despite the shift to x86 protected mode in later versions of Windows.

Windows Write was a simple word processor supplied with Windows 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0/3.1. Because it was more than a EDIT control, it was not limited in the same way as Notepad. In Windows 95 this became Wordpad, using the Windows RichEdit class, and becoming a Rich Text Format (a very basic and semi-standard wordprocessing format) editor. It was never limited size-wize in the same way as Notepad, and also handled End-of-Line characters in a more flexible way than Notepad.

Once Windows was a 32-bit system (from NT 3.5 and XP for consumers), EDIT controls were no longer limited to 64kb, and Notepad was extended somewhat. Unicode support was also (sort-of) added.

I would recommend using something like Notepad++ (free) or Ultraedit for large text editing jobs. Both are much smarter about big files. Notepad still does a memory map of the text file which can lead to excessive memory consumption, smarter editors tend to not do that.

Si
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-19-2010, 02:53 AM
don't ask don't ask is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 16,066
The old limits pre XP were 64K for Notepad and 16 meg for Wordpad. Looks like it still is for Wordpad.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-19-2010, 05:00 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 19,945
I've just created a 186 MB test file in Notepad and Wordpad doesn't barf on it, but takes a very long time to load it.

I'm using Windows 7 x64.

I've read that Notepad has a 2 GB limit under XP. I expect that under Windows 7 x64, that's been increased to 2^63 bytes
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-19-2010, 05:08 AM
don't ask don't ask is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 16,066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
I've just created a 186 MB test file in Notepad and Wordpad doesn't barf on it, but takes a very long time to load it.
Wow, you must type really fast.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-19-2010, 09:25 AM
CandidGamera CandidGamera is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
No, I don't have it backwards. I work at a company that makes industrial control systems, and events on the system are logged to a log file which used to normally open in wordpad. Sometimes these log files can get to be rather huge, and then wordpad won't open them any more and we'd get a message asking to open them in notepad instead, which we did (the log files are just plain text).
I'm with everybody else on this one - I work in IT and have to view huge web log files sometimes - when they get so big, Notepad fails to open them and recommends WordPad instead. Perhaps it varies with different Windows OSes, but my experience as an IT professional is that Notepad's upper limit (when encountered) is uniformly less than WordPad's upper limit.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-19-2010, 09:30 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 19,945
Quote:
Originally Posted by don't ask View Post
Wow, you must type really fast.


The secret is to select all, move to the top, copy & paste, then repeat all four steps.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 10-19-2010, 10:00 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
Quote:
Originally Posted by CandidGamera View Post
I'm with everybody else on this one - I work in IT and have to view huge web log files sometimes - when they get so big, Notepad fails to open them and recommends WordPad instead. Perhaps it varies with different Windows OSes, but my experience as an IT professional is that Notepad's upper limit (when encountered) is uniformly less than WordPad's upper limit.
I agree with this. I used to get this limitation in Notepad, but never word pad.

I believe 64K was the limit of Notepad on Windows 9x systems

On new systems it depends if you're still using FAT32. I think there is a limit on size of file on that around 4g

However Notepad tends to choke up the bigger the file gets.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 10-19-2010, 12:31 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 57,914
I ended up going with a non-technological fix. I divided the file into two smaller parts.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 10-19-2010, 09:38 PM
falcotron falcotron is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
The secret is to select all, move to the top, copy & paste, then repeat all four steps.
There's got to be a much faster way than that, even on Windows. That's 4 log N tedious keystrokes, and I imagine the interface starts to lag on you.

On any other OS, you can do it with one call to dd, or a simple one-line while loop using cat, in under a second. I know there aren't as many useful console tools and batch syntax sucks, but something similar has to be doable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz
I've read that Notepad has a 2 GB limit under XP. I expect that under Windows 7 x64, that's been increased to 2^63 bytes
I can't remember off the top of my head whether Win64 processes get 40, 44, or 48 bits of user address space, but it's definitely not 63.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 10-19-2010, 10:17 PM
Captain_C Captain_C is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
A few years ago I couldn't figure out why my C drive was full, even though I hadn't installed anything significant on it. Some hunting around found that my firewall program was set to record all incoming/outgoing connections into a text file. This had been going on for months if not years. Total size of the file, which would open in Wordpad, was somewhere around 12Gb. Took about 10 minutes to open. So... at least that big. This was using WinXP.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 10-20-2010, 04:33 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 19,945
Quote:
Originally Posted by falcotron View Post
There's got to be a much faster way than that, even on Windows. That's 4 log N tedious keystrokes, and I imagine the interface starts to lag on you.
It does

Quote:
On any other OS, you can do it with one call to dd, or a simple one-line while loop using cat, in under a second. I know there aren't as many useful console tools and batch syntax sucks, but something similar has to be doable.
Yes, I could have done it at the command prompt, but I didn't.


Quote:
I can't remember off the top of my head whether Win64 processes get 40, 44, or 48 bits of user address space, but it's definitely not 63.
Yes, see here, but that's an OS limitation, not an application limitation, isn't it? To misquote Bill Gates, 8TB (44 bits) should be enough for the next few years anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 10-20-2010, 04:19 PM
falcotron falcotron is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Yes, see here, but that's an OS limitation, not an application limitation, isn't it? To misquote Bill Gates, 8TB (44 bits) should be enough for the next few years anyway.
Well, yeah, it's an OS limitation. And it's one that an app can work around by doing its own paging (like Oracle being able to handle 16 TB databases on 32-bit Windows and Linux, or Visicalc being able to handle 1MB spreadsheets on 8-bit Apple II DOS). But I'm willing to bet Wordpad doesn't do that.

On top of that, I believe RICHEDIT has a smaller limit, and an even smaller limit to what it can load up at one time. You can get around that by manually feeding it with a stream callback instead of just dumping in a whole file (which would also get rid of the lag you saw when your file got big), but I doubt Wordpad doesn't that either.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.