WinLogTail - freeware log viewer, monitor and analyzer

home page: http://yp.lviv.ua/winlogtail/

Contents

Overview

WinLogTail was originally written for personal use to simplify common log-related tasks. Once the application became stable and usable enough, it was released as freeware by the author.

WinLogTail features:

Limitations of current version:

WinLogTail main window

 

Tail mode

In tail mode, the program will monitor the logfile for changes. This is convenient for monitoring another program's activity in realtime. The main view will automatically scroll to follow the logfile's tail - you will always see the last lines of the logfile. 

However, if you use the scrollbar to scroll up to a different position, the auto-scrolling will pause to let you inspect the other part of the logfile. You can resume auto-scrolling by scrolling to the bottom-most position manually.

The filtered view will also follow the logfile's tail and update and scroll automatically. You can pause and resume auto-scrolling in a similar manner.

"Flash window" and "Beep" rules only work in tail mode for the "newcoming" lines.  

Enter tail mode by checking the Follow tail checkbox in the program's toolbar.

Using rules

A rule is an instruction for WinLogTail which tells it to:

Rules are the primary means of log file analyzing in WinLogTail. Using rules, you can make WinLogTail highlight, search, or monitor specific text.

You may add simple rules via QuickSearch, and more complex rules through Add Rule dialog. You can add many different rules at once.

A rule contains:

The text pattern may be:

The action may be any combination of the following:

Additional attributes include:

Text patterns

Text patterns may be either Perl-compatible regular expressions or simplified order-insensitive logical patterns.

Regular expressions are best for complex searches.

Simplified logical patterns are better if you don't need the complexity of regular expressions. They allow you to search for lines, which:

You define "and"-tokens using operator "+", and "and-not"-tokens using operator "~". For example, to search for lines, which contain both "error" and "alarm" (no matter in what order), but does not contain "watchdog", specify the following pattern: "error+alarm~watchdog". You can freely combine tokens and operators in any order. ("Or" operator is not supported; use regular expressions and "|".)

Adding rules with QuickSearch

When you enter text in Quick Search text box, a case-insensitive "Show" rule is added to the rule set and the document is instantly searched for the new rule. Specify if the rule is RegExp or simplified pattern with the nearby checkbox.

Adding rules with Rule dialog

Use Rule dialog to specify all the rule's attributes.

If you select "Show in filtered view", you will be prompted for immediate action: search whole file or only monitor tail. Otherwise, this section is invisible. In Non-tail mode, the selection is "Search whole file" and the combo box is disabled.  

If you change the formatting, Highlight check box is automatically checked.

Managing rules in the Rules list

The Rule list allows you to:

Rules' order and priorities

WinLogTail will search for a match with a minumum number of iterations required. This means that as soon as a suitable rule is found ("highlight" rule in the main view, or "show" rule in the filtered view), the search stops. If more than one rule matches a line, you can select which one has more priority by rearranging the rules' order.

For example, if you highlight "error" with yellow background, and "fatal error" with red background, the actual highlighting for "fatal error" will depend on the rules' order. If "fatal error" is below "error", then "error" will match, and "fatal error" will not be reached and will be ignored. Drag the "fatal error" rule above the "error" rule so that "fatal error" is actually highlighted as desired.

In the filtered view, if a matching line doesn't have any highlighting associated with its "show" rule, it will be highlighted with any suitable "highlight" rule. For example, if you have a "show"
rule for "fatal" with no highlighting, and a "non-show" highlight rule for "error", then "fatal error" will appear highlighted in the filtered view.

Context scrolling

If you click a line in the filtered view, the main view will automatically scroll to the relevant segment of the logfile and select the line. A blue arrow will mark the line, even after the selection in the main view changes. (Yellow dots in the main view mark all lines that also present in filtered view.)

If you select a range in the filtered view, the main view's selection will extend to reflect the selection in the filtered view. For example, if you select two lines, which correspond to line 1000 and 2000 in the logfile, the main view's selection will span from line 1000 to line 2000.

Copying and exporting

Any selection in either main or filtered view can be copied to clipboard or exported to file.

When copying text to clipboard, WinLogTail will preserve formatting. The text will go there in 3 formats: plain text, RTF and HTML. This will let you paste highlighted logs into word processors, instant messengers etc.

When exporting, you can choose one of those formats in the Save dialog.

To copy or export a selection, use the context menus or the toolbar button. When copying or exporting from the filtered view, line numbers will be exported alongside.

Command-line parameters

WinLogTail.exe [logfile.log [-t]] [-r r.rules]

Preferences

The preferences of WinLogTail are stored in a 16-bit-style .ini file in the working directory of WinLogTail, not in the registry. This is intentional, and in conjunction with the application's installation-less operation makes WinLogTail easily portable between debugged machines on a removable media.

Fonts

Use the Font... context menus of either views (or Options context menu of the toolbar) to select a font. You can select a font face name and a font height from the common font dialog. The other font properties are discarded, as they will be overridden by custom rules.


Author: Yaroslav Pidstryhach
Send your bug reports and suggestions to dali_bude _ yahoo.com .


This program is developed using SmartWin++ library.

SmartWin copyright notice

Copyright (c) 2005, Thomas Hansen
All rights reserved.

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