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Killink CSVDiscount

Killink CSV

A Better CSV (and more) Editor!

$27
for PC  Download Trial
Platforms: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003
Killink CSV ScreenshotSpreadsheet Editors Software ScreenshotKillink CSV, Spreadsheet Editors Software ScreenshotKillink CSV, Business & Finance Software ScreenshotSpreadsheet Editors Software, Killink CSV Screenshot

Let's face it, working with comma and tab delimited text files is not always an enjoyable experience. When you're using a standard text editor, data looks scattered or even chaotic! But on the other hand, we certainly don't all need the extras, bloats, and Microsoft-isms that come along with an Excel license.

Why can't somebody just create a no-nonsense utility that makes it cheap and easy to view, edit, and print delimited text files while still utilizing the convenient and familiar tabular user interface?

White Peak Software's Killink CSV is a no-nonsense spreadsheet editor that is specifically designed to edit data organized by comma separated values, tab separated values, and literally any other delimiter type.

Killink CSV utilizes a familiar tabular, spreadsheet-style interface that won't leave you guessing. You can work on multiple files simultaneously, easily manage them with a built-in file explorer, print them in comprehensible formats, and much more.

And Killink CSV is perfect for editing delimited text files on a server. It's a super lightweight utility and requires minimal hard drive space. Do you really want to install a bloated, memory-hogging application like Excel onto your file server just to view and edit a delimited text file?

If Excel is much too much of everything for your purposes, don't wait -- Killink CSV gives you all the tools you need to work with delimited text files at an unbeatable price point.

And today you can reduce that already unbeatable price by 53%!!!

Review Written by K. B.
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Kelly Hamblin Very disappointing. Offers virtually no options. Nothing can be customized or even changed except the width of the columns. Then all it does is sort. It does nothing that I can't do with two of my word processors and three of my pims. It should be a free program.
Aug 31 2008 at 12:03pm Copy Link
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Kirby Turner Hi Kelly. It sounds like Killink CSV may not be the program for you, but it does have other options. A key option, and one that is valuable to users working with various types of delimited text files, is enabling the user to add additional file types. With Killink CSV you can create, edit, and save a delimited text file using the delimiter of your choosing. For instance Killink CSV enables you to edit and save pipe (|) delimited text files, which is something other spreadsheet programs cannot do. Comma, semicolon, tab, and pipe delimited text files are supported by default but you can add other delimited file types using the program options. Also, Killink CSV does not have the row and column limitation found in other spreadsheet programs. The ability to work with any delimiter type and work with larger sets of rows and columns is one of Killink CSV strengths.

Another key strength, albeit not an option, is that Killink CSV will not change your data. Take a customer list for example. The customer list might contain U.S. postal codes for say the state of Massachusetts. These postal codes start with a leading zero such as 01970. Popular spreadsheet programs will actually remove the leading zero. Killink CSV will not, which is another value-add for Killink CSV users.

Killink CSV does lack customizations, such as cell formatting, found in other spreadsheet programs but this is intentional. My goal in writing Killink CSV is to make the best possible CSV and delimited text file editor available. Many customizations found in other spreadsheet programs simply do not make sense with delimited text files. If, however, there is a customization or feature that you or anyone feels is needed let me know and I'll do my best to add it in a future release. One such feature that comes to mind is the ability to filter data, which is already planned for an upcoming release.

Regards,
-KIRBY
Disclaimer: In case you have not figured it out, I am the author/software developer for Killink CSV.
White Peak Software Inc - Aug 31 2008 at 2:18pm Copy Link
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Kelly Hamblin I see. My apologies. While I wouldn't go so far as to cut out my tongue, I would delete my earlier comment if I could. Someone who reviewed it compared it to Excel so I was expecting something entirely different. You are right, I seldom, if ever, have a need to use delimited text files. The only time I have ever used them is in Word and Word Perfect to create tables or take information out of tables. In that case this is a much better alternative to using a word processor.

As for the leading zeros, hooray for you. I have long been frustrated by Microsoft's disallowing of leading zeros, both in its spreadsheet program and its database application, but Microsoft is very sure it knows what is best for its users and as time goes on it allows us less and less say in the matter. In future I will not be purchasing Microsoft products so am testing and looking into other offerings.

Here is the customization that I would most like to see in Killink: the ability to size the rows and all of the columns, including the first one. In most of my work, I need to be able to view a great deal of data at the same time so this is always an issue for me. Filtering would be a great plus too but you've already thought of that. Good idea.

Sincerely,
Kelly
Sep 1 2008 at 3:37am Copy Link
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Kirby Turner Hi Kelly. No need to delete the original comment. It makes for good dialog. And yes, the comparison to Excel can be a bit misleading at times. Excel does much more than edit CSV and delimited text files, which in my opinion is why it doesn't do a great of a job with delimited text. Killink CSV, on the other hand, works with delimited text only.

Excel does proved one concept that is also in Killink CSV, the spreadsheet editor. Spreadsheet programs like Excel make it very easy to edit data and this is exactly why Killink CSV is designed like a spreadsheet program. Because Killink CSV looks like a spreadsheet program it is often compared to other spreadsheet programs, but Killink CSV does not try to be a full fledge spreadsheet program. I like to say Killink CSV is the spreadsheet program dedicated to CSV and delimited text files.

Thank you for the feedback on the row and column resizing. Actually you can resize both in the current version, but the program only remembers the column widths when the program is reloaded. Remembering the column width is an option that can be turned on and off in the options dialog. It's turned off by default.

Remembering row height is something I will consider for an upcoming release. This is currently not an option because CSV files tend to have more rows than columns, and remembering and resetting the height for say 100,000 rows might slow down the program. Still, the suggestion is worth exploring.

Thanks again for the feedback and taking time to post comments.

-KIRBY
White Peak Software Inc - Sep 1 2008 at 5:00am Copy Link
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charlie arehart Killink looks very interesting. As a subscriber to the weekly BDJ newsletter, I got word of the tool early Monday and on seeing this tool mentioned got a day's head start in evaluating it. This is a rather lengthy comment, but I offer it for others considering the tool. (The short version is that the tool looks quite good and may serve many needs as is. I have a few needs that it doesn't meet, but there are also quite a few nifty features you don't want to miss.)

I'm one of the people who have longed for a better tool for working with CSV and other delimited files. Like Kirby has said, spreadsheet programs are just overweight for the task. I've looked at a lot of different tools for log file analysis (from the simple to the robust). I've longed for one that was easy to use but capable of certain minimum features (far less than a spreadsheet, but far more than just a text editor). To be honest, I don't even want the editing features: I just want an easy way to view (and sometimes do a little analysis) of a delimited file.

With that as preface, I downloaded and tried Killilink. It's got a lot of pluses, and it may well be the perfect tool for many readers who have need to read (and especially edit) such delimited files. I ran into a few negatives which, while important to me, may not be for everyone. I don't want any readers to see what I write here as putting the tool down. In fact, sometimes there was a work-around, so I point out here not just beefs but solutions in case others hit them, and indeed I also offer praises, as there are some hidden gems one might miss.

Anyway, Kirby's comments here show that he's clearly very interested in understanding how people use the tool, and while it seems he may reasonably decline to do everything someone may want, he seems at least open to feedback.

BTW, surely someone reading this is wondering about the name. He explains it in his site's faq (http://www.whitepeaksoftw...v/faq.html): it's the name of a ski trail at Killington, VT.

With that....

First, I must say I was surprised to find that there was no default support for space-delimited files. The list of choices on opening a file (something.log, which wasn't a recognized filetype), was comma, tab, pipe, and semi-colon. Fortunately, I saw that I could add a new file type under toolsoptionsfiletypes, and I was able to open my "log" files as space-delimited. It just seems that would be a reasonable type to add as a default.

But then I ran into a different problem: I have other logs (also of filetype "log"), but they are instead tab-delimited. My choice to create a log type above now conflicted with that. I guess you had to make a choice for how to store settings and you chose to do it per file extension. Perhaps only a small percent of your users will have 2 different kinds of files of the same extension (in different directories) with different delimiter.

Anyway, I saw that I could use "fileopen as" and choose another filetype/delimiter (like tab), but then those are preconfigured for other file extensions (txt, tab, tsv), but I see that multiple extensions can be listed per filetype/delimiters in the toolsoptionsfiletypes, so I added log to both that tab option and my new space option. Even then, it opened a "text import" window asking me what filetype/delimiter was desired.

BTW, I use the terms "deliimeter" above since your interface does, but technically, we/you should be saying "separator". In a CSV file, the columns are *separated* with commas and string values are *delimited* by double quotes. (But then, even the wikipedia entry on CSV files is wishy-washy on that distinction, sometimes using it properly, sometimes not. I won't fall on my sword over this one.)

I was glad to see that it was a MDI (or multiple document interface) program, so that opening more than one file didn't open a new instance of the program but instead just opened a new tab.

The option for "viewshow file explorer" is a nice touch, at least until you add the windows explorer integration you mention in an earlier entry on your blog

At first I thought that the interface didn't t respond to the traditional gesture (such as in windows explorer) of double-clicking on a column separator to reduce (or increase) the column to fit the width of the text within it. Turns out you just have to wait long enough for the interface to detect you really are stopping on the separator (since otherwise mousing over a column header is about enabling you to select it, such as for sorting.)

Sadly, it doesn't respond to a traditional interface keyboard shortcut like ctrl-End (to go to the end of the file). Again, perhaps Kirby may feel torn: does he create shortcuts that suit Excel users (if he presumes they're his main audience)? Or does he create them for the rest of us who have eschewed Excel for reading CSV files and the like, using traditional editors of file viewers (like UniversalViewer, which has a great advantage over text editors in being able to read really large files very easily)? I'm in the latter camp, and since nearly all programs regard Ctrl-End as a request to go to the end of the file, that seems logical to hope for.

Speaking of going somewhere in the file, another common feature in many such tools is the ability to "go to" a line number (often offered in the edit menu, even in a non-editing viewer like UniversalViewer). Well, it's there in Killilink--just in the Search menu instead. That probably makes sense, but I'm just so used to finding it in the Edit menu of such tools. :-)

Speaking of UV's ability to read such large files, I see that Killilink says it has no limits, but what whill happen if we read a very large file (hundreds of megs, or a gig)? while you could just load it all into memory, other options exist (again, such as how universal viewer works, reading in only the buffers needed for the part of the file being viewed or searched).

If anyone tries to use the tool for reading IIS log files, while using a space delimiter as above will let it open the file in columns as expected, it doesn't recognize the standard (and indeed curious) approach IIS log files use for the header data, where it has 3 #prefixed rows, then a 4th which starts "#Fields:" and then lists the field names as space-separated values. You'll need to delete those first 3 rows and then for the 4th (now the first) find some way to get the headers into the first column (since they're shifted to the right one because of the "#Fields:" prefix). I found I could highlight the column names from the 2nd column to the right, then paste those over top of the first column, and all was good.

Along those lines, I have another set of log files which has the list of column headers in a separate file (rather than being listed at the top of each log file in the first row). It would be nice to be able to point to such a file to import the headers.

I did try using the "insert row" feature add a new row at the top, then tried to copy/paste the header data fom the other file, but sadly killink didn't paste the data across all the cells. Instead, it all ended up as the value of the first cell (even though they were split by the same delimiter used for the data file that was loaded, a space, in my case). I even tried selecting all the columns before doing the past, but that only copied all the headers into each cell.

Here are a few other desires for such a tool:

It's a shame that the find dialog doesn't offer an option to limit it to just a cell. Along those lines, the count feature (in the find dialog) is a very nice touch--don't miss that--but again if it's not limited to just a selected cell, it would seem it could return results that would be incorrectly interpreted.

You mention in a comment here, Kirby, that you may add filtering, especially if on the fly while viewing a file (and for values in a given column, rather than across all columns). Iit would also be helpful to provide a means to group rows by values in a given column (such that one could quickly view all rows that had a different value for a given column.)

I realize some may be thinking, but the point is to keep the tool simple. That's reasonable. I'm not asking to recreate Excel--not at all. I don't think it's a good tool for reading, viewing, and getting value from CSV and other such files. It's too bulky and naturally uses spreadsheet metaphors that don't always translate (or support the need of CSV/log file analysis, though this isn't just about "log file" analysis but really any kind of CSV/delimited file analysis.) Granted, such files tend to be a text form of database, and some may even say, why not just import the files into a database and use their power?

But the reason such a tool is needed is that sometimes we're looking at lots of files and maybe randomly. Needing to import them into a DB is an annoyance. Sometimes we just want to get a quick look at some column in some record.

Of course, I'm familiar with some alternative tools for reading log files, from free ones like logparser to commercial ones like logmeister. Indeed, I keep a list of over a dozen of them at http://carehart.org/cf411/#genlog, and I've just added killilink to it.

I'll add that if it would make any aspect of the tool easier to use or better performing, I could also see value in offering a variant that doesn't bother with the editing aspect--that's something I would rarely want to do myself.

Again, I've been dying to find a nifty log file viewer tool that supports space-separated files easily (and not just for IIS logs). While I list a few such "simple" tools in my above-mentioned tools list, most of them are limited to either CSV or TSV files.

And to be clear: I'm already very familiar with web server log analysis tools. I list them too in another category, but that's NOT what I'm looking for here, either, in that they perform typically pre-packaged analyses trying to present information about web traffic trends that I'm just not looking for. I mention web server logs as one example of files I want to view, but that's not the only kind of log files I want to view/analyze. Still, my needs may seem unusual--but I don't think I'm alone, even if no one else pipes up in support here.

Finding a tool that combines a simple interface, with even just modest analysis, across multiple delimeter/separators, seems to be a bit of a quest for the holy grail. It's too bad, and for someone who (like myself) not only follows sites like BDJ but even keeps a list several hundred tools, it really is surprising that this is a tool need which remains so relatively poorly met.

Anyway, I'm encouraged about Killilink, even with its missing features (from my perspective, I grant). If even a few of them were addressed, I could see it becoming quite popular for those needing to do this analysis. Folks with any need to quickly view CSV and other such files will likely be very pleased, and it's clear that the author is very open to feedback. Bring it on. :-)

Hope the above helps others considering it.
Sep 1 2008 at 4:44pm Copy Link
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Kirby Turner Hi Charlie. Thanks for the awesome review and feedback. I have to admit using Killink CSV to review and analyze log files never occurred to me, but I like the concept. It's definitely something I'm going to explore. Also, I will work on improving the copy paste for space delimited (separated) data and I'll add the Ctrl+End shortcut key. Also, work to improved support for large files is already currently underway.

Thanks again for the review and feedback.
-KIRBY
White Peak Software Inc - Sep 2 2008 at 12:46am Copy Link
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