How To
Nov 18, 2022

Need a Huge JSON Viewer?

Whether it is enabling communication between server and client, storing user-generated data from forms and apps, or system and network logs – JSON has become a widely used file format in programming and software development. Have a JSON at hand and struggling to open it? This blog will help you explore different ways of viewing a JSON file. Let's get started!

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What Is a JSON File?

JSON file, short for JavaScript Object Notation, is a file that stores data structures and objects in a human-readable format. Although JSON is derived from JavaScript, it is not a language-dependent format. Being a text-only file format, JSON is easy to share between devices, and most modern programming languages can quickly process JSON files.

However, getting the file into a human-readable format requires formatting, unlike XML and CSV files.

How to View a Small JSON File

There are countless other ways to view a JSON file. Let us go through them one by one.

View JSON File Using a Text Editor

1. Notepad

Microsoft's Notepad on Windows needs no introduction as it has been part of every version of the OS since 1983. Notepad is one of the easiest ways to open a JSON file on MS Windows. Just right-click on your file and select Open With > Notepad.

However, it is a simple text editor and provides basic formatting, which makes it unsuitable for working with large files with nested data. So, it is ideal only for viewing and editing a small JSON file, given it is already formatted and follows JSON syntax. Also, the text editor cannot open files exceeding 54 kilobytes.


2. Notepad++

Notepad++ is the better version of Notepad as it is a text editor and also a source code editor. However, when you view a JSON file in Notepad++, you will see data in readable format but in a single line which is a mess to work with. So, how to format the data? Follow the steps given below:

  • Navigate to the Plugins tab in the Notepad++ toolbar and select Plugins Admin.
  • Search for the JSON Viewer plugin, select the plugin and click on the install button (Notepad++ will download the plugin, so ensure you are connected to the internet).
  • Once installation is done, go to the Plugin tab and select the JSON viewer plugin. Then, click on the Format JSON option.

That's it. Now your JSON file's data is readable and easy to work with:

Using JSON Viewer plugin, users can format data of their JSON files.

However, you cannot open files of more than 2 GB using Notepad++.


3. TextEdit

TextEdit is to MacOS what Notepad is to MS Windows. It is a simple text editor which can view JSON files. Like Notepad, it also has limitations when working with JSON files with nested datasets and file sizes.

View JSON File on a Web Browser

The easiest way to view a JSON file is to use a web browser, whether you use Windows, MacOS, or Linux. Just drag and drop your file into a web browser window. You will have in front of you complete datasets. And that is the extent to which browsers help work with JSON. You can open your files, but you cannot modify them. Also, if you try to open a large JSON file, your browser will simply crash.

Users can drag and drop their JSON files in a web browser window to view its content.


View JSON File in MS Excel

Web browsers and text editors will help you open JSON files, but they lack the tabular format, filters, and formulae essential for data analysis. When it comes to analyzing huge JSON files, the tabular format works best.

You can use a simple spreadsheet tool like MS Excel to import a JSON file's datasets into rows and columns for speedy analysis.

Here is how to open a JSON file in MS Excel:

1. In a blank Excel sheet, locate the Data tab in the Ribbon.

2. Click on Get Data in Get & Transform Data section. Then select From File and then From JSON.

3. Now you will have an import window in front of you. Locate the folder where you store your JSON file and select a file to import.

4. Excel will open the Power Query Editor window where you can decide how you want data to appear in MS excel. Now select Into Table option and click on Close and Load.

Looks quick and easy? It does, indeed.

However, MS Excel cannot process more than 1,048,576 rows. If your JSON file's data exceeds the limit, you will have an incomplete table to analyze. And if you do not have a powerhouse of a PC, chances are MS Excel will crash as you reach the 1 million rows threshold. Also, these steps will not work on MS Excel for MacOS and versions older than 2016 on Windows.  

Using MS Excel's Power Query, users can import data from JSON files into rows and columns.

As you can see, text editors have limited file sizes and inadequate data analysis features. At the same time, a browser is only good for viewing a small JSON file. For analysis, you can use MS Excel, but it has its caveats as well. So, what is the perfect solution to open large JSON files? – Gigasheet.

How to View Huge JSON Files with Gigasheet - A Free Online JSON Viewer

Gigasheet is a cloud-based big data spreadsheet application that delivers what text editors and regular spreadsheet software fail to. It is meant solely for big data analysis, so it has all features an analyst would ever need. It processes data remotely, so you do not need the raw processing power of a high-end desktop.

Here is how to use Gigasheet to open a JSON file:

1. Visit Gigasheet's website and create an account. Click here to create one for free.

2. Click "Upload" and select your file from local or cloud storage. You can upload files of up to 1 GB under the free plan. If your JSON files exceed 1 GB, compress them and upload zipped JSON files to Gigasheet.

3. Wait for the upload to complete, and Gigasheet will automatically organize your JSON into a tabular format. You can filter, sort, split columns, and more with the data.


Opening JSON files in Gigasheet is a very convenient way of formatting JSON files into tabular format. Users just need to upload their files and Gigasheet processes the file automatically.

To Conclude

You have countless ways to view a JSON file – use a text editor, drag and drop your file into a web browser, or use spreadsheet software. These methods are simple but not ideal, especially for big data analysis. Gigasheet, on the other hand, is a web-based spreadsheet app tailored for data science workflows.

Gigasheet is free to use, requires no coding expertise, and can view one billion rows of JSON online. Sign up today.

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