GSplit is a freeware program that can split any file, even extremely large files, in any number of ways including by user-defined sizes or predefined sizes, by spanning across a number of removable disks/media, by number of desired pieces, or even by number of individual lines or occurrences of a pattern in the file.
It can create a tiny program to re-unite the split files without needing to use the original application, and can even integrate this into the first file of your splits.
Gsplit also adds a Windows explorer context menu entry for on-the-fly splits. Portable version available.
Let me say from the start that this is without a doubt the best program in its class and at any rate the best freeware splitting program that I have ever seen.
I first started looking for a file splitting program when faced with the following problem: a colleague of mine had to split a 600 meg CSV file so that it could be uploaded into a customer’s
database. These individual pieces, however, could only be a maximum number of rows each, and the integrity of the CSV files had to preserved. Our first inclination was to open this file using a text editor, MS Access. This, however, proved impossible: the file was way too large (at 21 million rows) and was simply impossible to read as a “normal” file. It was even impossible to split using Textwedge, a text-splitting app that I’d previously written about.
This is where Gsplit came to the rescue; unlike the other methods mentioned, Gsplit is able to process your desired file without trying to load the file into memory first. Aside from splitting files
by specific-sized pieces or number of desired pieces (which many programs can perform), Gsplit is able to split files using the occurrences of a pattern or by number of lines per file (the pattern in the latter case being simply the occurrence of carriage returns). Thus we were finally able to split the file quickly and easily without crashes or problems, and without needing to load the entire file all at once into memory to do so.
Here are more notes on this program:
- More on splitting: in addition to what’s already mentioned above it is interesting to know that (a) Gsplit can span pieces across external media (i.e. it will wait for you to insert your disks or flash drive and create an appropriately-sized piece, then prompt for insertion of the next media, which could be very different in size, etc.). The other interesting thing is that the user can specify the size of output pieces uniformly in general OR manually specify the size of each individual piece.
- Split by number of lines: this is buried in the “I want to split after the nth occurrence of a specified pattern.” section. Use the default pattern (0x0D0x0A) for splitting by individual lines.
- Note on splitting media files: while you can split and re-combine any kind of file (including media files) for distribution purposes, do not expect to be able to play the individual pieces (even if you rename the extensions). This is a general splitter not a media splitter.
- The user interface: is very well organized for a program with such a wide range of options; however I couldn’t help but wonder if it could have been made simpler and a bit more user friendly. This is especially true of splitting by number of lines (see above). They would have done 95% of users a big favor had they separated it from the “by pattern” splitting.
- Explorer integration: right click on any file and select “split with Gsplit”
- Merging: Gsplit can create a small exec (96K) that can re-merge output files, or can combine that into the first split piece so that the first piece is turned into an executable. In these cases other users do not need to have Gsplit installed to re-combine.
- Freeware for commercial use: and with no “donate” button that I could see on the program page you can donate to Freewaregenius instead ;).
- Profiles: allows you to save your desired splitting settings into profiles, so that you do not have to redefine them again if you need to perform the same kind of split again at a future point.
- Batch processing: you can select a number of files to split at once using the same settings.
- Customizing your output: you can add headers or footers to the resulting files; you can add blank space at the beginning or end of each piece; you can add tags (i.e. metadata) to the resulting pieces, you even customize the scheme used to name the individual file pieces, and you can even customize the message that the user will see when they run the self-uniting executable.
- Validation: Gsplit will perform three different integrity checks to ensure that your files are accurately combined.
- Portable: version available.
The verdict: did I mention this is the best file splitting utility I have ever seen? Oh, I guess I did ;).
Version Tested: 3.0
Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 1.46 megs).