# Reading in Huge Text Files

I would like to read in really large text files (about 2GB) into Mathematica. The structure of the file is such that the first row and the first column are text i.e strings. Rest is all numbers. Is it possible to take advantage of this and make the Import faster? Currently I do Import["file.txt","Table"]. It takes a long time. I would like the output list to be same as that returned by the previously mentioned Import command.

• Import is often about the slowest you can have, particularly for tabular data. BinaryRead(List) can be much faster, and Java can give you still much faster reads, when one uses buffer reads Dec 4, 2012 at 20:06
• ReadList (and especially BinaryReadList) are good, but Java buffered reads can beat the hell out of them sometimes. Dec 4, 2012 at 22:20