20 things you need to know about a hex editor v1.1


by Analytics Insight

March 18, 2022

It is possible to use a hex editor to convert a large file of binary numbers to standard hex format.

A hex editor is a type of software capable of viewing and editing binary files in hexadecimal format. It is also called hex tool. It can find and replace string patterns in virtually any character encoding at the same time on more than one window.

A hex editor can also be used to view and edit text files in the same way. Each editor window has different view types. You can open each window with different view types for your convenience.

It is possible to use a hex editor to convert a large file of binary numbers to standard hex format.

There, the result is that the content of this document is displayed and edited using a standard computer keyboard. In hexadecimal numbers, numbers, letters, and other symbols are combined to form a sequence.

I want you to know more about using the hex editor. First, you need to know what a hex number is, what a hex file is, and what hex files are in folders.

What is hexadecimal number and hexadecimal information?

Hexadecimal numbers are base 16, which means they are expressed using the digits 0 through 9 and the letters A through F. Standard hexadecimal numbers are defined as follows:

We have been using hexadecimal values ​​since the invention of computers. It was used by people doing math for financial purposes. So they used a check and a ledger to record the account number and other important numbers.

Why do we need a Hex file?

We use hexadecimal numbers because it is a good compromise between base 10 and base 2. Base 2 is the language used by computers.

In binary, there are only two numbers: 1 and 0. You can represent the number 2 in base 10 using whatever binary codes you know. The number 3 in base 10 is represented by the code 0011, and so on.

When you look at binary numbers, you will see that it takes multiple digits to represent the value that only one or two base 10 digits can represent. For example, 17 in base 10 (two digits) is equal to 0001 0001 (eight digits) in binary.

It is clear that any pure binary can be easily unmanageable. It is difficult to change values ​​from base 10 to base 2 and vice versa. Even if a computer could do this job, it would take a long time and slow everything down.

We’d also like to mention that hexadecimal is a perfect mix of readability (in hexadecimal, a pair of two-digit numbers is the base of many numbers) and ease of conversion (converting from binary to hexadecimal is easy to do).

Hex files are files in hexadecimal format used to program logic devices (PLDs) with microcontrollers for remote controls, desktop machines, and motor control systems. This file is a collection of settings, other configuration information, and other data saved in hexadecimal pattern format.

If you open a file, you will see that program’s interpretation of the contents of that file. Each plain text file contains invisible characters that indicate where lines are supposed to start, where lines should be broken, and what time of day the file ends.

On the right side you can see all invisible characters (as well as normal characters) supported by a hex editor. These characters are written using hexadecimal numbers. It will definitely increase the functionality of your file.

How to create a hexadecimal file?

If you want to create a file containing a Hex file, you can use a text editor like UltraEdit or other simple text editing programs.

Then here are the steps to create a Hex file.

  1. Open the text editor of your choice. We recommend using UltraEdit, which is easy to use. This software also works for a regular file.
  2. You must insert your code in hexadecimal format. Hexadecimal numbers can be represented in base-16 formats. Values ​​begin with the digits 0 through 9 and the characters A, B, C, D, E, and F, which are symbols for the numbers 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.
  3. Select Save As in the file format specification bar to save the text file to folders on your hard drive. When the window appears, use the hexadecimal file extension instead of the usual document extension, which is often used .TXT and .DOCS.

By doing this, any application that reads hex files will be able to read the text in your hex code. You don’t need to download other software with similar functionality.

Can you edit a hex file?

Yes, you can edit a hex file. It is very easy to do. It’s more useful to edit hex files instead of just relying on files that follow binary rules.

With a hex editor, you can browse all recent file changes in the operation history, using undo and redo commands and a special history tool window. You can also repair corrupt or suspicious files found by your file identification tool.

In the Selection Details window, you can see the result of your selection and the text attached to it. You can search for binary or hexadecimal values, byte patterns, integers, floating point, or text. Just switch to the input type you want and search for what you want.

Some hex editors also perform a multi-threaded search for portions of text and list the file contents that match in a results folder window.

Do so and your search history will be saved for your convenience. You can do most things in your file data using this binary file editing software.

What should you know about a hex editor?

1. Here are 20 things and rules you need to know about a hex editor:

2. There was an early hex editor which was developed by Leslie Lamport in the early 1970s.

3. Many newer hex editors provide features to reduce memory consumption. All uploaded files are given a base address to speed up the process.

4. A hex editor can be used to view and edit files in a computer’s memory, on a hard drive, or even remote files on another computer over the Internet.

5. Some hex editors are available for download as freeware, while others are commercial products that cost money to purchase or download.

6. The basic rules allowed by a hex editor are to allow you to enter and display data stored in binary format using the standard number keys on your keyboard as well as additional decimal values ​​such as “0”, “1”, “2”, etc. to improve the executable file format of your files.

7. Hexadecimal numbers can be displayed using standard keyboard keys such as “ENTER” key, “SHIFT” key, etc., but if you need to enter or display a number in a different format, you can use the hexadecimal format by using your keyboard in combination with the special characters of the hexadecimal format of your computer.

8. Hexadecimal numbers are not very readable and are difficult to use regularly. A regular editor will usually treat them as an unknown file format. Most don’t work with machine code.

9. Some people prefer to use a hex editor to enter their data. Not only is it faster and easier to enter this data with the keyboard, but you can also use the hex editor to view and edit the data you’ve written to your hard drive.

10. The main purpose of a binary file editor is to create executable files from the source file, making them recognized by the file identification tool.

11. Programmers and system administrators also use hex editors to edit individual bytes of data, configuration files, and file format specifications.

12. A corrupt file causes colors, text or audio in your file to not work properly. A hex editor can work as a file identification tool to diagnose problems.

13. Using a hex editor is simple, but if you want to learn more about using a hex editor, here is a great tutorial that can help you.

14. A hex editor is not only needed to edit binary files in memory or on a hard disk, but it can also be used to edit text files in the same way if needed for special characters.

15. The .HEX file extension is used for files stored in a computer’s memory or on a hard drive in standard hexadecimal format, while the .BIN file extension is used for files stored on a disk drive in standard binary format. .

16. A suspicious file is usually malware and you can recognize it by its executable file format (example: .exe., .dll.). These types of files usually contain invisible data. You can open it using a hex editor.

17. Because hex editors only display the raw data of a file (displaying the byte of the file) and not the meaning of the file, you can dig into it and find out what it is.

18. A hex editor is often used to convert data stored in binary format into a standard format that can be viewed or edited using the keyboard.

19. A hex editor is also used to avoid having to use special characters and instead encourages you to use standard decimal values. If your file is not modified, it can be considered a suspicious file.

20. You can also use it to convert text strings encoded with ASCII, Unicode or EBCDIC character codes. It is more efficient to use this function to locate a string known to be hexadecimal and not expect it to be interpreted from Unicode or UTF.

21. Hex editors are powerful ways to view the internals of binary files without having to decompile the files.

Why use a hex editor?

A hex editor is an extremely useful program that can be used to view and edit binary files in common data formats, binary contents, and more byte-level data. It can also identify a suspicious file or an unknown source file.

And if you have a configuration file or a long list of corrupted files, you can also manage it using a hex editor.

Ready to start investigating files with a powerful hex editor?

One of the best options is UltraEdit. UltraEdit is a text and hex editor with a powerful feature set. It has many advanced features that make it very useful for programmers and developers. It also has basic file editing features.


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