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windows default iconHexEdit Publisher's description

Edit or view files as hexadecimal digits or text characters.

Edit or view files as hexadecimal digits or text characters.

HexEdit is a Java 1.4 graphical (GUI) application to edit a file as a stream of hexadecimal digits, where each 8-bit byte is represented by two 4-bit "nibbles" (the hex digits).

No meaning is attached to the digits, and hence to the contents of the file, so this editing is very raw. You can insert, delete, or replace digits or bytes, and you may view an approximate character equivalent of the digits in plain text (7-bit ASCII).

The primary purpose of a hex editor is to patch or correct specific locations within a file without affecting the rest of the file, something that most word processors can't do. A secondary purpose is to view the exact content of files.

The application window has two portions. The top portion has standard Java buttons and options. The bottom portion has a hexadecimal dump with three regions: file offsets on the left, bytes in hexadecimal in the middle, and ASCII text on the right.

The bottom looks like an old video terminal (quite deliberately), with a color scheme to match. The Java buttons and options are straightforward after some experimentation.

Don't worry: no files are changed unless you click on the "Save File" button. In fact, files aren't saved by default, so if you click on the Exit button without saving, any changes will be lost. Here is where HexEdit may be different from word processors or other types of editors you worked before.

File offsets are 8-digit hexadecimal numbers to show you where the start of a row (dump line) is located from the beginning of the file. Bytes are dumped (displayed) as two hexadecimal digits. The first digit is the high-order digit in the byte; the second digit is the low-order digit.

All file bytes contain two digits, although during editing, you will see an odd number of nibbles in the file. (A zero digit is appended if necessary when writing a file.) Bytes are not grouped in any way, because different computers and programs have different ways of deciding which byte is the low-order byte in a word.

The text region on the right is only an approximation; most binary data is not text. Bytes that are printable 7-bit ASCII characters are shown as text; anything else has a replacement character (".").

This does not mean that the program is limited to ASCII text. You can copy and paste any text in the local system's default encoding, even if that encoding uses 8-bit bytes or multiple bytes.

Other than the obvious scroll bar to move through the file, and the fun you can have resizing text by changing the number of bytes per line or the window size, your interaction is via the mouse and keyboard. Most features are provided by both methods.

The mouse can be used to position, select, scroll, or to open a context menu. To position the cursor (the location where data is inserted or deleted), click once with your primary mouse button, which is usually called a "left" click.

To select all data from a previous location to a new location, press and hold the "Shift" key on your keyboard and then left click on the new location. (Release the Shift key when done.) You may also select by clicking the mouse button, holding the button down, moving the mouse to a new location, and releasing the mouse button.

Selections must be entirely within the dump region or the text region. If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can rotate that wheel to move up or down in the file. The final mouse feature is a context menu that will "pop up" if you click the right mouse button.

Not all computers have a right button, so any button other than the primary button will be accepted, and if your computer has only one mouse button, then hold down the "Control" key while clicking the primary mouse button.
Regular text typed on the keyboard will be inserted into the file, or will replace a selection if a selection has been made.

For the dump region, only the decimal digits "0" to "9" are accepted, along with the uppercase hexadecimal digits "A" to "F" and the lowercase hexadecimal digits "a" to "f" (and a few punctuation characters are ignored).

For the text region, all printable characters are accepted, anything that Java can convert with the local system's default encoding.

System Requirements:

No special requirements.
Program Release Status:
Program Install Support: Install and UnInstall

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