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The hexadecimal notation is almost universally used in computing — and not without a reason. There are sixteen hex digits — 0 to 9, and A to F which correspond to decimal values 10 to 15 , and each hex digit represents exactly four bits.

Exactly two hex digits represent a byte, which can have a value from 00 to FF that is from 0 to decimal. But why hexadecimal? Well, they would be fine for a decimal computer, but most contemporary computers are binary and work on bits and bytes. A decimal digit represents approximately 3.

What will be the value of the two-byte word? No, this method works with hexadecimal digits only. Does not look very obvious, does it? Imagine finding a value of an eight-byte long variable and you will see why the decimal notation is not the best choice for binary computers. Do I really need to know this?

Yes, you should have some understanding of hexadecimal notation; in fact, there is not much else to know. Hex byte is the only kind of object a computer handles, and hex bytes are used to represent anything. The obvious question is "How can I tell what does the byte represent? It is usually easy to recognize a character string, but in other cases you will have to guess.

Fortunately, it is not as bad as it sounds, and you will quickly pick up a few tricks. Main Edit Window It is time to try out our new knowledge and see what hex data looks like. You will see the binary contents in the FlexHEX main edit window: You can see four distinct panes marked with different colors. The leftmost one is the Address pane; each number in the pane shows the address of the first byte of the corresponding line.

The only exception is the line on which the input caret is - it shows the address of the current byte, not the first one. The addresses are shown as hexadecimal numbers but if you point the mouse cursor to an address, the decimal value will appear in the Quick View popup window. The next is the Hex pane, which displays the file contents as an array of hex bytes.

Note that all three data panes show different representations of the same data. If you change data in any data pane, the other two will change accordingly. You can switch between the panes by pressing the Tab or Shift-Tab key, or just by pointing the mouse cursor and pressing the left mouse button. Inspecting Data Hex numbers may be good for computers, but how can one convert a hex number to a more human-friendly decimal value?

First, select the number either with your mouse, or by using the arrows key while holding down the Shift key. Second, move the mouse cursor to the selected area, and FlexHEX will display all the valid representations in the Quick View popup window. Sometimes there is no valid representation at all.

For example, if you select five bytes, there will be no Quick View window because FlexHEX knows no object five bytes long. However any 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 byte long field has at least one valid representation. In general, when the mouse cursor changes to the arrow-with-question-mark shape, this means that FlexHEX has something to show you and the Quick View window is ready to appear.

Start FlexHEX and you will see the main editing window with an automatically created new empty file. It has zero length but can be extended - the light gray boxes mark the positions where you can enter new data. Enter the hex bytes 4D 61 72 79 20 starting from the position 0, where the input caret initially was: Now press the Tab key to switch to the green ANSI pane and type in had a little lamb. When you enter a hex value, the corresponding character appears in the ANSI pane and vice versa.

If you did something wrong, just press Ctrl-Z to undo the action. Editing Existing File A simple but rather typical task is to go to some address and replace some bytes. The first step is to find the data to be modified. FlexHEX is smart enough to recognize a hexadecimal number if it contains hex digits A to F, but if the number consists of decimal digits only, make sure you have selected the correct number radix.

The existing data starting from the current position are shifted below, making place for the data you are entering. Note that this will change the position of all data objects below the insertion point. Many files get corrupted if their data have been shifted, so be careful and pay attention to the shift indicator in the status bar. Now type in the new hex data: You may have noticed that a new Modified tab has appeared in the Navigation panel.

Click the tab to open the pane: This pane lists all modified areas in the file. Click the area starting or ending address to jump there; to select the whole area, click the size field. Changing Typed Values Sometimes you need to make modification to a typed object, not just to a sequence of hex bytes. With FlexHEX, it is no more complicated than simple hex editing. Select the object usually 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 bytes long , right-click and select the Edit Selected As command from the menu: Select the appropriate representation and enter the new value.

Happy Hex Editing!


Hex Editing: First Steps

Hex editing can be used to modify many things, like import custom models, port display lists and much, much more. Many of these modifications can now be done through different modding software, but there is still a lot stuff that needs some hex editing to do. After F comes 10, which in hexadecimal is equal to In other words, the hexadecimal numeral system has 16 numbers instead of 10, like the "regular" decimal system most people know. First of you will need to write down the offsets for the display lists we are going to replace.





HxD - Freeware Hex Editor and Disk Editor




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