Man Linux: Main Page and Category List


       hexedit - view and edit files in hexadecimal or in ASCII


       hexedit [-s | --sector] [-m | --maximize] [-h | --help] [filename]


       hexedit  shows a file both in ASCII and in hexadecimal. The file can be
       a device as the file is read a piece at a time. You can modify the file
       and search through it.


       -s, --sector
              Format the display to have entire sectors.

       -m, --maximize
              Try to maximize the display.

       -h, --help
              Show the usage.

COMMANDS (quickly)

       <, > :  go to start/end of the file
       Right:  next character
       Left:   previous character
       Down:   next line
       Up:     previous line
       Home:   beginning of line
       End:    end of line
       PUp:    page forward
       PDown:  page backward

       F2:     save
       F3:     load file
       F1:     help
       Ctrl-L: redraw
       Ctrl-Z: suspend
       Ctrl-X: save and exit
       Ctrl-C: exit without saving

       Tab:    toggle hex/ascii
       Return: go to
       Backspace: undo previous character
       Ctrl-U: undo all
       Ctrl-S: search forward
       Ctrl-R: search backward

       Ctrl-Space: set mark
       Esc-W:  copy
       Ctrl-Y: paste
       Esc-Y:  paste into a file
       Esc-I:  fill

COMMANDS (full and detailed)

       o Right-Arrow, Left-Arrow, Down-Arrow, Up-Arrow - move the cursor.
       o Ctrl+F, Ctrl+B, Ctrl+N, Ctrl+P - move the cursor.
       o  Ctrl+Right-Arrow,  Ctrl+Left-Arrow, Ctrl+Down-Arrow, Ctrl+Up-Arrow -
       move n times the cursor.
       o Esc+Right-Arrow, Esc+Left-Arrow, Esc+Down-Arrow, Esc+Up-Arrow -  move
       n times the cursor.
       o Esc+F, Esc+B, Esc+N, Esc+P - move n times the cursor.
       o Home, Ctrl+A - go the beginning of the line.
       o End, Ctrl+E - go to the end of the line.
       o Page up, Esc+V, F5 - go up in the file by one page.
       o Page down, Ctrl+V, F6 - go down in the file by one page.
       o <, Esc+<, Esc+Home - go to the beginning of the file.
       o >, Esc+>, Esc+End - go to the end of the file (for regular files that
       have a size).
       o Ctrl+Z - suspend hexedit.
       o Ctrl+U, Ctrl+_, Ctrl+/ - undo all (forget the modifications).
       o Ctrl+Q - read next input character and insert it (this is useful  for
       inserting control characters and bound keys).
       o Tab, Ctrl+T - toggle between ASCII and hexadecimal.
       o  /,  Ctrl+S  - search forward (in ASCII or in hexadecimal, use TAB to
       o Ctrl+R - search backward.
       o Ctrl+G, F4 - go to a position in the file.
       o Return - go to a sector in the file if --sector is used, otherwise go
       to a position in the file.
       o Esc+L - display the page starting at the current cursor position.
       o F2, Ctrl+W - save the modifications.
       o F1, Esc+H - help (show the man page).
       o Ctrl+O, F3 - open another file
       o  Ctrl+L  - redisplay (refresh) the display (useful when your terminal
       screws up).
       o Backspace, Ctrl+H - undo the modifications made on the previous byte.
       o Esc+Ctrl+H - undo the modifications made on the previous bytes.
       o Ctrl+Space, F9 - set mark where cursor is.
       o Esc+W, Delete, F7 - copy selected region.
       o Ctrl+Y, Insert, F8 - paste (yank) previously copied region.
       o Esc+Y, F11 - save previously copied region to a file.
       o Esc+I, F12 - fill the selection with a string
       o Esc+T - truncate the file at the current location
       o Ctrl+C - unconditional quit (without saving).
       o F10, Ctrl+X - quit.

       For  the  Esc  commands,  it sometimes works to use Alt instead of Esc.
       Funny things here (especially for froggies :) egrave = Alt+H , ccedilla
       = Alt+G, Alt+Y = ugrave.

       At the bottom of the display you have the modeline (copied from emacs).
       As in emacs, you have the indications --, ** and %% meaning unmodified,
       modified  and  read-only.  Then  you  have  the name of the file you’re
       currently editing. Next to it is the current position of the cursor  in
       the  file  followed  by  the total file size. The total file size isn’t
       quite correct for devices.
       While in --sector mode, it shows the sector the cursor is in.

       You can edit in ASCII or in hexadecimal. You can switch between the two
       with Tab. When the file is read-only, you can’t edit it. When trying to
       edit a read-only file, a message (‘‘File is read-only’’) tells  you  it
       is non-writable.
       The modifications are shown in bold until they are saved.  The modeline
       indicates whether you have modified the file or not.
       When editing in hexadecimal, only 0,1,...,9,  a,b,...,f,  A,B,...F  are
       legal.   Other keys are unbound. The first time you hit an unbound key,
       the help pops up.  It won’t pop again unless you call the help directly
       (with F1).
       When  editing  in  ascii, you can find it difficult to enter characters
       like / which are bound to a function. The solution is to use the quoted
       insert function Ctrl+Q, the key after the quoted insert function is not
       processed  by  hexedit  (like  emacs’  quoted-insert,  or  like  the  \
       character in C).

       You  can search for a string in ASCII or in hexadecimal. You can switch
       between the two with Tab. If the string is found, the cursor  is  moved
       to  the  beginning  of  the  matching location. If the search failed, a
       message (‘‘not found’’) tells you so. You  can  cancel  the  search  by
       pressing a key.
       The  search  in  hexadecimal  is  a  bit  confusing.  You  must  give a
       hexadecimal string with an even number of characters.  The  search  can
       then  be  done byte by byte. If you want to search a long number (eg: a
       32 bit number), you must  know  the  internal  representation  of  that
       number (little/big endian problem) and give it the way it is in memory.
       For example, on an Intel processor (little endian), you must swap every
       bytes: 0x12345678 is written 0x78563412 in memory and that’s the string
       you must give to the search engine.
       Before searching you are asked if you want to save the changes, if  the
       file is edited.

   Selecting, copying, pasting, filling
       First,  select  the  part of the buffer you want to copy: start setting
       the mark where you want. Then go to the end of the  area  you  want  to
       copy  (you  can  use the go to function and the search functions). Then
       copy it. You can then paste the copied area in the current file  or  in
       another file.

       You can also fill the selected area with a string or a character: start
       choosing the block you want to fill in (set mark then move to  the  end
       of  the  block),  and call the fill function (F12). hexedit ask you the
       string you want to fill the block with.
       The code is not tuned for huge filling as it keeps the modifications in
       memory until you save them. That’s why hexedit will warn you if you try
       to fill in a big block.

       When the mark is set, the selection is shown in reverse mode.
       Be aware that the copied area contains the modifications  done  at  the
       time of the copy. But if you undo the modifications, it does not change
       the content of the copy buffer. It seems obvious but it’s worth saying.

       The  scrolling is different whether you are in --sector mode or not. In
       normal mode, the scrolling  is  line  by  line.  In  sector  mode,  the
       scrolling is sector by sector. In both modes, you can force the display
       to start at a given position using Esc+L.


       od(1), hdump(1), hexdump(1), bpe(1), hexed(1), beav(1).


       Pixel (Pascal Rigaux) <>,
       Home page is <>.


       hexedit is Open Source; anyone may redistribute copies  of  hexedit  to
       anyone under the terms stated in the GNU General Public License.

       You can find hexedit at
       <> and


       Anything you think could be nice...


       There  are  problems with the curses library given with Redhat 5.0 that
       make hexedit think the terminal is huge. The result is that hexedit  is
       not usable.

       The  shortcuts  work  on  some  machines, and not on others. That’s why
       there are many shortcuts for each function.  The  Ctrl+Arrows  and  the
       Alt+.  do  not  work work as they should most of the time. On SUNs, you
       must do Ctrl+V-Ctrl+V instead of Ctrl+V (!); and the  Alt  key  is  the
       diamond one.

       While  searching,  it  could  be interesting to know which position the
       search has reached. It’s always nice to see something  moving  to  help

       The hexadecimal search could be able to search modulo 4 bits instead of
       8  bits.   Another  feature  could  be  to  complete  padd  odd  length
       hexadecimal searches with zeros.


       I  have  an example where the display is completly screwed up. It seems
       to be a bug in ncurses (or maybe in xterm and  rxvt)??  Don’t  know  if
       it’s  me  using ncurses badly or not... It seems to happen when hexedit
       leaves only one space at the end of the lines... If anyone  has  a  (or
       the) solution, please tell me!

       If  you have any problem with the program (even a small one), please do
       report it to me. Remarks of any kind are also welcome.

                                 12 July 1998