I am in need of a hex editor / viewer (viewer is more important than editing, but a plus if it can edit) for Windows.

See KHexedit


  • Free is best
  • View data at cursor as: byte, short, int, long, float, double (signed/unsiged where applicable)
  • Configure the endiance for multi-byte decoding

"Nice to have" features:

  • String decoding, null-term or selection based, ASCII/UTF-8/16
  • Create user defined "structures" to overlay and view fields
+10  A: 

I've never found one that I really love. I tend to go searching every time I need one. However, I will point you toward two links:

Wikipedia: Comparison of Hex Editors
Wikibooks: Windows Hex Editors

Derek Park
+1 for first link. Second link has succumbed to link rot.
Looks like the Wikibooks article had been merged into another; updated the link.
Ben Blank
+4  A: 

I'm a big fan of fhred. It's free and it's met most of my requirements over the years.

This is what I've been using for a while, too. It has a "manipulate bits" menu entry to edit individual bytes when setting flags in EEPROMs, etc. New link:
Your link is dead.
+1  A: 

I can's swim in Windows without PSPad.

  • Fast
  • Tabs
  • Syntax hilighting
  • Hex editor
+14  A: 

I use HEdit. I've used it for years. It's fast and free. It has most of the features you want.

Hex Workshop has all the features you want (like Integrated Structure Viewer) but it's $90.

Just tried HEdit, and it worked really well.
Jared Harley
And Hex Workshop is now $90.
I. J. Kennedy
The link for HEdit seems to be broken. However, HEdit is available at
Does HEdit work in Windows 7?
I haven't had any issues with it. I haven't install it on Windows 7. I did an upgrade to Windows 7 from Vista. It installed on Vista fine.
HEdit isn't exactly free. Immediately after installing it, it says the following: *"Your copy of HEdit will be operational for four weeks. After that period, you can either purchase a license, or uninstall HEdit from your machine. Consult HEdit on-line help for information on how to order the license."*
The version that I have is 3.0. It looks like Yuri isn't making it available anymore. What version did you install. It sounds like you have an older version.
+8  A: 

If you already use Notepad++ there's a Hex Editor plugin.

Jon Galloway
Recent versions always try to remove it as incompatible, though. The one thing I really liked about it was the ability to show in binary, for swapping individual bits in EEPROMs.
+9  A: 

UltraEdit is a wicked hex editor, as is HIEW (though HIEW does look like DOS, which might turn you off). Unfortunatley they're both shareware, so require a license.

If you're looking for free, you could take a gander at Cygnus. It's not huge on features, but it's quick and it works.

+3  A: 

I'd strongly recommend UltraEdit. It's not free (beyond the 45 day trial), but it's very very good and I don't mind paying for something I use so regularly.

Some of my favorite/most used features;

  • Hex editing / viewing (inc find/replace/insert/remove)
  • Source code highlighting / formatting
  • Integrates with the Windows shell
  • Tabbed interface
  • Basic file/folder diff built in (you can pay for a more expensive diff package)
  • List item Macros / Scripting
  • Freely converts back and forth between line endings and ANSI/UTF-8/UTF-16 etc
Andrew Grant
+21  A: 

HxD is great. :)

HxD is the best. I use it exclusively for hex editing.
George Edison
This has a pretty interface, but doesn't look like it has as many features as others? Binary file comparison is nice, and something I would use, but it doesn't seem to work the same way as other diff utilities (side-by-side view, synchronized scrolling, etc). I don't see a convenient way to edit or view individual bits.
I once tested several hex editors trying to search for a pretty large amount of hex data in a binary file, HxD is the only capable one.
HxD is fantastic, and the only one able to open massive files (gigabytes) with ease I've ever seen.
Django Reinhardt
It's lacking some features i find important. Okteta ( within the KDE package ) and Bless ( which needs Mono/GTK# installed ) have these. Being able to view the next set of hex as different data types really is a must for me!
+9  A: 
gvim -b file.bin

:%!xxd to view hex

:%!xxd -r to convert back

Or just use the "Tools" / "Convert To Hex" menu item!
James Anderson
+2  A: 

I've always been a fan of XVII:

That's what I've used, but I don't like it because it uses unintuitive GUI design. E.g. to select a range of bytes to copy, I'd expect to just click-and-drag with the mouse, like in any other program. Instead, you click the first byte, Ctrl-B (block mark), select the last byte, Ctrl-B again. Shift-arrow-keys does select a block as I'd expect though. But then, data you copy can't be pasted into other programs for some reason.
Craig McQueen
I use it because of the nice conversions to various types like Int32 and Double; however every time I fire it up I think, "I need to rewrite this using WPF and give it a much better UI experience."
+4  A: 

I spent some time looking for a good editor a while ago and finally settled on ICY Hexplorer:

Free/GPL and has some other "advanced" features like custom data structures, pixel view, etc.

I second ICY Hexplorer. It is simple to use and the pixel view / hex-value-colorization makes looking at the data much easier.
Mark Lodato
+1  A: 

It's not my everyday hex editor, it's a bit specialized, but MadEdit is the best Unicode editor I've seen, especially when dealing with weird encodings or a file that's gotten borked via multiple encodings. And it has a hex mode which is especially good at making it obvious exactly which bytes are being interpreted as which characters. It's nothing special in hex mode if you're just editing bytes or ASCII, but it's free (GPL), fast with large files, multi-platform, and is great when you need unicode support.

+1  A: 

When I need a hex editor on Windows, I always reach for WinHex.

It's not free, but it meets all your other requirements, and does about a million other things besides.

I write and maintain software that images logical volumes under Windows, so Winhex's ability to open a physical disk or logical volume is very handy. It also has built-in decoders for common on-disk structures like NTFS MFT, MBR, etc. Building your own is easy too.

I've tried all sorts of free editors/viewers, and always come back to WinHex.

+1  A: 

I've always used UltraEdit but I've shifted toward Notepad++ recently

+1  A: 

If you have Visual Studio, you already have a Hex Editor (albeit fairly basic and without some of the features mentioned):

  1. Do File > Open then select your file.
  2. Don't click Open, but click the down arrow next to it.
  3. Select Open With then choose the Binary Editor.

Visual Studio Hex Editor

Source for this tip:

Samuel Jack
+1  A: 

A good, simple hex editor comes as a plugin for notepad++

You can download the plugin dll from sourceforge

Matt Ellen
+2  A: 

Many of the above recommended hex editors (including HxD) do not meet the OP's requirements:

  • View data at cursor as: byte, short, int, long, float, double (signed/unsiged where applicable)
  • Configure the endiance for multi-byte decoding

A free solution that does is KDE's Okteta. A Windows installer for KDE can be found here. The kdeutils package contains Okteta.

Harald Maassen