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What is the best hex editor?

Started by Chatterine, May 23, 2021, 07:05:32 PM

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I'm thinking in leaving WindHex behind, so I'd like to know which one you guys recommend. Other than WindHex I also use along it Monkey Moore for table generation. Also doesn't do much better that I know very few hex editors out there: excluding the one I use, I'm only aware of Translhextion and HxD. Which ones do you use?


I've used Windhex for a translation. I prefer HxD myself
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whether or not the operating system actually functions." - Steve Wozniak


When games uses standard letter assignments (x41=A, x42=B, etc.) -- which seems to be most games SNES or later -- I use HxD. For the games that don't (such as 7th Saga), I use Tiny Hexer.

There may be better choices, but they work well enough for me, and they're both free.
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My mods: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II, Gemfire, 7th Saga, and more


I have done shootouts of various hex editors over the years. A lot leave a lot to be desired. If you are going to be doing custom tables you choices are fewer still but more on that a bit later.

In the commercial world then there are three editors that stand tall above all others

Hex Workshop.
Has a measure of custom encoding support but was fiddly compared to a table and seemed more just for a handful of characters. It has a very nice flip command you can go between big endian and little endian for things which makes life very nice.
010 editor
Winhex, more of a forensics tool than something I might like for ROM hacking (and very good at the forensics thing) but only thing close that I have found to the other two.

Most other paid tools I looked at were basically junk.

In the free world I tried most, though I am a few years out on some so they could have caught up while I was not paying attention

HxD ( ) is my chosen one if I am sitting on a computer I don't know and just need a quick one. The author did come on this site a while back looking to make some changes for ROM hackers as well which was nice
As a ROM hacking tool though I am less convinced. I prefer instead a combo of three others to try to match what the likes of the ones above can do, though as HxD takes basically no storage then no harm in having it.

XVI32 looks old and kind of is, however its scripting abilities outclass even those of the paid efforts.
For the scripting tiny hexer. Site has long since died but or indeed
Has some nice options for searching text, giving distributions (though you might have to fiddle with it), whole bunch of

icy hexplorer.
Will probably want to change the UI to something more sensible and only loads one file at a time as far as I am aware (don't think it was added yet) but some of its binary manipulation options are right up there with the commercial stuff.

notepad++ and madedit and forks/reimplementations of each (Geany having much of notepad++'s functionality on Linux based stuff) do have hex options but not really worth it as a hex editor, more thing you might use if you want to edit the hex of a text file you are working on.

If you are on Linux then your choices are far fewer. I do have Bless installed and while I am not a fan it gets it done most of the time when I just need to analyse a file quickly for someone and I know the system well enough to have a guess at what goes.

ROM hacking specific. You can try the ones on the download here as that will be as good a place as any to start ( ). Some of the above do support a custom encoding but if you want the simple table files that ROM hacking stuff uses (not going to be able to simply go from one of those to abcde, atlas and cartographer or Kruptar7, TED and oriton) then you are generally out of luck with those and need a ROM hacking specific one.

Translhextion is probably the main competitor to Windhex32 for the UI driven hex editor with table support

Crystaltile2. First of all it has shiftJIS support out of the box which does a lot of things for a lot of people (click above the text decode section in the hex window), this in addition to also being one of the best tile editors out there.
It has some nice search options as well (crystaltile2 came from an earlier tool called crystalscript so kind of got those as well).
Depending upon the table format you might have to open it in a text editor and put a final enter/line return at the end for some things.


Never heard of Crystaltile2 or Tiny Hexer before, I'll look into them. Thanks guys!

Dracula X

Back to Thunder Force II hacking again.


FCEUX for nes games, WindHex32 or HxD.

In that order.


I use HxD for everything except reading S-JIS text, in which case I switch to wxMEdit. I liked its interface a lot more than the one in WindHex32.
If HxD ever implements S-JIS encoding, I would use it for everything.


I currently use 010 Editor for a long time now. I like its file comparsion and searching with wildcards. Some functions can be extended with scripts.

Before that I was using HxD, Hex Editor Neo, WinHex (not WindHex), HexCmp.


The XVI32 author (Christian Maas) responds to emails. Last I checked he said he'll eventually compile XVI32 with Lazarus.

I don't know if he accepts paid requests (it'll be expensive if he charges standard rates) but he does have a paypal on his site.

I don't know if any other others respond to emails besides the ones already mentioned.


I've always used Hex Workshop for working with data files in my projects. In regards to code I always try to stick with disassembled code for that.
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I stick to Frhed

I can't copy/paste to/from it directly to/from fceux's hex editor. Not sure if I'm doing something wrong. For that I use XVI32.


Quote from: nesrocks on May 25, 2021, 12:04:23 PM
For that I use XVI32.

Quote from: MysticLord on May 24, 2021, 06:33:19 PM
The XVI32 author (Christian Maas) responds to emails. Last I checked he said he'll eventually compile XVI32 with Lazarus.

What is XVI32?


Thanks, I'll check it out as well :thumbsup:


My first hex editor was ultraedit. But now I use HxD because it's free and I'm no expert or anything. HxD works great for what I'm doing