In subsequent paragraphs, we would come to understand what “HEX” means as far as computer technology is concerned. We’ll also show you a guide to open HEX File, convert and work with such files and what they are meant for.
What is .HEX File Extension
If you are surprised to see the words ‘File extension’ attached to ‘.HEX’, I would not say I blame you. A .HEX file extension is a Hexadecimal Source File. If you are already counting out to see how many numbers are in a Hex, well that is cool.
A Hexadecimal is a method of representing numbers using the base-16 number system. While counting in this system, numbers immediately after ‘9’ would be represented by an alphabet, where 10 is A, 11 is B and so on. For example, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, etc.
It gets complicated down the line. Number 24, for instance, would be 18, as in 16+8 where 16 takes the place of 10. The number 100 would be 64 and calculated thus; 16×6 + 4. It gets a bit complicated the higher we go, but I do not think you are here for all that.
As complicated as the calculation may seem, the base-16 system is usually more efficient because one hexadecimal digit represents four binary digits and whereas it takes eight binary digits to represent one byte, only two hexadecimal digits would do the same thing. Cool, I know!
Open HEX File
Any computer that contains programming, which supports HEX files can automatically open HEX file like every other file.
Otherwise, opening such files usually depends on the kind of Operating system a user has; Windows, Mac, Linux, etc., it also depends on the format in which the .HEX file was stored.
If the .HEX file was stored in a binary format, then, only hex editing applications can open it, whereas .HEX files that are stored in text formats (Book Design) can only be opened by text editors. In other words, text editors cannot open .HEX files in binary format.
How to Open HEX File on MAC
- Open the relevant file with Xcode.
- Press Command + Shift + J on your keyboard.
- On the left page, Right Click on the File Name.
- Open as -> Hex.
- Other programs that open HEX files on MAC are Synalize It, TextEdit, iBored (Free download), it, HexEditor, UltraEdit, iHex – Hex Editor, Hex Fiend, 010 Editor, etc.
How to Open HEX File on Windows PC
To open Hex File on Windows, you will need to use the professional version of Visual studio. It comes with a preinstalled Hex Editor called Visual Studio Binary Editor).
- Download and Install Visual Studio Professional from here.
- Once it is installed, Right-click on the hex file you want to open.
- Select Open With just beside the “Open” button ( A list of options drops down).
- Select Binary Editor. (A file opens, displaying the contents of the file in hexadecimal).
- This application allows for Copying, Pasting, Overwriting and Delete, however it is not advanced enough to support file shredding.
You can also use following programs to open Hex Files on windows: Windows NotePad (usually comes with the Operating System), HeavenTools, Hex Workshop Hex Editor, HHD Hex Editor, NotePad++, Cygnus Hex Editor, XVI32 (can be run from an SD card, USB stick, etc.), HxD.
Open Hex Files on Linux
Download and use any of the following applications to open and edit .HEX files on Linux.
- Vim (Run hexdump -C <filename>> output.txt to open the file; save it on a file called output.txt. Open the output.txt file and view it separately. On Vim, you can view it directly as hexadecimal).
- Hexedit (Command Line) Hex Editor.
- Ghex – GNOME Hex Editor.
- Hexyl Hex Editor.
- Hexer Binary Editor.
- Okteta Editor.
- Hexcurse – Console Hex Editor.
- Xxd Hex Editor
- Bless Hex Editor.
Open Hex Files Online
Visit any of these websites; file-extension.org, online-convert.com, onlinehexeditor.com, etc.
How to Convert .HEX Files
When it comes to converting .HEX files to text or other file extensions, the same software that opens them may come in handy.
However, most users prefer to carry out their conversions online, a ready example of such converting websites is online-convert.com, onlinehextools.com, tomeko.net, etc.
1. What are the contents of a .HEX File?
HEX files hold different information ranging from settings to configurations, which have been saved in a hexadecimal format but can be stored in either binary format or text format.
It holds information relating to the setup information, settings, source code, arrangement data, etc. of devices.
2. What are .HEX Files used for?
Usually, they are used to transfer data and programs, which are to be stored in a Read only Memory (ROM) or an EPROM.
3. What are the different types of .HEX Files?
Intel HEX File, Arduino HEX File, etc.
4. My text editor can open some of my .HEX files but it cannot open the rest, why?
It is possible that the unread .HEX files were written in Binary format, therefore, only Hex editors can open them
5. What kinds of devices use .HEX files?
Hexadecimal source files are usually used by programmable logic devices such as vehicle motor control frameworks, remote controls, office machines, and the likes.
6. I have a HEX Fie programming introduced on my PC but I cannot open my .HEX file, why?
The .HEX file is either corrupted, infected, incorrectly connected, out of date or damaged in some other way.
It is also possible that the program or application is not properly installed or computer is not properly equipped with the necessary hardware resources to open the .HEX file.
It is worthy of note that one may try all the suggestions above and still not be able to access a .HEX file, where this is the case, it becomes imperative to engage the services of an expert.
This is because some .HEX files are configured in certain ways to avoid unnecessary tampering with devices in which they are installed or just as a way for the creator to show off, yeah.