Editing binary files in windows
For basic editing WinSCP offers a simple integrated text editor. For advanced editing you will probably want to configure your favorite editor.
Some external editors can open multiple files in one process. Usually such editors have some kind of tabbed interface, but it is also the case of Microsoft Word. If such an editor is already running and WinSCP runs a second instance to open a new file, then the second instance just notifies the first to open the new file and exits immediately.
To allow using this kind of editor, WinSCP does not treat the file as closed when the editor launched to open it is closed. If you choose to edit the same file again during the same session, WinSCP will download it to the same temporary directory as before, allowing the external editor to reload the file content in case it still has it opened assuming the editor can detect the change.
One drawback of this approach is that all of the files ever edited by the current instance of WinSCP are kept in a temporary directory until WinSCP is closed.
WinSCP watches for changes to them all. If you want to avoid that, you need to make sure that your editor opens each file in a separate window process. Some editors do that by default while some offer a configuration option for that see below. These binary files have a complex nested structure defined by the Portable Executable format, and they are not intended to be editable by users, neither are DLLs meant to be opened separately from the programs they belong to.
However, if you do want to change something in an EXE or DLL file for whatever reason, you may be able to do this by changing their resources with Resource Tuner. But still you will not be able to modify the actual code in any way: This way, you can make significant changes to the interface of the program while leaving the code untouched.
You may also be able to translate the program interface into another language. Resource Tuner contains a number of methods for opening files. The dropdown menu next to the toolbutton gives you quick access to recently open files. The number of files in the list can be controlled from the Settings dialog. You can open a file in Resource Tuner by right-clicking it in Windows Explorer and selecting Open with Resource Tuner from the context menu:.
Alternatively, you can drag and drop a file from the Windows Explorer onto the Resource Tuner icon or running Resource Tuner. You can also open a file from the command line. A typical computer file occupies multiple areas on the platter s of a disk drive, whose contents are combined to form the file. Hex editors that are designed to parse and edit sector data from the physical segments of floppy or hard disks are sometimes called sector editors or disk editors.
With a hex editor, a user can see or edit the raw and exact contents of a file, as opposed to the interpretation of the same content that other, higher level application software may associate with the file format. For example, this could be raw image data, in contrast to the way image editing software would interpret and show the same file.
Hex editors may be used to correct data corrupted by system or application program problems where it may not be worthwhile to write a special program to make the corrections. They are useful to bypass application edit checks which may prevent correction of erroneous data. They have been used to "patch" executable programs to change or add a few instructions as an alternative to recompilation.
Program fixes for IBM mainframe systems are sometimes distributed as patches rather than distributing a complete copy of the affected program.
In most hex editor applications, the data of the computer file is represented as hexadecimal values grouped in 4 groups of 4 bytes or two groups of 8 bytes , followed by one group of 16 printable ASCII characters which correspond to each pair of hex values each byte. Since the invention of computers and their different uses, a variety of file formats has been created. For some, it was convenient to be able to access the data as a series of raw digits. Hexadecimal and also octal are common because these digits allow one to see which bits in a byte are set.
Today, decimal instead of hexadecimal representation is becoming a popular second option due to the more familiar number base and additional helper tools, such as template systems and data inspectors, that reduce the benefits of the hexadecimal numerical format.
Some hex editors offer a template system that can present the sequence of bytes of a binary file in a structured way, covering part or all of the desired file format.