Until today when I had to look at binary files, I did that with HxD. Since this were single non-repetitive actions I had to perform, this was sufficient for me. However, the upcoming task requires that I look a certain binary file more often and interpret and modify the contents (I'm working in QA).

While the file format was developed in-house, there's neither a tool available from our development department that would parse the file for me and display it in a human readable format nor a tool to modify single items.

On my search for such a tool, I found 101 Editor which has "binary templates" which looks very much like what I need, i.e. I tell the hex editor how to interpret the file (boolean, int, long etc.) and the editor then provides a nice way to display and modify the values.

That tool should work on Windows and be gratis.

  • I would be happy ot develop such a tool on a consultancy basis :-) Jul 6 '16 at 13:12
  • 1
    @Mawg: that's totally fine, since it's tagged gratis, you can develop it for free :-D Jul 6 '16 at 13:15
  • lol - as can whoever came up with it in house. But, since they won't, my offer stands :-) Jul 6 '16 at 13:46


  • has a similar feature to binary templates that is called a grammar. It allows to insert numbers, strings, structs and binary blobs. If that's not enough, it has scripting capabilities in Python and Lua

  • the values can then be edited nicely (e.g. in decimal instead of hex). The hex area can be highlighted.

  • works on Windows

  • is supposed to be a test version gratis, but if I understand the EULA correctly, there's nothing that prevents you from using it for a longer period of time.


it seems to have issues with more than one open grammar + one open file. When opening a second file for the same grammer, it crashed. Save early and save often.

Screenshot of a partially analyzed file:


  • 1
    very buggy indeed
    – beppe9000
    Dec 12 '18 at 19:25

I use my Binary Editor for this kind of task. Seems to meet stated requirements of decoding files, editing, running on Windows. http://www.nyangau.org/be/be.htm

  • Thanks. I didn't mention it in my question, but I expected something with a user interface. Apr 2 '17 at 8:13
  • It has a textual user interface, rather than a graphical one. To see it, look at 9:40 in youtu.be/wXxisSPAZhk
    – Andy Key
    Apr 2 '17 at 8:27

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