HEX Editor: UltraEdit

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All files can be categorized into one of two file formats — binary or text. The two file types may look the same on the surface, but they encode data differently. While both binary and text files contain data stored as a series of bits binary values of 1s and 0sthe bits in text files represent characters, while the bits in binary files represent custom data. Binary files typically contain a sequence of bytesor ordered groupings of eight bits.

When creating a editor the binary data as text files file format for a program, a developer arranges these bytes into a format that stores the necessary information for the application. Binary file formats may include multiple types of data in the same file, such as image, video, and audio data.

This data can be interpreted by supporting programs, but will show up as garbled text in a text editor. Below is an example of a.

PNG image file opened in an image viewer and a text editor. As you can see, the image viewer recognizes the binary data and displays the picture.

When the image is opened in a text editor, the binary data is converted to unrecognizable text. However, you may notice that some of the text is readable. This is because the PNG format includes small sections for storing textual data. The text editor, while not designed to read this file format, still displays this text when the file is opened. Many other binary file types include sections of readable text as well. Therefore, it may be possible to find out some information about editor the binary data as text files unknown binary file type by opening it in a text editor.

Binary files often contain headers, which are bytes of data at the beginning of a file that identifies the file's contents. Headers often include the file type and other descriptive information. If a file has invalid header information, software programs may not open the file or they may report that the file is corrupted. Text files are more restrictive than binary files since they can only contain textual data.

However, unlike binary files, they are less likely to become corrupted. While a small error in a binary file may make it unreadable, a small error in a text file may simply show up once the file has been opened.

This is one of reasons Microsoft switched to a compressed text-based XML format for the Office file types. Text files may be saved in either a plain text. TXT format and rich text. A typical plain text file contains several lines of text that are each followed by an End-of-Line EOL character.

Rich text files use a similar file structure, but may also include text styles, such as bold and italics, as well as page formatting editor the binary data as text files. Both plain text and rich text files include a character encoding characterencoding scheme that determines how the characters are interpreted and what characters can be displayed.

Since text files use a simple, standard format, many programs are capable of reading and editing text files. If you come across an unknown file type, first look up the file extension on FileInfo. If the file does not have an extension or you are unable to locate the file type, you can attempt to open the file in a text editor.

If the file opens and displays fully readable text, it is a text file, which you editor the binary data as text files successfully opened. If the file opens and displays mostly garbled text, it is a binary file. While editor the binary data as text files file is not mean to be opened in a text editor, there may be some clues within the text that reveal information about the file type, editor the binary data as text files in the PNG example above.

This may help you determine what program you need to open the file correctly. Finally, if the file will not open in a text editor, it is a binary file that can only be opened by the appropriate program. What is the difference between binary and text files? While text files contain only textual data, binary files may contain both textual and custom binary data. Image Viewer Text Editor. Browse File Types Quizzes.

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A binary-to-text encoding is encoding of data in plain text. More precisely, it is an encoding of binary data in a sequence of printable characters. These encodings are necessary for transmission of data when the channel does not allow binary data such as email or NNTP or is not 8-bit clean. The ASCII text-encoding standard uses unique values 0— to represent the alphabetic, numeric, and punctuation characters commonly used in English , plus a selection of control codes which do not represent printable characters.

In contrast, most computers store data in memory organized in eight-bit bytes. Files that contain machine-executable code and non-textual data typically contain all possible eight-bit byte values. Many computer programs came to rely on this distinction between seven-bit text and eight-bit binary data, and would not function properly if non-ASCII characters appeared in data that was expected to include only ASCII text.

For example, if the value of the eighth bit is not preserved, the program might interpret a byte value above as a flag telling it to perform some function. It is often desirable, however, to be able to send non-textual data through text-based systems, such as when one might attach an image file to an e-mail message. To accomplish this, the data is encoded in some way, such that eight-bit data is encoded into seven-bit ASCII characters generally using only alphanumeric and punctuation characters—the ASCII printable characters.

Upon safe arrival at its destination, it is then decoded back to its eight-bit form. This process is referred to as binary to text encoding. Binary-to-text encoding methods are also used as a mechanism for encoding plain text. By using a binary-to-text encoding on messages that are already plain text, then decoding on the other end, one can make such systems appear to be completely transparent.

The table below compares the most used forms of binary-to-text encodings. The efficiency listed is the ratio between number of bits in the input and the number of bits in the encoded output. A series of small English words is easier for humans to read, remember, and type in than decimal or other binary-to-text encoding systems. Some of these encoding quoted-printable and percent encoding are based on a set of allowed characters and a single escape character.

The allowed characters are left unchanged, while all other characters are converted into a string starting with the escape character. This kind of conversion allows the resulting text to be almost readable, in that letters and digits are part of the allowed characters, and are therefore left as they are in the encoded text. Some other encodings base64 , uuencoding are based on mapping all possible sequences of six bits into different printable characters.

A given sequence of bytes is translated by viewing it as stream of bits, breaking this stream in chunks of six bits and generating the sequence of corresponding characters. The different encodings differ in the mapping between sequences of bits and characters and in how the resulting text is formatted.

Some encodings the original version of BinHex and the recommended encoding for CipherSaber use four bits instead of six, mapping all possible sequences of 4 bits onto the 16 standard hexadecimal digits. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article possibly contains original research.

Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Encoding all but the 94 characters which don't need it incl. Info-Kermit Digest Mailing list. Kermit Project, Columbia University. Retrieved 3 March Printable Encodings for Binary Files". Retrieved 1 March Retrieved from " https: Binary-to-text encoding formats Computer file formats Character encoding. Articles that may contain original research from April All articles that may contain original research Articles needing additional references from December All articles needing additional references Articles with multiple maintenance issues.

Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 26 March , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Similar to Base64, but modified to avoid both non-alphanumeric characters and letters which might look ambiguous when printed. C , Python Python 2. Developed by Columbia University for its Kermit protocol [3]. See Quoted-printable and Base C , Python , probably many others. Perl , C , probably many others. C, [4] Python ,