This is prob. the best free Hex editor for beginners !
( Has advanced features too!)

Source Code ( MS-VC++ )
is even included with it !!

NOTE: I am now recommeding that anyone already familiar with a hex editor should download an improved version of FRHED which has been modified by a programmer called "PABS." Beginners may still wish to start with the original version which has a "less congested" menu system.
The modified version includes the ability to IMPORT hex code directly from ASCII text files plus MANY other features ( such as an interactive status bar! )!  You can find a link to PABS' site from Raihan Kibria's FRHED page... PABS' page may not look very appealing, but the modifications are excellent! Click here to go directly to PABS programming page -- look for FRHED near the middle of this page: Does not appear to be online anymore. Check Raihan Kibria's web pages instead.
Or, if you want just the program (no source code), you can d/l it now from me: ( 173KB )
Dated: 27 JAN 2001 (EXE size = 212,992 bytes; Help file included).

FRHED  by Raihan Kibria.   (Old Version: 1.0.154   8 August, 1999.)
( New Version:   1.0.155   28 March 2000 )
( Latest file:   1.0.156 beta 2   29 August 2000 ?)

Note: There are now two newer versions of FRHED!
Get them from Raihan Kibria's Web site!

CAUTION:   Frhed may overwrite files without any kind of warning message! This now applies (v.1.0.155) only to
the "Save" function.
Although I still highly recommend using Frhed, beginners should open copies of files in a separate work
directory only
; never practice your hex editing on original files!

Note: When using the "Save As" function in the latest version (1.0.155),
you'll be warned/asked if you want to overwrite a file by the same name.

Don't let Frhed's plain looking window fool you. This sleek little puppy is ready to race through your code making any changes you wish or comparing its bytes to those of another file!   [ "Edit" --> "Compare from current offset... Ctrl+M" ]


   The first time you execute Frhed, a message box will pop up stating: "Frhed is being started for the first time and will be attempting to write to the registry." Frhed stores your program preferences in the Registry under this key:

   You can see this message selected below ( highlighted in YELLOW ) - Frhed can    open its own binary code and show it to you (version 1.0.155 is 161,792 bytes):

Frhed will show it to ya!

Copy function   After selecting some portion of the code, if you press the CTRL and C keys at the same time, or select "Copy" from the "Edit" menu, this pop-up window appears with facts about what you're copying. Or, you can change the data in the boxes here without having to re-select code on the screen again!   (Other functions, such as "Cut ," have similar dialog windows! )

I really like the fact you can view files/programs with either a Windows (ANSI) or DOS (OEM) font (by selecting "Character set... Ctrl+R" under the "Options" menu).
If you open a file comprised of only the hex digits zero to FF in
Notepad, it looks like this (when Edit --> Word Wrap is turned on):

(Click here: All the Hex Bytes from 0 to
to download the file in a ZIP archive.)

But opening this same file in Frhed, will show it you
in either of these two ways:

  Pressing the CTRL and "R" keys together pops up a msg. box.

Select OEM character set (and a font size of 10) to view the bytes as they might appear in DOS; this file shows all of the 256 possible characters.

After selecting and then copying bytes 00 through 4f of the file, "All the Hex Bytes from 00 to FF" to the clipboard, they will appear as follows in the "Paste with dialogue..." (from the "Edit" menu):
You can also search for bytes within a program using the syntax tags seen above: "<bh:0d>," for example, means a single byte in hexadecimal with the value of "0d" (13) which could also be represented by: "<bd:13>" using its decimal value instead.

The syntax for using these tags is: <{Size}{Numeral system}:{Value}>. Another example: You could paste a long word  (32-bits) of 2130706433 in decimal with the tag "<ld:2130706433>" and it would be displayed as "01 00 00 7f" on the hex-side of Frhed.     For a complete explanation of these tags, see the section "Using the special syntax" in Frhed's Help File.
( This is definitely an advanced feature.) Other Features of Frhed (not fully described above) are:
Click anywhere on this pic to go to FRHED's homepage:

Apart from the fact that Frhed still gives no warning before overwriting a file with the Save function, there's ONLY one other (minor) thing I didn't like about it:
There's no "Undo" function! So, if you make a mistake that you can't easily fix, you'll just have to exit without saving... ( Whenever you do this, you'll get a message box stating: "File was changed, exit anyway?" with only the choices of YES or NO. Some programs would allow you to save it from this message box too.)

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