Monthly Archives: June 2023

Viewing files in hex mode

Sometimes I need to look at files in their actual hexadecimal format. I use the combination of vi and hexdump to fulfill this requirement.

To simply view a file’s content in hex format I use this command on my mac.

hexdump -C <file_name>

This typically is enough for the job at hand. However there is also another trick of using hexdump by leveraging vi command. I follow the following steps:

  • Start vi by typing “vi <file_name>” on the command line.
  • Type “:%!hexdump -C”
  • This will replace the contents of the vi screen with the hex view of the current file.
  • Save the file for future use.