010 Editor: My new favourite tool

Written by Troy Howard

02 August 2010

010 editor screenshot

During the course of my work, I use a hex editor a lot.

Specifically, I use a hex editor mostly for reverse engineering binary file formats that have no documentation or for fixing corrupted files, and what not. One thing that I've always wanted, was some way to view the binary contents as structured data. Like "Starting at this byte offset, consider the next four bytes to be an integer, and show me that integer, then, using that integer, take that many bytes immediately following it, consider them to be string data, and decode as UTF8 or EBCDIC…" etc.

All that is fairly complex, and generally well beyond the facilities of anything short of a fairly low level and full-featured programming language.

Well, looks like the folks over at SweetScape realized this is a workflow that at least SOME people need to have… and so they built the perfect tool for doing that. It’s called the 010 Editor. It has this great feature called Binary Templates as well as scripts. It’s the bomb, and it’s accelerated my reverse engineering work by at least an order of magnitude.

I’m buying a license, and anyone know know me will realize that’s a pretty big deal. I’m a big fan of FOSS and generally try to use as much of it as possible, avoiding commercial apps… but this is a big exception. SweetScape is a small company run by a father and son team. Hardly “The Man”. Lowell and Graeme Sweet — you rock the block and treat the bytes right. ;)