Why does the Text area appear as Gibberish?

Help on how to use HxD.
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dorekian
Posts: 1
Joined: 18 Mar 2016 09:07

Why does the Text area appear as Gibberish?

Post by dorekian » 18 Mar 2016 09:14

Hello, I am pretty new to hex editing and I'm attempting to find a certain word in a file but the text area all appear as gibberish. Could anyone help explain why that is? I attached an image of what I mean. Thanks for any help!

Image

Maël
Site Admin
Posts: 1138
Joined: 12 Mar 2005 14:15

Re: Why does the Text area appear as Gibberish?

Post by Maël » 22 Mar 2016 01:44

Hi,

The right column is just an attempt at interpreting the data as text, and as you aptly noted, sometimes the result is gibberish. Two possible reasons are:
  • The data is not text, but some other data type, so the text interpretation looks random
  • The data is text, but not in the encoding that is selected in HxD (see the View menu)
Often files are a mix of various data types, so it doesn't mean that because you don't find one part to look like text, that other parts aren't valid text. I suggest to use the search feature of HxD to find the word you are looking for.

Finally, it may be a text encoding that is non-standard or not supported by HxD, then you will not find the text. Or it may be encrypted or compressed.

This may be helpful, too:
https://blog.mh-nexus.de/2014/12/how-to ... ex-editor/

I hope this helps,
Maël

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