Hex Editor - Binary File Editing Software for Windows
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Cursor Movement and Navigation

Cursor is an important concept in any editor. It displays the position where the next editing command will take place.

Hex Editor Neo distinguishes between the navigation cursor and editing cursor. The cursor can be in any of these two types at any given time. Most of the time it is in navigation mode which is described in this section. See data modification section for more information on editing cursor.

As any editor window may have data pane and text pane, which essentially display the same data, cursor position applies to both panes simultaneously. To distinguish between the active and inactive pane, the cursor image in active pane is outlined, while in inactive pane it is not outlined. You can switch between data and text pane either by pressing the TAB key, or using your mouse.

When the window does not have keyboard focus, the cursor image is not outlined in both panes.

“Unlimited” Editing Space

Hex Editor Neo utilizes the unique feature called “unlimited editing space”. This means that you are not limited by the current file's size during editing. After the file data ends, the special "empty" data character is displayed. It consists of “.” symbols and is usually painted with different color (see Color Schemes for more information). Cursor movement is therefore is not limited by the file size. You are allowed to move cursor at any position beyond the end of file and then start typing data or apply any editor command.

If new data inserted or any editor command applied after the end of the file, the corresponding number of zeroed cells is inserted to extend the size of the file. This operation has constant time complexity. It also does not consume memory or disk space so it can be considered a “cheap” operation.

For convenience, the vertical scroll bar is scaled to display the real current size of the edited document. This allows you to quickly position a cursor to a real position within the document. Several keyboard navigation keys also respect the real current document size as described below.

Keyboard Movement

The cursor may be driven by keyboard keys and key combinations. These key combinations repeat those found in almost every text/binary editor and cannot be customized:

Left Arrow
Moves the cursor one cell to the left. If the current cell is first in a row, the cursor goes to the last cell in a previous row. If the current cell is the very first cell in a file, the cursor position is not changed.
Right Arrow
Moves the cursor one cell to the right. If the current cell is last in a row, the cursor goes to the first cell in a next row. According to the “unlimited editing space” rule, the cursor movement is not restricted.
Up Arrow
Move the cursor one row up. If the current row is a very first row in a file, the cursor position is not changed.
Down Arrow
Move the cursor one row down. According to the “unlimited editing space” rule, the cursor movement is not restricted.
Home
Moves the cursor to the first cell in a current row.
End
Moves the cursor to the last cell in a current row.
PgUp
Moves the cursor several rows up. Number of rows to move is selected in such a way that the first visible row becomes last. If the resulting cursor position lies before the beginning of the file, the cursor is moved to the beginning (zero offset).
PgDn
Moves the cursor several rows down. Number of rows to move is selected in such a way that the last visible row becomes first. According to the “unlimited editing space” rule, the cursor movement is not restricted.
Ctrl+Home
Moves the cursor to the beginning of the file.
Ctrl+End
Moves the cursor to the (real) end of the file.
TAB
Activates the text pane if data pane is active and data pane if text pane is active.

If the cursor moves out of the window as a result of keyboard action, the window is automatically scrolled so the cursor is visible again.

To scroll the contents of the window with a mouse, use the scroll bars or mouse wheel. Rotating the mouse wheel scrolls the contents of the window up or down by several rows at a time. Scrolling before the beginning of the document is not allowed, scrolling down is always allowed according to the “unlimited editing space” rule.

Using mouse navigation it is possible to scroll the window so the cursor position becomes invisible. To quickly scroll back to the cursor, press one of the keyboard navigation keys or start modifying data. Alternatively, left-click any visible cell to move the cursor to it.

Cursor Movement with Mouse

Mouse can also take part in cursor movement.

Left clicking any cell (in any visible pane) moves the cursor to that cell. Left-clicking on the cursor cell again enters the edit mode. In hexadecimal view types the actual position of this second click is used to move the caret to specific digit within the cell. In decimal or floating-point view types, the entire cell is always selected for editing.