I have just been using Hexl-mode to investigate some binary files. What I would like though, is some way of highlighting the byte under consideration: at the moment the line and column indices are highlighted. It would be very helpful if the intersection of that line and column could be highlighted with a color. For example: the highlighted square in this picture have some color or background which distinguishes it from its surrounds:

hexl-mode with current position highlighted

Is there any way of doing this?

Note, I'm using:

GNU Emacs 24.3.1 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, X toolkit, Xaw3d scroll bars) of 2014-03-08 on lamiak, modified by Debian

in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

1 Answer 1


I recomend you try nhexl-mode (install it from M-x package-install or M-x package-list). It does do what you want.

This said, hexl-mode almost does what you want, since it places the cursor right in front of the byte you want highlighted.

  • Is the requested feature present in nhexl-mode out of the box, or does it require some configuration? Or was it just a general recommendation?
    – Malabarba
    Dec 2, 2014 at 23:21
  • It's the way nhexl-mode works out of the box (because the cursor is in the right-hand-side text instead of the left-hand-side hex).
    – Stefan
    Dec 3, 2014 at 1:48

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