Format Hex - PowerShell


The Format-Hex command converts the input data into a hexadecimal string representation. It’s commonly used for debugging purposes, examining raw binary data, or when a hexadecimal representation is required for further analysis or processing.


Format-Hex [-Path] <string | path> [-Separator <string>] [-GroupSize <int>]
                                [-Width <int>] [-ShowHeader <switch>]
                                [-GroupPrefix <string>] [-DisableGrouping <switch>]
                                [-Force] [-Encoding <string>]


  • -Path: Specifies the path to the file containing the data to be converted.
  • -Separator: Specifies the separator character to insert between each byte in the output string. The default is a space character (” “).
  • -GroupSize: Sets the number of bytes to group in each line. The default is 16 bytes.
  • -Width: Specifies the width of each line in the output. The default is 79 characters.
  • -ShowHeader: Shows a header line with the byte positions. The default is $false.
  • -GroupPrefix: Sets the prefix string to be used at the start of each group of bytes. The default is “0x”.
  • -DisableGrouping: Disables the grouping of bytes.
  • -Force: Forces the conversion even if the input data is not in a valid format.
  • -Encoding: Specifies the encoding to use when interpreting the input data. The default is UTF8.


Converts the contents of a text file to hexadecimal:

Format-Hex -Path test.txt

Converts a binary file with a custom separator and group size:

Format-Hex -Path image.bin -Separator ":" -GroupSize 32

Converts a variable containing binary data using a different encoding:

$data = Get-Content image.bin -Encoding ASCII
Format-Hex -InputObject $data -Encoding UTF8

Common Issues

  • Invalid input data: The Format-Hex command expects valid binary or text data as input. If the input is invalid, the command may throw an error or produce unexpected results.
  • Incorrect encoding: If the specified encoding does not match the actual encoding of the input data, the conversion may be incorrect.


Format-Hex can be integrated into scripts or command chains to perform more complex tasks. For example, it can be used to:

  • Extract specific bytes: Use Where-Object to filter the output of Format-Hex and extract specific byte sequences.
  • Compare binary files: Pipe the output of Format-Hex from two different files into Compare-Object to compare their hexadecimal representations.
  • Convert hexadecimal strings: Use ConvertFrom-Hex to convert a hexadecimal string back into its binary representation.
  • ConvertFrom-Hex
  • Get-Content
  • Compare-Object