Simplest way is to use Terninal and use the hexdump command. Open a terminal session, then use the following command:
hexdump -C file-path | more <return>
Easiest way to fill file-path is to type the command to that point, then drag the icon for the file to the Terminal window, then add the " | more " command and then hit the return key. You will get the first byte number, 16 bytes of the contents of the file in hex and the 16 ASCII characters that might be represented by the bytes.
Binary files will be a lot of gibberish...
But wondering if you're trying to "see" what is in them, or are the executable files from say OS9 days or such?
If that's the case, try Unarchiver 2.6 will do all that Stuffit does & more, REQUIREMENTS
Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later...
Why are you trying to read these files? From where do they come? Is there a reason you think you should be able to read them? Many binary files are encoded applications or even Windows programs and there's no reason you should be able to read them or would even really want to. Other may contain useful data but are usually intended to be opened with a specific application you do not have which is why they are appearing as generic binary files.
Tried to download unarchiver as suggested. The site says to go to Apple store app site. It says that I need OS 10.6 or later to be able to download. I have 10.4.11.
OK to restate my problem. I need to open binary files to see what's in them from friends who send eMail attachments consisting of text and or pictures. I get the message "This is a Binary File. Open with, (Choose App)" All of the App's I try give me the same error message.
Also, I use Fire Fox which keeps giving a repeated message to update my Java Plugins. In particular, in trying to update "Java Embedding Plugin 0.9.7.4" to 0.9.7.5, which is a Binary file that I can't open.
Did you look on The Unarchiver's web site where it has a link to older versions? http://theunarchiver.googlecode.com/files/TheUnarchiver3.2_legacy.zip
The best thing to do is ask your friends what programs they used to produce these files, or at least what format files they are producing. Otherwise it's like being shown a car and given a bundle of 200 keys with no idea to which one to use, or even if any of them work with that car.
Using The Unarchiver will likely not do anything because it too will not know what format files are involved, and they may not even been in an archived format. If they sent you a Word file without telling you (a favorite of Windows users to do -- it drives me crazy when they could have just sent them in plain text), The Unarchiver won't open them. If it's a picture file then using Hexedit will just show you a bunch of unintelligible stuff as shown in an earlier post, though you may see a line of text providing a hint.
As I said earlier, often .bin may be an executable program which needs another program to actually interpret it. That's what Java is trying to do. Still, it may think it can execute the file, but it is highly unlikely somebody would send you an executable program (and if they did I would not trust it). For all you know it may be a Windows virus.
My friends are neophytes also, they have no idea of their file format much less the stuff that they forward.
I Downloaded via Google Unarchiver 2.6 as BDAqua suggested. Got the message.... "This is a BINARY FILE Open with..."
I give up on updating my Java Plugins since OS 10.4.11 is no longer supported by Apple and I have not been able to use Third party Java updates because they deal in Binary files.
I thank you all for trying to help. I will just ignore the FireFox messages.
What program did they use on the file? Well where did they get the file? What do they expect you do do with the file?
the unix file command will tell you something about the file
Macintosh-HD -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal
# press return to run the command.
mac $ file far.bash
far.bash: Bourne-Again shell script text executable
mac $ file s
s: Bourne-Again shell script text executable
mac $ file cons.zip
cons.zip: Zip archive data, at least v1.0 to extract
The easiest way to proced is to type
be sure to type a space after the word file.
the drag the file you are insterested in to the terminal. drag & drop