I hope this question belongs here.

Suppose an editor for a specific file extension. It usually has a user friendly interface so you don't see raw data. Once you edit anything and save the editor modifies some data. Is there any way to keep track of these changes and see which specific data is modified? This is motivated by the fact that an editor is a program that has its limitations and sometimes it does not allow some changes. This protects the original file from fatal damage. As an example suppose a .nes file that can be edited through the HEX editor or a "level" editor. I might not know the ROM address where some level information is stored but (i guess) the "level" editor knows. So I can edit, save and search the region of the ROM, with the HEX editor, that was modified. That would give me information on where this level data is stored and be able to understand it.

My system is Windows so I wonder if there is any "save register" that keeps track of this save operations. Or is it an editor specific thing and each one has its own way of saving data, meaning i should look into the editor's code more than a general Windows place?


PD: I'm sorry if I misunderstood something essential but I'm not experienced with how this precesses work.


1 Answer 1


You can look at the date modified stamp on files to figure out which ones have recently been written to. Windows's search features will let you search a group of folders to find all files modified within a time span you choose.

Once you know which file(s) were written to, you can save a copy of them elsewhere. The next time you modify those files with your editor, use a diff tool to compare the pre-modification versions you saved elsewhere against the current versions. This will identify the particular parts that changed (though if the files are in an unknown binary format, or compressed or encrypted, the results might not be very informative).

Now that you know, please use your powers only for good, to make awesome games and mods, not to cheat or rip off other developers' hard work. ;)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks very much! I knew which file was modifying so the first part was irrelevant. The diff-tool, though, was very useful. As you pointed out, the data was encrypted and i couldn't compare directly so I just downloaded a HEX editor and copied pasted the code into a text file. Then everything worked nicely. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2019 at 18:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Never cheat or rip-off. I'm trying to do some mods, and mostly understand how the game works. Everyone involved gets the necessary credit :) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2019 at 18:55

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