An encoding scheme that converts binary data into ASCII characters. Any file, whether it be a graphics file, a text file, or a binary executable file, can be converted to BinHex. This format is particularly valuable for transferring files from one platform to another because nearly all computers can handle ASCII files. In fact, many e-mail programs include a BinHex encoder and decoder for sending and receiving attachments. BinHex is an especially common format for Macintosh files. Encoded files usually have a .HQX extension.