Need a simple XML editor you can run anywhere without installing? I use foxe as everything from a simple text editor to HTML editor to programmable XML utility.

Portable software

Firstobject's free XML editor (foxe) has always been a convenient standalone executable you could run right out of the zip file or wherever you copied it, but now it is truly portable software because it lets you choose how you want to store your settings:

  • no settings (i.e. default preferences and no recent file list), or
  • settings.xml in same folder as the foxe.exe executable, or
  • settings.xml in the Windows user application data folder
  • You can run foxe directly from your memory stick, flash memory, flash drive, key drive, memory card, USB drive, USB stick, CD, DVD, or any storage device Windows can utilize.

    The plain executable foxe.exe (you get when you download the "zipped exe only") will not store any settings until you select Preferences from the Tools menu and choose to store your settings in either the folder with the executable or in the application data folder. Note that if you already have a settings.xml file you can just delete or rename it to stop foxe from using it (do this when foxe is not running).

    And you can have copies of foxe in different locations, each with its own settings in the folder with it.


    For those who prefer a normal installation (with uninstall and Windows Add and Remove Programs support), the foxe installer you get from the normal download initializes the settings in the application data folder so you don't have to do anything.

    When I implemented the convenient installer and removed the simple zip download I was quickly contacted by this teacher:


    comment posted zipped exe-file

    Klaus-Peter Schulze 15-Jul-2008

    Thanks for this great tool, but why have you switched from a zipped exe-file to an installer? I told students in my classes to use this editor but they don't always have the administrative rights to install software with an installer.

    So I will always provide a simple zipped exe in addition to the installer.

    Portable software means don't touch the machine

    Years ago, foxe was listed on but was disqualified when I put settings in the registry. When I stopped using the registry and put settings.xml in the user application data folder, it still was not a fully "portable" solution since it was always attempting to store settings in the user application data folder on any machine where it was used. So with release 2.3 this has been changed and foxe is now fully portable.

    Update October 21, 2008: There was still a small registry issue in 2.3 so I've posted release 2.3.1 to be fully portable.