Understanding BMP better - Programmers Heaven

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Understanding BMP better

HI Everyone.
I'm not sure if I have picked the right forum or not, or even the right place to ask this question.
By the way ...
Today I opened a .bmp file for the first time and I saw somethings.
What I understood was that the first (almost) 50 characters consists some things I couldn't understand.
And the remaining consist 3 * pixels characters.
I believe that they determine how the RGB should be mixed.
BUT what made me create this thread was that when I tried to edit it with notepad, neither Paint nor WindowsPhotoViewer couldn't open/read/render it anymore.
I even tried replacing a character like : '


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