HOW TO : Select column in Notepad++

Notepad++, is a great open source editor similar to EditPlus and UltraEdit. One of the features that I really appreciated in EditPlus, was the capability to select a column of data. I checked if NotePad++ has a similar feature and found the following hotkey that can be used to do this..

“Alt + Left Mouse Click” puts you in Column Mode Select

For a complete list of hotkeys that can be used with Notepad++, check out this link

64 Replies to “HOW TO : Select column in Notepad++”

  1. Excelent. I start use notepadd++ now, because old version don’t like. But this is very much better. Thanks and take care.

  2. Great, thanks. Just found out one more helpful thing:
    To select columns without using the mouse use ALT+SHIFT and the cursor keys

  3. I am not able to select a hudge column without having to drag the mouse down for a very long time. It does not handle the SHIFT + click selection…

  4. Hi
    I want tp publish notepad++ to some programmers in my company. Do you know if we can copy multiple lines in column editor mode?
    We are in the need of copying text from a terminal program, and want/need to use column editor by copying several lines into column edit mode.

    Is it possible in notepad++?


  5. I’m cramming for a project and googled this in a desperate attempt to isolate a set of datapoints from a program output… you totally saved my day!!

  6. Thanks a lot dude, but still once the column selection is on, how will you select entire column. I can’t select manually as my data runs till 80000.

  7. can we create column in a notepad++ data file which is uncommon about column as well as line but one thing some datas are similar in each line
    like below details but i need the below datas in a particular column wise.

    Update Scintilla from 2.21 to 2.25
    2. New feature: Non-greedy regular expression (Scintilla).
    3. Add Copy/Cut/Paste Binary Content feature.
    4. Add “paste HTML content” and “paste RTF content” commands.
    5. Fix the inverse of title and message for some MessageBox.
    6. Add “Remove Unmarked Lines” command.
    7. Add “Column Mode Tip” to notice users the usage of column mode in Notepad++.
    8. Make stream comment of php/javascript foldable.

  8. I’m looking to delete a single column from an 8k plus file. If I select shift + alt then arrow over I can get one column, how can I select this entire column for all the records?

    1. Jett – You can hit the end key and you will get to the bottom of the file. Am assuming that is what you are looking for.

      – V

  9. Contrary to what vinlay said

    I cannot select an entire column to the end of file.
    End goes to end of line
    And Ctrl End doesn’t work when column selecting.

    I also hate that the cursor doesn’t go back to the beginning position after typing and changing lines, ala textpad.
    making multi line edits a pain.

  10. OK, so as I understand – there is no way to DELETE/SELECT entire column on the VERY large files. Say I have 100 000 lines text file and I want to delete first 3 columns…

    1. tadzio – Unfortunately, I don’t think notepad++ has this feature. The most you can do is use alt+shift+select data+pagedown to select data in a page(display). For doing tasks like the ones you describe, I would recommend using perl/python (or any scripting language). If you can give a sample of your file, I can help you write a simple perl script to delete the data.

  11. Vinay – thank you for the reply. I managed by using Excel finally – easy to cut columns during the import :). Too bad N+ does not have this feature – even re-running macros was really slow… I guess this could be easily solved by the right plugin – maybe one day when I have time 🙂

    1. I found a fairly easy solution to this. Set your curser at the start of the column (don’t select anything). Scroll down with the slider bar (your curser remains at the top). Press alt+shift and click on the right side of the last entry in your column. This selects the entire column.

  12. It turns out that, with a bit of effort, it is possible to select entire columns in Notepad++, à la tadzio’s predicament.

    To do so, begin by placing the text cursor at the top of the left-most column to be deleted. Scroll to the bottom of the file, and while holding Shift+Alt select the bottom of the right-most column to be deleted. The entirety of all columns in between these two points will be selected.

  13. i have a two huge data text files (130000) lines each. I need to replace a column selection from one file to another (copy from one file and replace the same in another). Kindly assist.

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