Column mode editing is a powerful feature in Notepad++(Access more info) that allows users to make changes to text in a precise and efficient manner. By activating column mode, users can select and edit text vertically, rather than horizontally, which makes it easier to manipulate large sections of code or data. This comprehensive guide aims to help users master column mode editing in Notepad++, providing tips and tricks for working more efficiently and accurately with this essential tool. Whether you’re a seasoned programmer or just getting started with text editing, this guide will provide the information you need to take advantage of all that column mode has to offer.

Notepad++ is a popular text editor for Windows that offers a range of features to help users edit and format text with ease. One of the most powerful and underutilized features of Notepad++ is its column mode editing, which allows you to select and manipulate text vertically rather than horizontally. In this article, we’ll explore the various ways in which you can leverage column mode editing in Notepad++ for greater efficiency and precision.

What is Column Mode Editing?

Column mode editing, also known as block mode editing or rectangular selection, is a unique feature of Notepad++ that allows you to select text in a vertical fashion instead of the traditional horizontal selection. With column mode editing, you can select entire columns of text, even if they span multiple lines, and perform operations on them such as copying, cutting, pasting, deleting, or replacing.

How to Use Column Mode Editing in Notepad++

To access column mode editing in Notepad++, simply press and hold the Alt key while selecting text. This will enable vertical selection mode, and you can then use your mouse or keyboard to select one or more columns of text.

Here are some of the most common ways you can use column mode editing for maximum efficiency:

1. Inserting Text – To insert text in column mode, simply select the desired columns and start typing. The text will be inserted at the same position in each selected column, allowing you to quickly add data to multiple lines with minimal effort.

2. Deleting Text – To delete text in column mode, select the columns you want to delete and press the Delete key. This will remove the selected text from all columns simultaneously.

3. Copying Text – To copy text in column mode, select the columns you want to copy and press Ctrl+C. This will copy the selected text to the clipboard, allowing you to paste it elsewhere.

4. Cutting Text – To cut text in column mode, select the columns you want to cut and press Ctrl+X. This will remove the selected text from all columns and copy it to the clipboard, allowing you to paste it elsewhere.

5. Replacing Text – To replace text in column mode, select the columns you want to replace and press Ctrl+H. This will open the Find and Replace dialog box, where you can specify the text to find and the replacement text. Notepad++ will then replace the specified text in all selected columns simultaneously.

Tips and Tricks for Mastering Column Mode Editing

Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you get the most out of column mode editing in Notepad++:

– Use the keyboard shortcuts whenever possible to save time and reduce strain on your mouse hand.

– To select a large number of columns, click and drag with the Alt key held down to create a selection rectangle. You can then fine-tune the selection using the arrow keys.

– Hold down the Shift key while selecting columns to extend the selection.

– Use the Edit > Column Editor menu to quickly insert numbers or other data into selected columns.

– Experiment with the various editing modes available in Notepad++, such as hexadecimal or regular expression mode, to see how they affect column mode editing.


Column mode editing is an incredibly useful feature that can save you a lot of time and effort when working with text in Notepad++. By mastering the various techniques and shortcuts outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to edit text with greater efficiency and precision than ever before. So go ahead and give it a try – you might just be surprised at how much easier it makes your workflow!