Feature request - Left cursor movement to stop at left margin

  • I find that when moving the cursor left to the beginning of a line with the cursor [<-] left arrow the cursor will wrap to the end of the previous line if I move just one space to far. It is hard to judge just when to stop.

    I am aware that I could always use the [home] key for this but when you are editing code close to the beginning of the line and moving around using the cursor keys it is much easier for it to stop on the margin than have to change to the [home] key.

    There are other text editors that allow this and once you have used it, it becomes really important.

    or [*].

    I have searched for this but can not find it already implemented as a setting or via a plugin.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

  • @Rod-T

    This behavior could be implemented with a Pythonscript, but I see a possible problem. With a PS invoked by a shortcut, if you hold down the key to repeatedly invoke the functionality (i.e., run the script), the PS plugin is apt to popup a “script already running” error window (not the exact text). I see holding down the left arrow key (the obvious shortcut) to invoke being a very reasonable use-case…

  • Thanks for the comment Scott. I have no plugin development experience and it would appear to be relatively simple to implement. If you or anyone would be happy to give it a go that would be really appreciated.

  • @Rod-T

    So it is easy enough to implement and test out my theory. Here’s a Pythonscript two-liner that implements the behavior:

    curr_pos = editor.getCurrentPos()
    if curr_pos != editor.positionFromLine(editor.lineFromPosition(curr_pos)): editor.charLeft()

    Testing it out, I found that for me at least it runs fine even when holding down its shortcut key to move from some large column number back to column 1 (and stop there). So it turns out I was worried for no reason. :)

  • Hi, @scott-sumner

    Oh, incredible ! I’m not able to make your two-lines Python script running !! So, either, I’m wrong about the purpose of your script or I’m missing something very obvious :-((

    From the above posts, I simply thought that, thanks to your script, if you hit, repeatedly, the left arrow, the caret would go backwards and finally stops, while reaching the beginning of the current line, at column 1. Am I right about it ?

    Quite curious to know why it doesn’t work :-) May be, my Win XP configuration ?



    P.S. :

    Your other script, at the address, below, works fine ! So my Python installation should not be concerned !


  • Hi, @scott-sumner

    Oh, I’m just idiot !! I didn’t realize that your script does not catch, of course, the Scintilla keyboard actions, related to the arrow keys !

    But, when hitting the shortcut of your script, it, rather, performs a Scintilla SCI_CHARLEFT function if the caret is not located, at column 1 and does no action, when caret reaches the column 1 of the current line !

    And I can confirm that, after more that more than 2,000 repeated shortcut hits, the popup dialog, about “running two Python scripts, simultaneously”, occurred less than five times. So, not a problem, indeed !

    Best regards,


  • Hi again Scott,

    I have installed Python and set the Python path.
    I verified that Python was working ok by running an example script that worked fine.

    When I run your script from above…

    curr_pos = editor.getCurrentPos()
    if curr_pos != editor.positionFromLine(editor.lineFromPosition(curr_pos)): editor.charLeft()

    I get the following error…

    Python 2.7.13 (v2.7.13:a06454b1afa1, Dec 17 2016, 20:42:59) [MSC v.1500 32 bit (Intel)] on win32
    Type “copyright”, “credits” or “license()” for more information.

    ========== RESTART: D:\Documents\Arduino\Irridose\Python Script.txt ==========

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “D:\Documents\Arduino\Irridose\Python Script.txt”, line 1, in <module>
    curr_pos = editor.getCurrentPos()
    NameError: name ‘editor’ is not defined

    Any help or comments on this would be greatly appreciated.

  • @Rod-T

    Ummm…sorry for the confusion. This code runs under the “Pythonscript plugin for Notepad++”, not under a standalone Python. I guess some of the confusion comes because people often talk about “Python scripts” (note the space separating the words) which I personally dislike, because it demeans Python–one should speak of “Python programs” not simply “scripts”. Over the years I’ve come to respect Python as a full and capable language, not just a “script runner”.

    Anyway, what you need is to obtain the Pythonscript plugin and get it installed. Some (most?) people new to this use the version the Plugin Manager installs, but I’ve heard that is problematic; try to find a .msi install package for the PS plugin v1.0.8.0. If you can’t find it, let me (us) know and I’ll dig up a link to it for you.

    After that you will need to tie running of my 2-line script to a shortcut key or key-combo. Eventually you probably want to assign it to left-arrow, but for quick testing I just tied it to ctrl+shift+alt+leftarrow because I currently have that unassigned. You do this by first going to the “Configuration” choice in the Plugins -> Pythonscript menus, and then “Add” this script. This will allow the script to be mappable to a key (combo) in the Shortcut Mapper.

    This all is a bit involved to set up for the first time from scratch, but it does work. I guess it depends upon how much you want your “don’t allow caret to wrap to previous line” functionality. :)

  • @guy038

    Not an idiot…we all miss things now and again. It is easy to think of left-arrow functionality as being hardcoded into Notepad++/Scintilla (because who would ever change what it does?), however, it is simply just another reassignable key function in the Shortcut Mapper. Beauty, eh?

    But… in theory the Pythonscript could have captured the left arrow keypress (@Claudia-Frank has shown us great things here about intercepting keypresses via hooking the message processing loop…), but that would have been too much work, and overkill for this.

  • @Scott-Sumner

    As you suggested Scott I installed the “Pythonscript Plugin for Notepad++” saved the script, added a shortcut and mapped it to the left arrow key.

    It took a while to get there, easy when you know how, but I now have a “Stop left cursor wrap” mapped to my left arrow and it works great.

    I’m really liking Notepad++ it’s flexibility and support. Thanks for your help with this Scott.

  • @Scott-Sumner

    I have implemented the ‘Stop Left Wrap’ quite successfully apart from one issue which I’m hoping is quite easy to fix.

    The ‘Stop Wrap’ works ok on lines that have text entered but if you are setup so that your work space includes ‘Virtual Spaces’ or text beyond end of line and the line contains no characters then the left key will not respond. I suspect that it is because the cur_pos value returned by editor.getCurrentPos() is returning zero when the actual cursor position is not zero.

    I am currently trying to get familiar enough with python in order to fix this but any help would be appreciated?

  • @Rod-T

    Virtual spaces were not considered in the original solution because I rarely turn the caret-beyond-EOL mode on. I find odd (unexpected) caret movements occur occasionally when I leave it on, although I’d like to have it on 100% of the time. :(

    editor.getCurrentPos() only returns 0 when the caret is at the start of document, not at the start of each line.

    What is needed to fix the original script is a check for virtual space; adding a single line after the other two will do it:

    if editor.getSelectionNAnchorVirtualSpace(0) > 0: editor.charLeft()

  • @Scott-Sumner

    That’s great, a complete fix. Thanks Scott.
    So far, no problems with caret-beyond-EOL mode. :)

    For those that want to implement this Stop Left Wrap function
    here is a summary of the install process discussed above.
    All credits to Scott-Sumner.

    Stop Left Cursor Wrap to previous line:

    Install Python Script Plugin

    • Plugins -> Plugin Manager -> Show Plugin Manager -> [Available]
    • Tick ‘Python Script’ and [install]

    Write ‘Stop Left Wrap’ Script

    • Plugins -> Python Script -> New Script
    • Add “Stop Left Wrap” File name for Script and [Save]
    • This will open a new blank text file page
    • Copy this Python Script code to the new file and [Save]

    curr_pos = editor.getCurrentPos()
    if curr_pos != editor.positionFromLine(editor.lineFromPosition(curr_pos)): editor.charLeft()
    if editor.getSelectionNAnchorVirtualSpace(0) > 0: editor.charLeft()

    Configure Shortcut

    • Plugins -> Python Script -> Configuration
    • Select ‘Stop Left Wrap’ and push [Add] to Menu Items and [OK]

    Attach Shortcut to 'left’key

    • Run -> Modify Shortcut/Delete Command -> [Plugin Commands]
    • scroll down and click select ‘Stop Left Wrap’
    • select [Modify] and scroll down to Select ‘left’ Cursor key (if Conflict, still say) [OK]
    • [Close] Should be operating now, so no more wrap on left margin.

  • @Rod-T

    Nice summary of the setup. I would suggest not letting conflicts persist in the Shortcut Mapper as a “best practice”.

  • @Scott-Sumner

    Fair point. In this case I couldn’t find any way to attach the script to the left key without the ‘Conflict’ warning appearing.
    So far it has been ok. I guess the [left] key is only going to be used to move left.

  • @Rod-T

    Well, when you have conflicts, Notepad++'s Shortcut Mapper will turn the conflicts red. It is just a matter of scrolling through the list until you see the other red one. Additionally, the box near the bottom (just above the buttons) of the Shortcut Mapper window will show the conflicts for the current item. I find a quick scroll through looking for the other red one is faster than reading the box and figuring out where to move to, although the text certainly gives you a push in the direction of the correct tab the conflict is on.

  • @Rod-T

    And to be specific, you’ll find that the conflict you created is almost certainly going to be matched on Line 33 of the “Scintilla commands” tab.

  • Thanks for the comments Scott. I’ve followed that through and Line 33 of the “Scintilla commands” tab seems to just be activating a move left. I’m not sure how Scintilla responds to the conflict and I may have expected two move lefts but that is not happening so hopefully it is ok.

  • @Rod-T

    What it is actually doing (I think) is finding the definition for the Pythonscript tie to the shortcut key FIRST when it is trying to figure out what to do when you press that key. So, yes, Scintilla command 33 is a “move left” but the key point is that this move left is NEVER HAPPENING because the Pythonscript that runs your new functionality is being run INSTEAD (NOT in addition to!).

    Conflicts are bad because you can’t predict this “which-will-get-run” behavior, in general. However, it should always act the same way when a given conflict exists. So in our example here, the Pythonscript always runs and the Scintilla move-left never does.

    These are all general conclusions based upon what I’m taking from your experience. I don’t let conflicts persist in my setup, so I don’t have extensive time studying this and its effects.

    The best thing to do in your case is to change the shortcut key for Scintilla’s move-left to “None”. If you bring up the window that allows you to change the key combination for that entry, the dropdown box will have “None” as the first entry at the top. It would be nicer to not have to select None this way, but rather have a “Remove shortcut” button, but this is not the case.

    I hope this helps clarify…

  • @Scott-Sumner

    The above is NOT based upon the most current Notepad++ as of this writing (7.3.3) simply because I like to lag a bit behind the bleeding edge (I’m using 7.2.2). 7.3.3 (and possibly slighter earlier) has a “Clear” button (which sounds useful!) but there is some indication that it is buggy; see https://notepad-plus-plus.org/community/topic/13687/bug-unable-to-clear-or-remove-shortcuts-for-scintilla-commands

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