npp "columns" are confusing

  • How does one use npp’s “columns” in real life?

    I am finding it very confusing.

    You click on Edit - Column Mode, and it says “Please use ALT + mouse selection or alt + Shift _ arrow key to switch to column mode”

    and if I use those keys, it just highlights those many characters (at same columns in each line), what is the use of it?

    Was that helpful? Not for me. It doesn’t tell me what is column mode and how to use these two methods to go to column mode.

    Then, I click on Edit - Column Editor and it throws a windows, asking for text/ numbers to insert, which doesn’t make any sense to me.
    And when I give some text/ numbers, it gets added to each line at same columns. What is the use of it.

    so what good is column mode for real life usages?

    I think it is not intuitive enough to work with column mode in npp.


  • I have found npp’s “column mode” very useful in sorting a text file that has a 7 digit ID number in front of an error description and I can sort the errors together by using the “column mode” then edit > line operations > sort by… This way I can sort the error descriptions together for easier repair. Hopes this helps.

  • The Edit >> Column Mode dialog just tells you how to use Column Mode (it’s probably there to inform people who don’t already know about it, or possibly because an older version of NPP actually required a toggle to enter/exit column mode)

    If you highlight a region with the Alt+Mouse or Shift+Arrow, you can then immediately type (or copy/paste) in that region, and it will be inserted (or copied) in that rectangle.

    If you use the Column Editor... (Alt+C), you can either input a word (just like typing) or a sequence of numbers. (In my example below, I write “something” that way, and then number from 1 to 41 by 1s)

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