Stupid Computer Tricks: Sublime Text Column Select

I love Sublime Text, so much so that I plunked down the cash for the licensed version because the developers deserve it. It’s super useful in so many ways, but one of the capabilities that is not included by default is “column select” mode. You’ll need to install package control for all of this to work, so if you’re not familiar with how to do that or what that is, go here and do the thing: “Installation – Package Control.”

Once you have package control installed, look for and install the “Column Select” package.

This one…

Once installed, Alt+Cmd (Mac) activates basic column select mode. For this (overly simplified) example, we’re going to use the overly-contrived sample tab-delimited output below:

HEADING_1	HEADING_2	HEADING_3	HEADING_4
Test1		Test2		Test3		Test4
Test11		Test22		Test33		Test44
Test111		Test222		Test333		Test444
Test1111	Test2222	Test3333	Test4444

Say for instance that I only want to select and copy the data from column 3. Simply place your cursor at the start of column 3 (next to “HEADING_3”), hold down Alt+Cmd, and drag your cursor down and to the right.

Column Select in Action

I know there are many other ways of doing this using only the command-line, but this is a nice little feature for those living in Sublime Text.

Side note: I generally only use ST on Mac, but based on this: https://www.sublimetext.com/docs/selection – it looks like Windows may do column select natively…anyhow, you get the point…it’s a nifty feature either way and hopefully you’ll find a way to utilize it for your own workflow.