Column Selection and Editing Mode

Edit text as columns

Typical column selection, editing, deleting, copying and pasting text as rectangles etc etc

Proposed solution

Implement something similar to Column Selection – Sublime Text Documentation or Basic Editing in Visual Studio Code or consider embedding one of these as the default editor in Obsidian

Current workaround (optional)



Might be a big game changer for me


Could save a lot of time also for me ! +1

Very useful feature!

if Obsidian can load or specify any other editor(sublime, vs) for it, this column editing mode can be resolved!!!

You can do it by holding Alt+Shift and selecting.
2023-03-02 16_59_03-IVQJ - Designing the Results - PhD - Obsidian v1.1.15


Thanks. The equivalent on macOS is holding down Shift+Option while selecting with the mouse. However, these keyboard shortcuts aren’t currently documented at: Keyboard shortcuts for editing - Obsidian Help – nor do I see them under Settings/Options > Hotkeys.

For keyboard+mouse, this matches what I see for Column Selection in Visual Studio Code, but it also allows column selection with just the keyboard. It’s Shift-Option-Command + arrow keys in VS Code, which I haven’t been able to get working in Obsidian (v1.2.2). Visual Studio Code also has a menu option to switch to Column Selection Mode, which may be easier for users to use.

If you are editing a fair number of lines of text, round-tripping through Visual Studio Code may be the best option right now. It also has multiple cursor support (hold Option-Command + arrows on macOS) as another way to make changes quickly.

My example use case is taking notes on an hour long YouTube video which has a table of contents with play times, but I don’t need some of that info. A few quick edits and I have the basis of adding notes on each topic (there are 44).


Sorry, I completely missed this page in the documentation. :man_facepalming:t3: My bad.

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Would be nice to have a keyboard only (i.e., using arrows instead of mouse) to extend the cursor along a column

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Also what would be great is if we could select a whole column using this method (or another), and then apply some formatting to the selection. Right now when I select a column using the method described here, and I do for example ⌘ + B, only the first line in the multi-selection is boldified.

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