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 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


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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