[TxMt] Features request: columnar editing mode and fixed/delimiter conversion

Allan Odgaard allan at macromates.com
Fri Jul 22 04:01:40 UTC 2005

On 21/07/2005, at 17.11, Jeremy Dunck wrote:

> My favorite text editor on Windows is UltraEdit, and it has a columnar
> editing mode which is useful surprisingly often.
> [...]
> I think the primary benefit of a columnar mode is the ease of keyboard
> selection of the column range.

If I understand you correctly, the conceptual difference is that UE  
has a sticky columnar editing overlay, which you enable, do your  
editing task (and have the ability to extend the overlay), and then  
disable again, where TM makes the overlay more implicit and/or  
elusive (it's gone when the caret is moved outside the overlay, which  
automatically extend to encompass text inserted in column-typing mode).

For my editing tasks I definitely favor the implicit/elusive  
behavior, but I'll check out UE the next time I get the chance, to  
see if it inspires me -- based on your part about conversion, I  
imagine that for you the columnar editing is often a special mode you  
use for certain files, where for me, it's one of many editing tools  
(used for just one or two “edits”, and often I do a transformation on  
the column selection instead of entering edit mode).

Btw: TM does (for single line clips) paste on each line when in  
column-typing mode or when there's a column selection :)

> Additionally, UltraEdit has a feature where you can analyze a
> delimited file and automagically convert it to a fixed width file,
> which lends itself to columnar editing.  When done, you can then
> convert it back to a delimited format.

Could you send me an example of such file (you can send it  
privately)? I think this would help me better understand when you'd  
need this.

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