Power Columns

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Boxer's Power Columns feature can be a big time saver when editing text that requires identical changes to be made on each line.  In Power Columns mode, the text you type is applied to every line within the range of selected lines.  When you cursor left or right, the insertion point moves in all selected lines.  If you press Delete, or Backspace, a character is deleted in each line.  You can even Paste a short text string into each line with just a single Paste command.  Power Columns can work on two lines, two thousand lines... or even more.


Let's consider an example...  Suppose you've got five variable declarations that need to have the word 'static' applied to each of them.  This is an editing task that arises in programming, but you'll probably be able to imagine other uses as well.  To enter Power Columns mode, you simply need to create a Columnar Selection of zero width.  Make sure the selection mode is set to Columnar on the Block menu, and then press Shift+Down four times.  This will be the result:




The special red cursor bars indicate that Power Columns mode is active.  When you press the letter 's', the character is inserted on each line:




When you type 'tatic' the rest of the text is entered, and the job is done:





(The word 'static' changed to red because 'static' is a reserved word.)


If you make a mistake while typing, the Delete and Backspace keys operate predictably to correct your error.  If additional changes are needed in another portion of the line, the Left and Right arrow keys can be used to move the insertion point while still remaining in Power Columns mode.  To exit Power Columns mode, press Escape, or use the Up or Down arrow.