Be More Productive with Your Favorite Text Editor

Shortcuts to Select and Edit Text

Much of EditPad Pro’s editing power and convenience lies in the many keyboard shortcuts it supports. I don’t mean the keyboard shortcuts you can assign to menu items in Options|Preferences|Keyboard. I mean editing commands, such as holding the Shift key down while pressing the arrow keys to select some text. With a bit of practice and experience, using these key combinations will make text editing much faster. You can keep your hands on the keyboard, and do in a few keystrokes what would require many keystrokes in other editors.

In this tips and tricks section, I will explain you some of the more special shortcuts, which are not often found in other text editors.

To move to the start or end of the document, press Ctrl+Home or Ctrl+End. To select everything from the current position of the text cursor to the start or end, press Shift+Ctrl+Home or Shift+Ctrl+End.

To jump to the next or previous word, hold down the Ctrl key while pressing the left or right arrow keys. To delete the start or the end of the current word, press Ctrl+Backspace or Ctrl+End. To delete the start or the end of the current line, press Shift+Ctrl+Backspace or Shift+Ctrl+End.

To quickly scroll the text without moving the text cursor and without moving your hands away from the keyboard, hold down Ctrl while pressing the up or down arrow keys. When the cursor reaches the edge of the screen, it will stay visible if you continue scrolling. You can disable this in Options, Preferences, Editor.

To make a rectangular or column selection without using the Block menu, hold down the Alt key on the keyboard while making the selection. This only works when word wrap is off, and when using a fixed-pitch font such as Courier New. The block menu will warn you, but the Alt-key method will not. If the lines in the rectangular selection are of irregular length, hold down the Alt key and press the down arrow key until you’ve reached the longest line. Then press the right arrow key until you’ve reached the rightmost column you want to select. Then press the down arrow key. Although the text cursor will jump to the end of the (shorter) line, the rectangular selection will maintain its width.

A quick way to indent or unindent a block of lines, is to (partially) select them, and then press Tab or Shift+Tab on the keyboard. The difference between the Tab key method and the Block menu items is that the Block menu uses the “block indent” setting from Options, Preferences, File Types, while the Tab key uses the “tab size” setting.

Ctrl+Alt+Y and Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Y are quick ways to delete and duplicate lines. It is often faster to duplicate a line and then edit the duplicate, than to retype mostly similar text. When you duplicate a line, the text cursor moves to the duplicate, keeping the same column position.

If you enable persistent selections in Options, Preferences, Editor, you can easily move and duplicate text with the Ctrl+D and Ctrl+M shortcuts. The advantage over using copy and paste is that the selection you are moving or duplicating is readily visible in EditPad Pro, while you may not remember what you last copied to the clipboard.

If you’re used to the old WordStar keyboard shortcuts, you can enable those via Options|Preferences|Keyboard.

For an overview of all the editing key combinations, select Keyboard Shortcuts in EditPad Pro’s Help menu. Some of them will take some getting used to, but will eventually save you quite some time.

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