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10.4: Use non-linear text selection in TextEdit Apps
Tiger only hintIn TextEdit 1.4, hold down the Option key and watch the cursor become crosshairs. Now drag that cursor across a block of text, and you'll find that Tiger offers the same rather useful non-linear text selection that MS Word has had for a long time.

I actually discovered this in Address Book 4.0 -- where I really really need it, because selecting text in a contact card is way more clunky than it needs to be. Unfortunately, the feature is broken, at least in my copy: when I let go of the mouse button, my text selection snaps back to include only one line. It works fine in Text Edit, though.

[robg adds: My AddressBook is similarly non-functional in this regard. In TextEdit, it works, though the highlights are confusing, as they'll highlight to the end of the window width for any row that's shorter than your selection. That's harder to explain than it is to just see, so try it. But it works fine when you copy; it just looks a bit weird.]
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10.4: Use non-linear text selection in TextEdit | 8 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Use non-linear text selection in TextEdit
Authored by: adrianm on May 19, '05 11:21:12AM

This is a new feature of the standard text edit field in cocoa and webkit, so there are lots of apps that support it.



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10.4: Use non-linear text selection in TextEdit
Authored by: RobertBen on May 19, '05 06:47:20PM

And Address Book does support it over here...



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10.4: Use non-linear text selection in TextEdit
Authored by: Frank Midgley on May 19, '05 11:23:44AM

You can also now make discontiguous selections by holding down the command key. Select one stretch of text (using the above hint or not) then hold down the command key and select another stretch of text. Repeat for as many selections as you like. You can then copy and paste all of the selected text. When pasted the different selections will be in separate paragraphs.



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10.4: Use non-linear text selection in TextEdit
Authored by: altglbrs on May 19, '05 12:35:37PM
And you can combine command and option to get some whacked out selections... If you overlap selections, they flip... so you can now do a sort of invert selection with text, like you can with Photoshop and many other apps. nifty, eh?

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10.4: Use non-linear text selection in TextEdit
Authored by: mingking on May 19, '05 01:07:34PM

I discovered this in Xcode. For developers it's very valuable to be able to select a rectangle of text for things like selection from tables of data, blocks of variables and function names etc. CodeWarrior has had this for years (even in OS 9!), and of course rectangle selection has been in emacs for years - and now we finally get it in Xcode.The addition of discontiguous rectangle selection is icing on the cake that I don't think can be done in either CodeWarrior or emacs. Yipee!



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10.4: Use non-linear text selection in TextEdit
Authored by: qwerty denzel on May 20, '05 02:31:11AM

I don't have tiger, is this similar to option selecting in BBEdit?



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10.4: Use non-linear text selection in TextEdit
Authored by: lleeuw on May 19, '05 01:56:41PM

I've wannted to be able to do this for such a long time :-) . Great tip, I hadn't noticed how do this.



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10.4: Use non-linear text selection in TextEdit
Authored by: jonbauman on May 20, '05 02:35:21PM

Though it doesn't support the discontinuous selection feature (yet), TextMate is a wonderful editor that had rectangular selections before Tiger. Furthermore, with TextMate, you can actually edit a rectangular selection and it applies the changes to every line selected. Pretty cool if you want to change around values in a list.

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jon

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