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Sublime Text Tips

7 handy text manipulation tricks in Sublime Text 2

One of my favorite things about using Sublime Text 2 is that it rarely leaves me pining
for other text editors. Sublime incorporates most of the must-have features I’ve come to expect
from an editor.

Text manipulation in Sublime is no exception. Here are 7 of my favorite Sublime features that
take the tedium out of coding.

Note: I’m using my MacBook today, so the keyboard shortcuts are the OS X friendly versions. The
same commands are available for Windows and Linux, but the bindings will likely be a little
different. Hunt through the menus to find the bindings for your specific platform.

Joining lines

I’ve probably wasted more hours of my life than I care to admit deleting extraneous white spaces
when merging two lines of indented code. When I learned how to join lines in Vim and Notepad++,
I couldn’t believe I’d been pounding Backspace unnecessarily.

Sublime Text 2 employs theCommand j shortcut to join the line below your cursor to the one
you’re currently editing.

Swapping lines

Another common line operation is swapping the position of two lines, or moving a block up or down
in the file. Copy and paste is one option, but if you’ll only be moving the lines a short distance,
it’s quicker to hit Control Command Up or Control Command Down. This works on the current
line with no highlighting required, or you can highlight multiple lines to shift an entire code block.

Duplicating and deleting lines

Deleting and copying entire lines without highlighting is simple. Use Control Shift k to delete
the current line. Shift Control d duplicates the current line and places the copy below the

Wrapping paragraphs

I like to keep my lines fairly short, so I have a ruler set at column 100. This is great for
manually wrapping lines, but sometimes when I’m writing blog posts, I’ll edit a paragraph and
find that my original wrapping is no longer suitable. Sublime makes it painless to fix this.
Just select a block of text and hit Command Option q, and Sublime will rewrap the entire paragraph
to fit within the ruler.

Toggling comments

Sublime gracefully handles comments in a variety of languages. To comment out a single line of
code, position the cursor on the line and hit Command /. In languages that have
line-level comments, such as JavaScript, this will use a line comment; in languages that
only support block comments, such as HTML or XML, it wraps the line with block comments. The
same shortcut can comment out multiple selected lines as well.

For languages that support block comments, the Option Command / shortcut will wrap block
comments around a selection.

Dealing with capitalization

Removing or adding capitalization manually is tedious. Sublime supports several features for
dealing with capitalization chores, available under the Edit > Convert Case menu.

The Swap Case option inverts the casing of all selected text, while Title Case
capitalizes the first letter of each word.

Upper, which is also mapped to Command k, Command u, capitalizes all selected letters,
while Lower, mapped to Command k, Command l, does the opposite.

Reordering lines

In the past, I’ve occasionally found myself copying lines of text into a spreadsheet program
to sort them. Sublime has this covered, though, with several simple sorting algorithms.

To perform a simple alpha sort, select the lines to be sorted and hit F5. This option ignores
capitalization. Hitting Control F5 will sort lines starting with capital letters first, then
alphabetize lines starting with lowercase letters.

The Permute Lines menu options provide a few more ways to sort, including Reverse, which
sorts in reverse alpha order, starting with lowercase letters, Unique, which removes duplicated
lines, and Shuffle, which sorta kinda randomizes the text.

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