I’m a huge fan of some of the best text editors out there- Sublime Text, Atom, and Visual Studio Code. I even used them to code up Modern CSV. I felt there should be a similarly great text editor specifically for CSV files. Of course, you can use them to edit CSV files. In fact, they each have plug-ins specifically for CSVs. However, they still can’t overcome the fact that straight text editors really aren’t equipped to handle columns. On the other hand, Modern CSV handles columns just as well as rows. Here are three characteristics these text editors and Modern CSV have in common.

1. Command Palette

Sublime Text, Atom, and Visual Studio code call it a palette and Modern CSV calls it a launcher because I like that term better, but it’s the same thing. It’s a super convenient way to search for commands and invoke them. These palettes/launchers use fuzzy search, so sloppy typing is OK (to an extent). By default, ctrl+shift+p calls them for each product. On Modern CSV, ctrl+l (for launcher) also calls it.

Atom command palette
Atom’s command palette
Modern CSV command launcher
Modern CSV’s command launcher

There is one feature that Modern CSV has in its launcher that the others don’t- it shows the current settings for commands that involve changing settings.

Modern CSV command launcher showing settings- something the text editors do not do.
Modern CSV’s command launcher with current settings

2. Multiple Cursors

Multiple cursor support is such a small and powerful feature. It’s a wonder human beings took so long to start using them. The big 3 text editors have multiple cursors whereas Modern CSV allows simultaneous operations on multiple cells. This, in my opinion, is one of the most addicting aspects to these products. Before I discovered this, I had no idea what I was missing. Discovering it was possible was like being yanked out of the matrix.

Morpheus wants you to know you don't have to type the same thing over and over.
Multiple cursor support is a red pill. Single-cursor editors are the matrix.

And it extends well beyond typing too. Just as most editing commands work on multiple cursors, they also work on multiple cells in Modern CSV.

Sublime Text has multiple cursor support along with Atom and Visual Studio Code.
Multiple cursors in Sublime Text working it on Modern CSV code.
Modern CSV has multiple cell editing support.
Multiple cell editing in Modern CSV on super important data.

3. Keybindings

Like the big 3 text editors, Modern CSV is designed with keyboard ninjas in mind.

Using keyboard shortcuts in a text editor to code up keyboard shortcuts in Modern CSV is next-level code ninja.
An actual picture of me* coding up Modern CSV’s keyboard shortcut capability. (*not really)

Virtually all commands in Modern CSV can have a keyboard shortcut attached to them. While the default for most commands is no shortcut, you can add one or even several if you want. For those that do have a default, you can change it if you don’t like it. To do that, you can call the Edit Keyboard Shortcuts command. When you do, a CSV file will open where you can set your preferred shortcuts. As soon as you save it, the changes will become active and they’ll show up in the launcher and menu.

Many of the default shortcuts will look familiar to fans of Sublime Text, Atom, and Visual Studio Code:

CommandShortcut (Windows, Linux)Shortcut (Mac)
Command Launcherctrl+shift+p or ctrl+lcmd+shift+p or cmd+l
Remove Rowsctrl+shift+kcmd+shift+k
Remove Columnsctrl+shift+lcmd+shift+l
Insert Rows Afterctrl+entercmd+enter
Insert Columns Afterctrl+shift+entercmd+shift+enter
Move Rows Up/Downalt+shift+up/downalt+shift+up/down
Move columns Left/Rightalt+shift+left/rightalt=shift+lift/right
Move cell Contents Up/Down/Left/Rightalt+up/down/left/rightalt+up/down/left/right
Convert to Upper/Lower Casectrl+k,ctrl+u/lcmd+shift+u/l
Go to Filectrl+pcmd+p
Go to Cellctrl+gcmd+g
Commands with default shortcuts similar to those found in the big 3 text editors

Here are a few more commands similar to what you find in the text editors but that have different keyboard shortcuts for various reasons.

CommandShortcut (Windows, Linux)Shortcut (Mac)
Duplicate Rowsctrl+alt+rcmd+alt+r
Duplicate Columnsctrl+alt+ccmd+alt+c
Duplicate Selected Cell Contents Up/Down/Left/Rightctrl+alt+up/down/left/rightcmd+alt+up/down/left/right
Select Entire Rowsctrl+shift+rcmd+shift+c
Select Entire Columnsctrl+shift+ccmd+shift+c
Select Entire Tablectrl+shift+t or ctrl+acmd+shift+t or cmd+a

Try Modern CSV for Free Today

If you’re a fan of these text editors and you find yourself working with CSV files a lot, Modern CSV is worth a try. Most of the above mentioned features are included in the free version of Modern CSV. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the free features:

  • Load ultra-large files (no file size limit on the free version)
  • Insert/Remove/Duplicate rows and columns
  • Sort
  • Open files with a variety of delimiters and character encodings
  • Operate on multiple rows/columns cells at once
  • Customize keyboard shortcuts

If you want to go above and beyond all that, you can upgrade to Premium. You’ll get all of the above plus:

  • Filter and hide rows and columns
  • Join and split cells, rows, and columns
  • Case conversion
  • A whole bunch more