Working with data in columns is usually not something you do in a text editor. An application like Excel has a lot more advanced features and is probably more suitable in most cases. However, Notepad++ with the TextFX plugin makes it quick and easy to do simple column editing.
At work we use JIRA for task management. I often have to create new or edit existing tables in task descriptions. Tables are created in a quite visual way by using vertical line | characters. In this example I have a table where I need to change the order of the columns and sort the data. I also use this method when working with CSV files. This is how I do it in a few, simple steps.
5. Hold ALT while you use the mouse to select the “column” where the text should be inserted. You can also hold ALT+SHIFT and use the arrow keys to select instead of using the mouse. In this example you won’t actually select any text, just the empty column at the start of each line where the text should be inserted. Paste the text (CTRL+V).
8. Click Search → Replace (CTRL+H), choose Regular expression in the Search Mode and replace all “ +\|” (space, plus sign, backslash, vertical line – do not include quotation marks) with “|” (vertical line – do not include quotation marks). This replaces all instances where there are multiple spaces followed by a vertical line with just a vertical line.