Songtham Tung

5 Copy and Pasting Tips For Every Developer to Know

Work Smarter, Not Harder.

If I knew about these coding tricks earlier in my career, it would have saved me sooo much time. Here are 5 advanced copy and pasting tips that you can use to work smarter and more efficiently.
You can follow along with the sample dataset below, or better yet, try it with your own data. FYI— I’m using Mac and Visual Studio Code, but feel free to use other OS and text editors.

Sample dataset

48 Laws of Power - Robert Greene
Be Here Now - Ram Dass
Extreme Ownership - Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
How to Eat - Thich Nhat Hanh
How to Win Friends & Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Radical Focus - Christina Wodtke
ReWork - Jason Fried & David Hansson
Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari
Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts
Soft Skills - John Sonmez
Tao of Wu - RZA
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
The Art of War - Sun Tzu
The Book of Mistakes - Skip Prichard
The Culture Code - Daniel Coyle
The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz

1. Vertical selection

My objective is to add the
<li>
tag in front of every row. Instead of doing it the old fashion way of copy and pasting multiple times, I do it once with the help of vertical selection.
hold shift + option + cmd + arrow direction

2. Adding value to the start of every row

Another way to add value to the start of every row is by using regex
(.*)
.
Regex or regular expression is a sequence of characters that define a search pattern.
It’s built in to most text editors and can be found in the find feature.
1. Open Find and Replace
2. Enable regex .*
3. Enter ^ in Find
4. Enter value in replace
5. Execute

3. Adding value to the end of every row

My next objective is to add the closing
</li>
tag at the end of every row. To do so, I would also use regex, but with a different search pattern.
1. Open Find and Replace
2. Enable regex .*
3. Enter $ in Find
4. Enter value in replace
5. Execute

4. Shifting rows without highlighting and dragging

What happens if I want to quickly rearrange my data? Again, I can use the traditional cut and paste or highlighting and dragging with the mouse… but there is a faster way.
hold option + arrow direction

5. Copy and pasting without copy and pasting

This last tip is one of my favorites. Instead of copy and pasting and entering new lines in between, I can quickly duplicate the values with a shortcut key.
hold shift + option + arrow direction

Wrapping up

Copy and pasting stuff is great. Regex and advanced keyboard shortcuts takes it to another level. Remember folks: work smarter, not harder.
Thanks for reading! Originally posted on The Startup.

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