Is there a way in Notepad++ to convert a comma-separated file to fixed width columns?

This feature exists in UltraEdit and explained in Working with CSV files, but I am happy with my Notepad++, and I don't want to pay for a copy of UltraEdit.


Use the built in TextFX menu.

TextFX -> TextFX Edit -> Line up multiple lines by (,)

I didn't discover this on my own, I found it on sourceforge while trying to figure out this exact question!

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    Nice but "Out of memory" for 15k rows. – watbywbarif Feb 9 '15 at 15:38
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    also it adds spaces to the file :-( – Radek Jul 15 '15 at 0:23
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    Radek if you want to split line, there is a feature just above in the menu called "split lines at..." – JinSnow Aug 10 '15 at 19:13
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    Note that as of Notepad++ v7, you have to install the TextFx Characters plugin using Plugin Manager. – E-Riz Oct 13 '16 at 20:33
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    TextFX doesn't seem to be available for NPP 64bit – UuDdLrLrSs Aug 28 '18 at 15:06

In the meantime I have just found a very nice tool for that. It's called CSVed and available here, with many many nice features. If you hate Excel when viewing CSV files like I do, you should give it a try.

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Yes, it's possible in Notepad: menu Edit -> Replace... -> ReplaceAll ',' by '\t'.

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    -1. Converting it into a TAB separated format does not make it a fixed width column format. – Peter Mortensen Feb 15 '14 at 18:50
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    Literally using "\t" does not work, neither in Notepad or Notepad++. It is always a challenge to use a TAB character in a dialog. A common work-around is to enter a TAB character in a document, put it into the clipboard by a cut (Ctrl + X) and pasting it into the field in the replace dialog. – Peter Mortensen Feb 15 '14 at 18:55
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    OK, in Notepad++, selecting the option "Extended (\n, \r, \t, \0, \x)" makes it work. – Peter Mortensen Feb 15 '14 at 19:09
  • TextFX -> TextFX Edit -> "split lines at..." – JinSnow Aug 10 '15 at 19:15
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    @PeterMortensen It doesn't work unless your tab size is longer than (length of longest entry in column) - (length of shortest in column). E.g., if your tab size is 4, your longest line is 20, and your shortest line is 5. That, a very common use case, will still result in an uneven file. – jpmc26 Aug 10 '16 at 0:17

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