How To Select Columns of Text in Your Browser (FireFox)

//How To Select Columns of Text in Your Browser (FireFox)

How To Select Columns of Text in Your Browser (FireFox)

This is a neat trick for copying columns of text from a table into some other application. This is particularly useful when you don’t need the whole table of information, and just want one column or several columns (e.g. just the usernames from a list of members).

I haven’t tried it on other browsers, but it works for me in Firefox 3.6.2. (Another reason why I love Firefox – it’s just so full of functionality). I’m particularly impressed that it’s something that I wouldn’t know that exists, but they’ve already thought ahead about it, and have it fully implemented already.

firefox logo

So here’s the trick – on the Mac, just hold down the Cmd key and select the column that you want by clicking and dragging with your mouse. On Windows, it’s the Ctrl key.

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By |2010-04-01T17:02:30+00:00April 11th, 2010|Tutorials & Tips|7 Comments

About the Author:

Alvin Poh lives in Singapore, and is interested in marketing, techy stuff, and likes to just figure out how the two can work with each other. He can also be found on Google+.


  1. Net Age | Internet Marketing April 12, 2010 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Good old FireFox! I haven't looked back since ditching IE 5 odd years ago, and the experience has just been getting better and better. Who cares if or how this works in IE 😉

  2. Fioritura June 29, 2011 at 3:03 am - Reply

    Thanks, this really helped. Previosly I used to copy and paste the whole table into a temporary document, then delete all the unwanted columns, then copy what was left… such a lot of work saved!

    Thank you!

  3. Eduardo July 9, 2012 at 4:19 am - Reply

    That is damn awesome trick! With Chrome it does not work, at least not on Linux. I am using Firefox 12 on Linux and I was doing the same as Fioritura, saved me lots of work. THANKS!

  4. Jill February 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Ctrl click drag… does NOT do any column selecting. Sure wish it did.

    • Alvin Poh March 1, 2013 at 1:40 am - Reply

      I just made sure it still works, and it does. You probably have to check that it’s an actual HTML table and not a CSS list, because I’m not sure if it works on CSS yet.

  5. coolkid February 8, 2017 at 10:06 am - Reply

    works.. awesome!

  6. PW April 12, 2018 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Still works great on Firefox, not so much on Chrome.

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