I have a list that looks like

1.530 2.895
4.362 50.14
3.14  2.7

And I want it to look like


I suspect there is a clever way to use a rectangle to do this but I cannot figure it out.

  • Why using a rectangle? This is simply replacing spaces by linebreaks. I.e., C-M-% [ <SPACE> ] + <RET> C-j <RET>... The key sequence for (query-replace-regexp "[ ]+" "\n")
    – Tobias
    Nov 22 '16 at 16:28
  • @Tobias thanks for that, I just tried it but it did not seem to work. I think it did not register when i hit C-j because it simply removed the space Nov 22 '16 at 16:34
  • Sorry, you have to type C-q C-j instead of only C-j. C-q causes literal insertion of the next keystroke.
    – Tobias
    Nov 22 '16 at 16:35
  • I wrote up an answer to mark this question in the question list as answered.
    – Tobias
    Nov 22 '16 at 16:50

You don't need a rectangle for this job. Just use (query-replace-regexp "[ ]+" "\n") to replace the separating spaces by linebreaks. The corresponding key-sequence is:

C-M-% [ ]+ RET C-q C-j RET


  • C-M-% query-replace-regexp
  • [ ]+ the regular expression for the strings to be replaced (one or more spaces)
  • C-q next character is inserted literally (quoted-insert)
  • C-j newline as the only character of the replacement string
  • Note the square brackets are not necessary here: they define a "character alternative" with space as the only choice, so you can just use a space followed by a +.
    – JeanPierre
    Nov 22 '16 at 18:56

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