I have column of text like this:


and I want to transform it to:

Abba = Abba
Foo = Foo
Boo = Boo
M = M

I can add " = " to end column of text via C-x space and M-x string-insert-rectangle, also I can copy column via vertical selection C-x space, but how I paste column to the right of another column?

  • With Magnar's multiple-cursors library you can place a cursor at the beginning all lines in a selected region; then you can hold down the shift key and the alt key and move the arrow once to the right (which will select the word on each line; then you can hit the copy command (which should also deselect the region, if not then press C-g one time); then hit the space bar, type an = sign, then hit the space bar, and yank/paste. At this point you are done, and just hit the enter key to exit.
    – lawlist
    Sep 13, 2018 at 19:21
  • 1
    The easiest way to do this with vanilla Emacs would be to use a macro.
    – user12563
    Sep 13, 2018 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


You don't really want to use rectangles for this, because the desired end result is not aligned as rectangles.

Either use a keyboard macro. e.g.:

  • <f3> - start recording
  • C-kC-ySPC=SPCC-y - transform the first line
  • <right><f4> - move to the next line, and stop recording
  • <f4><f4><f4> - replay for the remaining lines

Or query-replace-regexp:

C-M-% .* RET \& = \& RET

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