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An alignment plugin using regular expression
Python JavaScript


Linux & OSX Windows
Build Status Build status

The most flexible alignment plugin for Sublime Text 2/3. This plugin is inspired by the excellent VIM plugin, tabular.

ST2 support is deprecated but however, it is still possible to install AlignTab on ST2 via Package Control.

If you like it, you could send me some tips via paypal or gratipay.


  • Align using regular expression
  • Custom spacing, padding and justification.
  • Smart detection for alignment if no lines are selected
  • Multiple cursors support
  • Table mode and Live preview mode


Getting start

  • If you only want simple and quick alignment, the predefined alignment will help.

For more complicated usage, welcome to the regex world

  • Open AlignTab in Command Palette C+Shift+p and enter the input in the form of <regex>/<option>.
  • To learn more about regular expression, visit here and here.
  • The option controls column justification, padding and maximum number of splits. A general syntax of options is ([rlc][0-9]*)*(f[0-9]*)?.
  • The numbers after r, c or l determine how many spaces will be added after columns and the number after f controls how many matches will be made based <regex>.
  • For example, c2r3f1 means
    • first column is centered followed by 2 spaces
    • second column is right-flushed followed by 3 spaces
    • only the first match is used
  • If the number after [rlc] is omitted, 1 space will be added after the corresponding column.
  • If the number after f is omitted, only the first match will be used.
  • The entire option could be omitted (i.e., input only the regular expression). In that case, default option, l1f0 will be used. It means:
    • All columns are left-justified.
    • A space is added after each column.
    • All matched delimiters are aligned.

More about regex and options

  • Use non-capturing parenthese (?:regex) instread of capturing parenthese.
  • Delimiter is also treated as a column.
    • For example, =/rcl means the the column before = will be right-justifed and the column after = will be left-justified. And = will be centered (however, it doesn't matter as = is of length 1).
  • The option for alignment cycles through the columns.
    • For example, regex/rl means all odd columns will be right-justified and all even columns will be left-justified.
  • The symbol * repeats the preceeding justification flags.
    • For example r*3 equals rrr, and (cr3)*2 equals cr3cr3.
  • (Experimental) Besides r, c and l, there is a new u flag which stands for "unjustified".

Live Preview Mode

Table Mode


Package Control


Some simple examples. You can also contribute your examples there.


If you are interested in getting a keybind for live preview mode, add the following in your user keybinds file.

   "keys": ["super+shift+a"], "command": "align_tab",
   "args" : {"live_preview" : true}

For frequent patterns, you can consider the following in your user keybinds file. Change the keybind and the user_input for your purpose.

 //align =
    "keys": ["super+shift+a"], "command": "align_tab",
    "args" : {"user_input" : "=/f"}

or syntex specific keybind.

  // latex align keybind, to align & and \\, but not \&
        "keys": ["super+shift+a"], "command": "align_tab",
        "args" : {"user_input" : "(?<!\\\\)&|\\\\\\\\"},
            { "key": "selector", "operator": "equal", "operand": "text.tex.latex" }

Named patterns

To make it easier to remember complex patterns, you can save them in a dictionary in the settings file. To edit the patterns, go to Preferences -> Package Settings -> AlignTab -> Settings. Use the name as key and the regex as value. For examples,

"named_patterns": {
    "eq" : "=/f",
    // right hand side could also be an array of inputs
    "ifthen" : ["=/f", "\\?/f", ":/f"]

You then just use the name instead of the pattern in the input field.

Custom Context Menu

To define new item in the context menu, go to Preferences -> Package Settings -> AlignTab -> Context Menu and add, for example

   {"caption" : "-"},
      "id": "aligntab",
      "caption": "Align By",
      "children": [
          "caption" : "{",
          "command" : "align_tab",
          "args"    : {"user_input" : "\\{"}

CJK Support

AlignTab supoorts CJK characters, but you have to choose a correct font face and font size. To my knowledge, MinCho works on all Chinese, Japanese and Korean.


AlignTab is licensed under the MIT License.

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