How to use multiple cursors in the BigQuery UI?

Aka column selection / rectangular selection

Posted by Pascal Landau on 2019-12-19 18:00:00

Multiple keyboard shortcuts usable in the BigQuery UI are listed in the official documentation, though the one for using multiple cursors is missing:

ALT + left-mouse-button-drag

Using multiple cursors in the BigQuery UI via ATL + left mouse drag


  • keep the ALT key pressed first and then click the left mouse button and drag it up or down vertically
  • the same hotkeys can be used to draw a rectangular selection (aka column selection) Rectangular / column selection in BigQuery
  • using ALT + LEFT and ALT + RIGHT will position one (or all) cursors at the beginning respectively end of the line

Use cases

We often deal with multiple datasets and tables that have the exact same structure, e.g. due to sharding. In those cases it's often required to modify different parts of the query in the exact same way so that multiple cursors come in handy.

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