The usual way to make rectangular selections in almost all programs that support is to start dragging with the mouse while "Alt" is pressed. Apart from being a long standing standard, this has the additional benefit that there doesn't need to be a sticky "rectangular selection" mode nor a toolbar button.
I second this! It is a no-brainer. Visual Studio and Notepad++ work this way. They also have a shortcut Alt + Shift + Arrow-key (although I've never used it).
This old bug may not be relevant anymore. If you can still reproduce it in 8.2 development builds please reopen this issue.
Thanks for your cooperation,
NetBeans IDE 8.2 Release Boss
I cannot find any configurable short-cut in keymap configuration and Alt+Drag doesn't do anything by default so I presume this feature request is not implemented yet. I tried latest development build available today (netbeans-trunk-nightly-201607100002-php-windows-x64.exe).
Thirding this. Considering the amount I'm using alt-drag at the moment, the annoyance of not having it in Netbeans (which is otherwise an excellent IDE) is enough to make me not use it. The newly added "rectangle select" is not a reasonable substitute.
I fourth this. A lot of IDEs and code editors are doing this nowadays (notepad++, sublime text, visual studio, etc.) so it is a pretty widely-accepted UI feature and something that I would expect Netbeans to add.