The 10 Best Windows Terminal Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts

The 10 Best Windows Terminal Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts

Windows Terminal is full of features right out of the box. It’s arguably the best, most performing terminal application out there for users of command-line tools and shells like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL. That’s not to say you can’t go a step further and unlock its full potential.

Are you looking to enhance your Windows Terminal experience and extract every ounce of productivity and efficiency from Microsoft’s best Terminal application ever? Then look no further as we break down the best Windows Terminal tips, tricks and shortcuts you need to know.

1. Command Palette

In previous versions of Windows Terminal, most of the advanced configuration you could do was buried in a JSON settings file. This means manually researching the setting, adding it to the correct place in the JSON settings file, saving it, and then restarting Windows Terminal.

Now, Windows Terminal has a command palette, where you can quickly find useful settings and actions. With Windows Terminal open, simply use the Ctrl+Shift+P keyboard shortcut or click on the down array next to the tab to bring up the command palette.

2. Focus Mode

You can choose to enable Focus Mode when working in the Windows Terminal, which removes the title bar and tab UI entirely. This is especially great if you have a second monitor dedicated to the terminal window where you’re executing long running operations.

To enable focus mode, simply bring up the command palette with the Ctrl+Shift+P keyboard shortcut, and type “focus”. Then click Toggle Focus Mode.

Once Focus Mode is enabled, you can press F11 on your keyboard to switch the application to fullscreen mode, and won’t have to trouble yourself with screen burn-in. See How to fix screen burn-in on plasma, LCD, and OLED displays for more information.

3. Always on Top

Let’s say you are a developer who works hard installing npm packages in Windows Terminal. Windows Terminal hiding behind multiple open applications when you switch back and forth can be quite annoying. However, a simple toggle ensures that Windows Terminal is always the topmost window on the desktop.

To enable Always on Top, click the down arrow next to the tab in an open Windows Terminal session. Then find and click Settings. Navigate to Appearance and toggle the Always On at the top on.

Yellow; No matter how many instances of Visual Studio Code you have open, the Windows Terminal will always be in the foreground.

4. Assigning Unique Actions

Windows Terminal calls its keyboard shortcuts “actions”. By default, there are quite a few. However, you can easily create your own customized actions with your own shortcuts by navigating to Settings > Actions > Add New.

5. Hyperlink Support

After many years, the Windows Terminal finally received full built-in hyperlink support. Whether you’ve just typed or pasted a hyperlink, you can now hold down your Ctrl key and left-click which will immediately open the link in a new tab in your browser.

6. Multiple Profiles on Startup

It can be really troublesome to open different profiles independently. Every time you launch Windows Terminal, you’ll want both your PowerShell profile and your Command Prompt profile to open automatically.

Fortunately, this is now incredibly easy to do. You’ll just need to make a small configuration change to your JSON settings file.

To enable multiple profiles at startup, press the Ctrl+Shift+P keyboard shortcut to bring up the command palette. Then type “JSON” and select Open Settings File (JSON).

7. JSON Fragment Extension

Windows Terminal now supports bespoke user configuration settings in the form of a JSON Fragment extension. This means that snippets of JSON can be downloaded or created as extensions that modify the user’s settings.

You can now share color schemes and profiles without necessarily changing your main JSON settings file. This can be done for all users or just the current user. All you need to do is create a folder that contains the JSON snippet file as well as other assets, such as background images, that can be referenced in the file.

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