# Make iTerm 2 More Mac-like

I just switched from using Apple’s built-in Terminal.app to the free iTerm 2 on a recommendation from Brett Terpstra. I’m already loving the hot-key profiles to launch uniquely colored remote sessions, the split panes, and the brilliant hotkey window (useful to run a single command and get rid of it).

But there are a few things that needed some work. Some of the usual Mac editing keys did not work, I got rid of a few annoyances and added a few lovely preferences, and I needed the ability to create a new terminal window on the current space as part of my being productive with virtual desktops flow (Just like Browser Windows on All Desktops).

### Mac-like keys

Since I’m not a vi or emacs pianist, I prefer standard Apple Cocoa Text bindings when editing the command line, so I set them up in iTerm 2’s Global Shortcut Keys in Preferences / Keys.

The changes and settings are:

• ⌥←: Go left one word (Send Escape Sequence | b)
• ⌥→: Go right one word (Send Escape Sequence | f)
• ⌘←: Go to start of line (Send Hex Code | 0x01)
• ⌘→: Go to end of line (Send Hex Code | 0x05)
• ⇧⌘↑: Up one page
• ⇧⌘↓: Down one page
• ⌃⌘↓: Down to bottom (not standard Cocoa, but I find it very useful when perusing real time rails logs)

Thanks to Brett Terpstra for sharing some of these in his Option-arrow navigation in iTerm2 and Twitter. Note: I do not set the Left Option and Right Option keys in profiles to +ESC, I leave them as Normal (as per Scott Lee’s response in the comments).

### Annoyances and Preferences

I don’t need to confirm quitting (Preferences / General):

I love copy on select, it’s one less keystroke and I usually select with the mouse (Preferences / General):

The red tabs were annoying, gone (Preferences / Appearance):

Added the border around frames, I like this because my terminal background and screen backgrounds are both dark (Preferences / Appearance):

And got rid of the bell icon and Growl notifications in all profiles (Preferences / Profiles / ** / Terminal):

And lowered the line spacing to match Apple’s (Preferences / Profiles / ** / Text / Change Font) - just move the vertical back 1 notch:

### New iTerm 2 in Current Space

While it’s nice to have the hotkey window, I often find myself working on Desktop 1 (Work) and need to jump to Desktop 2 (Alternate) to do some other stuff and leave a terminal running there. Like now, for example, I have a database migration running on Desktop 1 for Kifu and am blogging on Desktop 2, both of which require running iTerm 2 windows.

If you hit ‘⌘N’ on iTerm 2 (or any other OS X app), OS X switches you to the app’s desktop, then creates a new window over there, not what I want. If you right-click on the dock and request a new window, it creates it on the current desktop. But I leave my dock hidden.

I used to have ⌃⌘T mapped to do this for Terminal.app, so I created a Keyboard Maestro macro to do this for iTerm 2 instead:

The first step, the AppleScript code, launches a new “Default” terminal, and it does so on the current space:

The second step resizes the window so that it is 100 x 42 lines, my personally preferred terminal window size.

So far, I am really enjoying the small touches that make iTerm 2 that much better than Terminal.app.

Related Reading: Fast SSH Windows With iTerm 2