Scott Watermasysk

Still Learning to Code

Why iTerm2 Is Dope

I tried iTerm2 about a year ago (or so) and didn’t get it. Obviously, I wasn’t trying very hard. I gave it another shot a couple of weeks ago and it has been pure love.

Here are 5 really simple things that I love about it:

  1. Full Screen - I now do all of my coding directly in vim (not macvim). The full screen functionality has enabled me to plugin my external monitor far less. Spending so many years in Visual Studio, it is hard to express how liberating it feels to simply to simply use iTerm and my browser all day.
  2. Split Windows - While full screen is great for coding, it is a waste for most other tasks (dev server, logs, etc.) Splitting the screen allows me to run multiple tasks in a single tab. Most commonly, this is guard and the dev server split vertically.
  3. Tabs in the current directory - There is an option in iTerm to open tabs in the current directory. Since it is so easy to get back to your root directory, I think this is a really great option to change. You can also configure it per profile (because you can have multiple profiles) as well.
  4. Switching tabs - In iTerm you can switch tabs by pressing CMD + a number key. I had been using screen for this functionality (and more), but this is less keystrokes, less pokey, and a case where a 1 based array is a big improvement.
  5. Copy via highlighting - By default, any text you select in iTerm is copied to the clip board. How often do you highlight something and not copy it? Feels like this would be a good thing to change system wide if possible.

I know I am just scratching the surface here, so please let me know your favorites via Twitter.

UPDATE I am using iTerm2. I honestly don’t remember which version I tried last year.