Working Effectively With iTerm2

Fine-Tune Settings

Launch iTerm, open iTerm > Preferences or just

Cmd + ,

Open tab/pane with current working directory

Under Profiles tab, go to General subtab, set Working Directory to “Reuse previous session’s directory”.

Enable Meta key

To enable Meta key for Bash readline editing e.g.

Alt + b

to move to previous word, underProfiles tab, go to Keys subtab, set Left option key acts as: to “+Esc”.

Hotkey to toggle iTerm2

Under Keys tab, in Hotkey section, enable “Show/hide iTerm2 with a system-wide hotkey” and input your hotkey combination, e.g. I use

Ctrl + Shift + L

Switch pane with mouse cursor

Under Pointer, in Miscellaneous Settings section, enable “Focus follows mouse”.

Handy Shortcut Keys

Here’s a set of shortcut keys I commonly use. You can always look for other shortcut keys in the iTerm menu.

Tab navigation

  • open new tab
    Cmd + t
  • next tab
    Cmd + Shift + ]
  • previous tab
    Cmd + Shift + [

Pane navigation

  • split pane left-right
    Cmd + d
  • split pane top-bottom
    Cmd + Shift + d
  • next pane
    Cmd + ]
  • previous pane
     Cmd + [


  • open search bar
    Cmd + f
  • find next
    Cmd + g

Input to all panes

  • input to all panes in current tab
    Cmd + Alt + i

Clear screen

  • clear buffer
    Cmd + k
  • clear lines (Bash command)
    Ctrl + l

Zooming / Font Resize

  • toggle maximize window
     Cmd + Alt + =
  • toggle full screen
    Cmd + Enter
  • make font larger
    Cmd + +
  • make font smaller
    Cmd + -

iTerm lovers, did I miss anything out?