Working Effectively With iTerm2

Fine-Tune Settings

Launch iTerm, open iTerm > Preferences or just

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.

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

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
  • next tab
  • previous tab

Pane navigation

  • split pane left-right
  • split pane top-bottom
  • next pane
  • previous pane


  • open search bar
  • find next

Input to all panes

  • input to all panes in current tab

Clear screen

  • clear buffer
  • clear lines (Bash command)

Zooming / Font Resize

  • toggle maximize window
  • toggle full screen
  • make font larger
  • make font smaller

iTerm lovers, did I miss anything out?