As a long-time keyboard ninja, I was very saddened to see that the built-in terminal in OS X is extremely limited in available options, especially the lack of tabs. Supposedly the upcoming Leopard release will include them, but I can’t wait that long…

A quick google search came up with iTerm, a superior application that’s earned a permanent place in my toolbox.


If you look very closely, you can see the transparency, which is completely configurable (I set mine to 10%). All of the colors are customizable as well.. I prefer the green on black, but you can use it in the default configuration if you want.

Right-clicking on the terminal will give you quick access to your saved “bookmarks”.

Or you can hit cmd+B to open up a panel on the side showing the bookmarks, but I haven’t yet figured out how to launch them via the keyboard. You can launch a new tab with the cmd+T shortcut, but it’ll use your default session.

If you take a look in the preferences, there’s a bunch of options to change the look & feel of tabs… you’ll need to restart iTerm to actually see all the changes, even though it looks like it changes them right away.

And a very interesting feature… full screen mode! I was really surprised to see this one in there.

There’s a lot more features, so you’ll just have to take a look.

Download iTerm from SourceForge

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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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