Basic command line editing keyboard shorcuts in OS X

Basic command line editing keyboard shorcuts in OS X 

This post is part of a series of tutorials on OS X command line. Please read the following first to get started:

We continue our exploration of OS X command line by highlighting editing keyboard shortcuts in the Terminal app. These keyboard shortcuts described are the default editing settings for a terminal running bash shell under OS X. Many of the keyboard shortcuts will also work in standard text field you encountered in any Mac app.

  • Right Arrow or Control-F to move the cursor forward one character
  • Left Arrow or Control-B to move the cursor backward one character
  • Delete key or Control-H to delete one character
  • Control-D to forward delete one character
  • Control-A to move the cursor to the beginning of line
  • Control-E to move the cursor to the end of line
  • Control-K to delete everything from under the cursor to the end of line
  • Control-U to delete everything from under the cursor to the beginning of line
  • Control-W to delete from under the cursor to the beginning of the word
  • Esc-F to move forward one word
  • Esc-B to move backward one word
  • Control-R to recall previous command by searching through command history
  • Control-T to transpose (swap) with one another the two characters before the cursor
  • Esc-T to transpose (swap) with one another the two words before the cursor
  • Up Arrow or Control-P to go back previous commands in history
  • Down Arrow to forward previous commands in history. It is the reverse of Up Arrow/Control-P.
  • Tab to auto-complete name of file, folder or program
  • Control-L or Command-K to clear the screen 

The above is not an exhaustive list of all editing shortcuts and capabilities, but is sufficient as a starting point to get you productive on the command line.