How To Power Up Your OS X Terminal With iTerm

There is very little doubt that the pros certainly like to make as much use of the keyboard, rather than the mouse, as possible. It saves them a lot of time by using the shortcuts. Adjusting the mouse pointer on a certain command button and then executing it is certainly time-consuming.

What is iTerm

The iTerm is a full-fledged terminal emulation set of program that has been exclusively written for the OS X with the help of Cocoa. “Term” stands for terminal and the “i” as usual is the home for Apple.

iterm application

Some important features of iTerm

iTerm gets a lot of importance with its rich features and it is certainly fun working with it. Let us have a look at some of the features to give you an idea about the iTerm.

You can set transparency for the windows according to your choice. Along with that, you can also load any custom background picture of your choice.

transparency settings

You can enter the full screen mode, which will give you a better viewing experience and won’t distract you from any other activities on the screen.

It supports the “Select-to-copy” and also “Mid-button” paste functions.

With the iTerm, you can have smart window placements in line with your choice.

The Applescript support is always there at your service. It is now easy to drag and drop the tabs in between the windows.

A single keyboard can now work with more than one tab at the same time. Session customization is now easy with iTerm as you can customize each session individually.

As far as the OS X is concerned, the terminal that comes in-built does not serve too well either. There are some restraints on it and options seem inadequate as well, the most prominent being the need of tabs. Who knows if these options are included in the Leopard update?

You can set the transparency according to your needs and liking. The transparency can be set in percentage. The good thing is that you can customize the colors as well – be it the background color or the text color. You can select them as you like with the amount of transparency, of course.


There is the default configuration available too. If you wish, you can just go for it. The “Default” option lies under “New”.

quick access to your saved bookmarks

If you right-click on the terminal, you can swiftly access the “Bookmarks” you already saved. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut “Cmd+B”. This will open a panel and show the bookmarks.


The “Preferences” will serve your cause better because there are a lot of options to choose from. There are five options here, namely “General”, “Window”, “Tab”, “Mouse” and “URL Handler”. You can easily alter the looks and sense of the tabs.


Whatever the changes are made, you will have to restart the iTerm to see that the changes have taken effect. It gives you an impression that the changes are accepted right away. But restarting is always a welcome option as it sets the system straight from scratch.

Rekha Samavedula