Just over a year ago, Microsoft announced the launch of a new software called Windows Terminal, an application designed to unify the three text consoles in the same window that we can use in Windows 10: the old Cmd.exe, the powerful Windows PowerShell and the Windows Subsystem command line (s) for Linux, although Azure Cloud Shell would also be added later).
A few hours ago, the company has released Windows Terminal 1.2, which includes all the features that had been added in the Windows Terminal Preview 1.2 trial version; and at the same time, Windows Terminal Preview 1.3 release announced, loaded with new features to facilitate heavy use of the command line in Windows 10. Let’s take a look at them:
What Microsoft calls a ‘command palette’ looks a lot like an app launcher: allows us to search among all the commands available in Windows Terminal and execute it.
This palette features two modes of use: action mode, in which we will enter by default and that allows us to list all the commands in a drop-down menu, and ‘command line’ mode, which allows us to enter them by typing, for greater control.
To understand this function well, keep in mind that when we talk about “Windows Terminal commands” we are not talking about ‘dir’, ‘cd’ or ‘format’, nor about ‘Get-Command’ or ‘Start-Service’, but of functions that allow us close or duplicate current tab, alter text formatting, or change command line of the same (cd Cmd to WSL, for example), among other options.
In the ‘Keybindings’ section of the application’s settings.json we can customize key combination which opens the palette (by default, Control + Shift + T) and add new commands to action mode.
Advanced tab control
But the Command Palette is not the only great novelty of the new Windows Terminal Preview: there are also several that provide us with greater control of our tabs:
- Advanced Tab Switcher: Similar to Windows’ ‘task switcher’, it allows us to quickly move between the different tabs, although in this case we will use Control + Tab to move between them and Control + Shift + Tab to go back.
- Tab Search: now it is possible to define a combination of keys to execute the ‘tabSearch’ command and to show us a tab launcher, with the list of all the ones we have open.
- Eyelash color adjustment: Another new option is to configure a profile to link it to a certain color (defined with its hexadecimal value) using the ‘tabColor’ command.