In case somebody else is using the left and right arrows to navigate through typed commands, I’ve compiled a list of useful shortcuts for the Terminal:

  • Ctrl + A: Go to the beginning of the line.
  • Ctrl + E: Go to the end of line.
  • Ctrl + F: Move the cursor position one space forward.
  • Ctrl + B: Move the cursor position one space backward.
  • Alt + F: Move the cursor position one word forward.
  • Alt + B: Move the cursor position one word backward.
  • Ctrl + U: Clear the line before the cursor.
  • Ctrl + K: Clear the line after the cursor.
  • Alt + Del: Delete the word before the cursor.
  • Alt + D: Delete the word after the cursor.
  • Tab: Auto-complete file and directory names.
  • Ctrl + L: Clears the screen (same result as typing the clear command).
  • Ctrl + C: Terminate the running program; a timeless classic.

Edit: As noted by Parker Wightman (@parkerwightman), these same key bindings work in nearly every OSX text field.

As I grow older I found myself more and more comfortable working from the OSX Terminal, but I was annoyed by the “missing commands to navigate through the text”… Until I discovered them recently and my mind was blown.

Hope they are useful for somebody else too.