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Move the OS X Terminal cursor position by clicking the mouse

Move the OS X Terminal cursor position by clicking the mouse

If you've ever had to edit a long command in an OS X Terminal window, chances are you probably moved the cursor to the position the edit was required using the arrow keys.

If so, then you're also probably all too aware that navigating the Terminal using just the arrow keys can be a frustrating and slow process.

Fortunately, there is a little known trick that allows you to position the Terminal cursor using your mouse, just like you would in a normal text document.

Simply hold down the Alt key on your Mac's keyboard. The Terminal cursor should turn into a crosshair, and you can now click the mouse anywhere on the current line within Terminal to move the cursor to that position.

More Terminal Shortcuts

While we're at it, here are a few more time saving shortcuts for positioning the cursor or editing the text around the current cursor position:

Ctrl + A Go to the beginning of the line you are currently typing on
Ctrl + E Go to the end of the line you are currently typing on
Ctrl + U Clears the line before cursor position (or the entire line if you are at the end of the line)
Ctrl + H Alternative to using backspace
Ctrl + W Delete the word before the cursor
Ctrl + K Clear the line after the cursor
Ctrl + T Swap the last two characters before the cursor
Esc + T Swap the last two words before the cursor
Alt + F Move cursor forward one word on the current line
Alt + B Move cursor backward one word on the current line

These commands should work using the default OS X Terminal (Bash), however if you're using a third party Terminal like iTerm then it will likely have its own set of shortcuts for performing the above actions.