The Home and End keys on a MacBook Pro can be emulated with Fn + or fFn + . Or when certain settings are changed, with the ⌘ Command key instead of Fn.

None of these works in Terminal.

As I frequently need to go to the beginning or end of the line and would also like to jump forwards or backwards by word.

How can I jump around on a line in Terminal?

11 Answers 11


Use control+a for HOME and control+e for END in Terminal.

Also use esc+f to move to the beginning of the next word and esc+b to move to the beginning of the current word. (you Must be careful about current and next)

  • 3
    Too bad that's not what the question is asking. Commented Mar 2 at 20:08
  • "you're holding it wrong"
    – downbeat
    Commented Mar 8 at 1:14

This can be set in Terminal.app preferences


To answer the one about how to get the beginning or end of the line, it appears that by default Terminal maps these keys to it:

  • shift+home → beginning of line, equivalent to the "home" key in normal terminals
  • shift+end → end of line, equivalent to the "end" key in normal terminals


If you want home and end to work the "normal" way (and not require shift), go to the Keyboard tab of the Terminal profile preferences:

[Terminal menu] → Preferences → Profiles tab (or settings on some versions of OS X) → Keyboard sub-tab

Then modify/add these keys to be the following "send string to shell". Use the code for your shell, Bash or Zsh.

macOS changed the default shell from Bash to Zsh in MacOS Catalina (v10.15) and later versions (BigSur and Monterey). The instructions are different for Bash and Zsh.


  • home: \001
  • end: \005

You can enter these codes in the edit dialog by pressing ctrl-A for /001 and ctrl-E for /005. Thanks to @JW for the Zsh information.

Another, unrelated, option to map home/end keys for MacOS Catalina (v10.15) and later versions (BigSur and Monterey) is to use bindkey widgets:

sudo echo 'bindkey "\033[H" beginning-of-line; bindkey "\033[F" end-of-line' >> ~/.zshrc


  • home: \033[H
  • end: \033[F

You can get the \033 part by hitting the escape key within the edit dialog input, if you need to add it.

In later versions of Mac OS X, if the terminal screen shifts up or down when you press the home/end key, the home key may need to be set to \033[1~ and the end key to \033[4~ to get the results you want (no shift needed).


Then home and end will work like normal again (phew).

Also note that "alt + ←" and "alt + →" by default in terminal map to word left and word right, another handy combo to remember.

Feel free to modify this answer to add more useful key bindings, as it is a community wiki.

  • 1
    Thank you, works perfectly with macOS Ventura 13.4 and bash 5.2 Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 14:54
  • Absolutely best answer, thank you!
    – CodeMonkey
    Commented Jul 29, 2023 at 0:08
  • 2
    For MacOS >= 14.2, you need to go to Settings > Profiles Keyboard > +, then choose the Home or End key as obvious, choose 'Send Text:' as the action and, most importantly, you will need to Copy/Paste the above \001 and \005 respectively as the text input will escape a backslash. Commented Jan 9 at 9:43
  • ^ just as @TomHamiltonStubber mentioned above that you need these combos... you can also just hit Control-A and Control-E when creating the new mappings since that's what these values map to.
    – Ahi Tuna
    Commented Jul 16 at 14:37

It sounds like you are looking for some help using readline and bash, here is an insane list of keyboard stuff modified from: http://www.math.utah.edu/docs/info/features_7.html#SEC45

Ctrla Move to the start of the line.
Ctrle Move to the end of the line.
Escf Move forward a word.
Escb Move backward a word.
Ctrll Clear the screen, reprinting the current line at the top.

Ctrlk Kill the text from the current cursor position to the end of the line.
Escd Kill from the cursor to the end of the current word, or if between words, to the end of the next word.
EscDel Kill from the cursor the start of the previous word, or if between words, to the start of the previous word.
Ctrlw Kill from the cursor to the previous whitespace. This is different than EscDelCtrla because the word boundaries differ.

Ctrld Delete the character underneath the cursor.
Ctrl_ Undo the last thing that you did. You can undo all the way back to an empty line.

And, here is how to yank the text back into the line. Yanking means to copy the most-recently-killed text from the kill buffer.

Ctrly Yank the most recently killed text back into the buffer at the cursor.
Escy Rotate the kill-ring, and yank the new top. You can only do this if the prior command is Ctrly or Escy.


Mapping home and end keys with your desired functionality will easily solve the problem.

Many answers have been posted, but in case you are using zsh, you can set home to:


and set end to:


by clicking preference - profile - keyboard.

  • 4
    I tried this as well but then it breaks Home and End in vim :( You can map them to what Alfredo Cardigliano suggested: Key: ↖ Action: \033OH Key: ↗ Action: \033OF Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 16:09
  • 1
    This worked perfectly for me! I only use Nano, so no issues here. Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 19:52
  • Yes, this is working, but not solve the problem in general. I moved from bash to zsh and I was used FN-SHIFT-LEFT/RIGHT.. this solved my problem: stackoverflow.com/questions/8638012/…
    – vlk
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 20:25

You can move one word at a time with option+left and option+right.

Regarding using home and end, Terminal's default bindings are the following:

  • shift+home → jump to beginning of line
  • shift+end → jump to end of line
  • home → scroll to top of scroll-back buffer
  • end → scroll to bottom of scroll-back buffer

In many other terminal apps (on multiple platforms), those modified and unmodified pairs are reversed (i.e. naked home and end are used to jump around the current line and the modified versions (whether by shift or something else) are used to navigate the scroll-back buffer). You can reverse Terminal's bindings to work that way if you wish by doing the following:

Go to Terminal menu → Preferences → Settings/Profile tab → Keyboard sub-tab.

Then modify the key–action pairs to be the following:

  • ↖︎: Send text: \033[H
  • ⇧↖︎: Scroll To Top
  • ↘︎: Send text: \033[F
  • ⇧↘︎: Scroll To Bottom

Note: \033 is entered into the text-to-be-sent box in the Edit dialog by pressing the escape key.

While there, you may want to similarly swap the bindings of modified and unmodified page up and page down, to keep things consistent: pressing a navigation key with shift represents a command to Terminal itself (to navigate the scroll-back buffer like a document), while pressing one without sends the key-press through to whatever's running within it (e.g. bash, less, nano, screen, etc.). The key–action pairs for that are:

  • ⇞: Send text: \033[5~
  • ⇧⇞: Scroll Page Up
  • ⇟: Send text: \033[6~
  • ⇧⇟: Scroll Page Down

For those that prefer to use the arrow keys, hitting fnShift+Left Arrow will take you home on the command line. Similarly, fnShift+Right Arrow will take you to the end.


This is the most effective way to make it work also with vim. Go to Terminal -> Preferences -> Profiles -> Keyboard and add:

Key: ↖ Action: \033OH

Key: ↗ Action: \033OF


The other answers are great and more portable, but here's "the OS X way" for a regular keyboard (which is opposite of many other terminals). Try the following:

ShiftHome - Beginning of Line
ShiftEnd - End of Line

From http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/tech/macbits.html


I'd like to provide an alternative solution to this problem. This works great if you are a vi user. Vim Key Bindings in Terminal provides a way to use your terminal in a vim style. You can do this through typing set -o vi in terminal and feel free to put it in .bash_profile if you want. After this, your terminal is effectively a vim editor. You can use esc key to go into command mode and walk around in a vim way. For example, 0 gets you to the beginning and $ gets you to the end. You can also use I and A to go to the beginning and the end and go into editing mode right away. w and b let you move forward and backward by one word. And if you try to go into visual mode by pressing v, you will be given a vim editor and the text you have when you leave this editor will be executed in the terminal.

Be advised that this vim key binding will nullify all the hotkeys you learned from other answers.


here's the list in printable form, as desired :)


I also fixed a "bug" in the description. This is what you could originally read in the instructions:

ESC-d Kill from the cursor the start of the previous word, or if between words, to the start of the previous word.

This smells badly like a cut-and-paste mistake, since both partial sentences tell the very same thing. Telling from plain logic, first half must actually read "from the cursor to the start of the current word".


... what about jumping around by word? (ctrl-left and ctrl-right in windows)

# in ~/.inputrc
"\033[5C": forward-word
"\033[5D": backward-word

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