I'd like the title bar of Terminal to always show the directory I'm in. I don't want it shown in the prompt. I found some magic trick code online, and have this in my .tcshrc:

set prompt = "%B%m:%n %?====>%b "
alias cwdcmd 'echo -ne "\033]0;$cwd\007"'

It sort of works except for two things: 1) the cwd isn't shown in the title bar, and 2) the cwd along with some gibberish is printed at the command line. I figured maybe the quoting wasn't right, or some other syntax issue, but experimenting didn't lead to improvement.

For reasons unspecified, I must use tcsh not bash. The latter, I can get working fine.

  • What escape sequences do you use with bash? The ESC ] 0 is for xterm, which I do not believe Terminal.app supports. Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 21:44
  • Yes, Terminal does support the Operating System Command (OSC) escape sequence (ESC ] Ps; Pt BEL) for setting the window/tab title. In Lion, it also now lets you set the tab title independently of the window title.
    – Chris Page
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 7:00

3 Answers 3


This is what I have in my .cshrc

alias cwdcmd 'printf "\033]1;%s\007\033]2;%s\007" "$cwd:t" "$HOST echo $cwd | sed s-$HOME-~-" '

It does some additional stuff for iTerm, which I use instead of Termial, but seems to work fine there as well.

  • I suspect the "echo" and "sed" aren't supposed to show literally, but they do. No matter; if I chop them out I still get what I want to show. It works!
    – DarenW
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 23:35

This is the prompt I use in tcsh. It sets the window title to the full path (which as Chris Page answered, gains extra functionality in Lion). The prompt itself is essentially [$HOST:$PWD] $USER% using tcsh % syntax.

set prompt = '%{\e]2;%~\a%}%S[%m:%c3] %n%#%s '

As of Mac OS X Lion 10.7, Terminal now supports displaying the working directory using the standard window "proxy" icon. This is enabled by default for bash (the default shell). See /etc/bashrc for the relevant code.

This enables several behaviors, such as the ability to create a new terminal in the same directory (by default, New Tab will do so, and you can enable it when creating a new window), and restoring the working directory when quitting/restarting Terminal (for Resume). It also enables restoring working directories when opening Window Groups.

As a convenience, if you have your shell configured to put the working directory path in the window (or tab) title, Terminal will check whether the title contains a valid local path and provide some of the same behaviors automatically (although it won't restore the working directory for Resume).

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