I am so used to using D to "delete-next-word" in emacs and xterm, that I automatically hit it in Terminal all the time, which rather annoyingly (to me, at least) causes the pane to split instead. I've tried to google solutions, but all I get are hits telling me what a neat feature this is.

I could just use XTerm under X11, but Terminal plays more nicely with some of my favorite Mac utilities (notably Divvy). I've tried iTerm2, but at best I can get it to ignore D, not actually erase the word.

Any ideas?


3 Answers 3


Switch to iTerm2. It's free and sooo much nicer than plain old terminal. Also it has a lot more options for customization, like keyboard shortcuts.

Also I love that you can use cmd and 1-9 to switch between tabs. Try it and you will never go back to regular terminal :)

How to set up delete next word in iTerm 2

  1. Install iTerm2
  2. Launch and then go to preference pane.
  3. Choose the "Keys" tab

  4. Click on the plus button to add a new keyboard shortcut

  5. In the first box type CMD+D
  6. In the second box choose "Send Escape Sequence"
  7. In the third box type the letter d

Voila! Now in iTerm2 cmd+d will delete the word in front of the cursor.

See also https://stackoverflow.com/questions/81272/is-there-any-way-in-the-os-x-terminal-to-move-the-cursor-word-by-word/8250989#8250989


I don't know how to bind D to M-d, but this would remove the shortcut of the Split Pane menu bar item:

defaults write com.apple.Terminal NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "Split Pane" nul
  • Hmm, this disables the shortcut for split pane, but it doesn't seem to delete the word Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 15:16

You can get 'meta-' in terminal using either 'escape' as a prefix, or using opt/alt as a shift key. I've not been able to find a way to use the command key, and none of my searches have turned up anything (with the exception of installing a key mapper); just the same complaint.

  • Install a key mapper to swap Option and Command in Terminal, then enable "Use Option as meta key".
    – Chris Page
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 18:52

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