I set CtrlW as a shortcut for all applications in the System Preferences => Keyboard => Shortcuts.

They are working in many apps (like Safari), but not in Terminal and in Finder.

Is CtrlW a system shortcut?

I shouldn't have conflicts with other shortcuts with the same combination of keys, the yellow warning triangle is not shown.

1 Answer 1


ControlW is an assigned shortcut in Bash. Notice, I said, Bash and not "Terminal" - basically it's present across all systems from Linux, BSD, macOS and Unix.

ControlW is "delete word." It's similar to the ⌫ Delete (aka Backspace) except it deletes an entire word.

For more info on keyboard shortcuts see: https://ss64.com/bash/syntax-keyboard.html

  • Thank you. Do you think is it possible to override the Bash shortcuts? If it is, do you think it would be a bad practise? Jun 28, 2018 at 13:06
  • 1
    I wouldn't. Remember the shell is just a "window" or "portal" to send commands to the OS. It's expecting certain control or escape sequences to perform different functions (i.e. Ctrl-G is the bell). Reassigning it might have undesired consequences.
    – Allan
    Jun 28, 2018 at 13:21

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