I recently installed iTerm on both my Mac Pro & MacBook Pro and the text selection behavior is different on both the machines.

Consider the following line in terminal:

/Users/user/basic/Libraries/A/B/c.h:282:17: .fish = @"FISH",

Double clicking on "Users" can result in the two possible behaviors:

  1. selects "/Users/user/basic/Libraries/A/B/c.h"
  2. selects "Users"

The behavior is as follows:

  • Terminal: 2 (both Mac Pro & MacBook Pro)
  • iTerm: 1 (MacBook Pro), 2 (Mac Pro)

I am not sure what I am doing on the two different machines. All my configuration files are the same. The actual iTerm configuration is practically untouched.

What setting is responsible for this? I really want behavior #1 on my Mac Pro as well.

Edit 1: I have already looked at Smart Selection and I don't see any difference in settings.

  • Also, the behavior is #1 in TextMate, Sublime Text, BBEdit, Xcode, Visual Studio Code… virtually every development tool on macOS. It's cool that iTerm2 has some fresh UI ideas that it wants to provide, but it's not cool that it makes them the default, and doesn't provide a simple checkbox to turn them off, reverting to standard macOS dev tool behavior. Aug 29, 2019 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


Alright I solved this. Somehow, this setting was missing in iTerm on my MacBook Pro.

iTerm Settings

  • 2
    You, sir, have solved the very question that has been nagging me for a long, long time!
    – TCSGrad
    Sep 13, 2018 at 21:28
  • 3
    Maybe because the link to the image is dead, I cannot see it. I found an option "Double click performs smart selection" in iterm -> preferences -> pointer. That solved my problem. It seems the default is '4 successive clicks to perform smart selection'
    – fstang
    Jul 5, 2019 at 14:15
  • 1
    @fstang That looks like the real solution, combined with the Smart Selection Rules under Preferences → Profiles → «a profile» → Advanced. Please post this as an answer and I'll happily upvote you. Aug 29, 2019 at 11:50

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