$ I want to be able to tab from the start of one word to the next in this line, but how?

usually if I paste something in the input line then want to change something in the start or middle, I have to press the left arrow for a long time, is there a faster way to do this?

  • What version of Mac OS X are you running? What works in Terminal from, say, Mountain Lion doesn't always work in, say, Panther or Tiger. – Daniel Feb 16 '13 at 21:07

Use option ⌥+ and option ⌥+. You will be able to step by one word.


You can also go to start of the line using control+A or to end of the line using control+E


If you check Preferences > Settings > Keyboard > Use option as meta key, you can also use ⌥B and ⌥F (and ⌥⌫ will delete a word backward).

Terminal's default settings also affect programs like vim and nano where M-f doesn't go a word forward. I have deleted them and added this to ~/.inputrc:

"\e\e[C": forward-word
"\e\e[D": backward-word

This would also make ⌥⌦ delete a word forward:

"\e(": kill-word

Press ESC then b or ESC then f to go back and forward respectively.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .