I recently discovered that sending \033[5D and \033[5C sends the character to move a full word at a time, making mac os x terminal almost as awesome as the default ubuntu and debian terminals.

So then, the one thing I'm missing is: the control key to bind option-delete and option-backspace to deletion of full words.

  1. Select "Preferences..." from the Menu "Terminal"
  2. go into "Settings" and select your default window configuration, go into the tab "Keyboard"
  3. Have a look at all keybindings, (eg. forward delete is bound to \033[3~ ) and note you can change them by double clicking (thats easier to use than bind in your ~/.bash_profile).

If you choose to use as meta-key, +backspace will work immediately, though this setup might break special characters you can only input by pressing together with them (depending on your keyboard layout). If you don´t use that, you can delete by pressing esc and than backspace.

For forward-deleting a whole word, use either +D or esc and than D.


ctrl+W will delete the previous word.

  • In the bare terminal, yes, but in emacs, it gets caught and has no effect. – Alex Feb 14 '11 at 20:38

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