What Are Some Cool Tricks with Mac Terminal?

What Are Some Cool Tricks with Mac Terminal?


The Mac Terminal is a powerful command-line interface that can be used to perform a variety of tasks on your Mac. It’s a great way to become familiar with the Unix operating system and to perform advanced tasks quickly and easily. With the right commands, you can do some really cool tricks with the Mac Terminal.

1. Make a command alias

Creating an alias for a command in Terminal can be a great way of saving time and being more efficient when using the terminal. Creating an alias names shortcut commands, making it easier to execute commands without having to re-type complex code. For example, we can create an alias called ‘surf’ that opens medium.com; instead of having to type ‘open medium.com’ or remember the web address each time, the user can just type ‘surf.’ To create this alias, the user needs to open their .bash_profile file by typing ‘vi .bash_profile’.

Once the .bash_profile file is open, they need to add a line of code with ‘alias surf”open medium.com”’ where ‘surf’ would become the new term for ‘open medium.com’ From that point forward all it takes is typing out ‘surf’ and hitting enter in order to quickly access the website’s homepage–saving precious seconds! Working within Terminal and creating aliases can be incredibly useful; its almost like creating shortcuts within your computer!

2. Show Your Command History

The ‘history’ command is a quick and easy way to view your Terminal command history. This command allows the user to view a list of all previously entered commands in the terminal, giving an overview of activity and allowing them to quickly access any forgotten or rarely used commands. The list shows commands in chronological order and can be accessed without leaving the current window.

The advantage of this command is that it saves time for users who have to occasionally remember a specific command as they can easily review past entries and find what they need. It can also be useful for debugging errors, as it provides transparency into which commands were recently used and when they were executed. Moreover, by utilizing options such as searching or filtering, users can narrow down their search results. Ultimately, having insight into your Terminal history will increase efficiency by helping you quickly access frequently used commands or track previous Terminal activity.

3. Show Hidden Files and Folders

Showing hidden files and folders can be a useful tool for managing your computer files, but you need to be careful. This can be done by using the two commands “defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE” and “killall Finder” in terminal. Though it may be tempting to delete any files or folders that look suspicious, it’s important to remember why they are hidden in the first place. Many system files are hidden as they are sensitive and if altered, could result in all sorts of problems with your computer. So make sure never to delete anything you are uncertain about before researching what it is, so that you don’t accidentally damage your computer or system.

It is just as easy to turn off the Show Hidden Files feature if needed by simply running the same two commands substituting FALSE instead of TRUE. However this doesn’t mean you should show all of your private hideaways; some files may also remain hidden from view so use caution even after disabling this setting. After all, these were hidden for a reason!

4. Download Without Browser

Terminal can be used as an alternative way to download files without the use of a browser. Before downloading with Terminal, it is important to pay attention to the location where they will end up in. By default, it will download the file into the directory you are currently at and unless changed, that is where it will stay. Therefore if you want your downloads to end up in a separate folder such as the Downloads folder, it is important to change directory there before attempting to download anything.

To do this, cURL -O should be used followed by the URL of the file type you wish to download. Upon completion of the command, the image should now appear in your current working directory or any other designated path which was set prior.

5. Keep Your Mac Awake

The ability to keep your Mac awake is an important feature in modern technology. It helps you stay alert and productive by preventing the computer from going into sleep mode. Keeping your Mac awake is easy, all you need to do is enter ‘caffeinate’ into the command line. This will prevent your machine from entering sleep mode until you manually enter ‘Ctrl-C’. You can also use the ‘caffeinate -u -t ‘ command to set up a timer for how long you want your system to stay active. For instance, if you wanted to keep it awake for 10 minutes (600 seconds) then you would use ‘caffeinate -u -t 600’. When this time has expired or been cancelled with Ctrl-C then your system will enter its normal sleep setting.

Keeping your Mac awake doesn’t have to be tedious, being able to quickly start and end caffeination within just seconds allows for productivity whether it’s only needed briefly or over a longer timespan. This function is incredibly useful and most Mac users can benefit from understanding how it works and taking advantage of it when they need too.

6. Hold a key for character repetition

Holding down a key to repeat characters is an incredibly useful tool for typing quickly. Of course, it’s something commonplace that most of us don’t think twice about when using computers or keyboards. Thankfully, Apple makes it possible to enable repeat characters on Macs through the use of Terminal. By simply running a command line with the text “defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false” one can easily turn the feature on and off as needed.

It can be really convenient have this toggle switch – and best of all, it allows users to tailor their experience to their preferences while still maintaining efficient workflow habits. For those who prefer holding a key in order to type out multiple characters at once, having this ability unlocks productivity. Moreover, disabling the feature allows for only single characters to be printed instead – potentially helpful for avoiding typos due to moments of over eagerness! All in all, having access to on/off toggle for repeating characters is fantastic choice for Mac users everywhere!

7. Make Your Mac Speak

Making your Mac speak is an easy and fun way to make your computer stand out from the crowd. The say command is a simple yet powerful way to make your Mac come alive. All you need to do is type say followed by what you want it to say, and the voice synthesizer will transform it into lucid speech.

The quality of speech produced by this command varies depending on which version of macOS you are running, as newer versions tend to produce audio with more clarity and better intonation than older software. You also have the choice between various voices, ranging from child-like innocents or robotic monotones. As a result, you can customize the voice coming out of your Mac according to your needs or preferences. You can turn any phrase into an audio experience that is sure to grab attention!

8. Easily modify the message displayed on your Mac login screen

The login screen is the first thing that greets you when you boot up your Mac, and it can be a good reminder to yourself or others of some important information. By utilizing a few simple terminal commands, you can easily customize this message and add anything you’d like. It could be something as simple as your phone number so that friends and family can get in touch with you, or a longer quote or saying to motivate yourself throughout the day. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Adding an interesting custom message to your login screen is an easy and fun way to personalize your Mac. You don’t need any advanced experience with the terminal to do this, simply copy and paste the command into the Terminal application, type in whatever message you want it to say, then save it. It’s that simple! Having a clever phrase greet you every time you turn on your computer will make using it more enjoyable, especially if what it says brings a smile every now and then.

9. Disable drop shadows on a screenshot

Taking a screenshot of your screen can be helpful if you want to share what’s happening on your device with someone else. In order to do this, Mac users usually use the Command-Shift-4 (⌘+⇧+4) and Spacebar combination, which captures the current window and adds a drop shadow effect. While the drop shadow provides visual cues for the edges of the captured image, it may not always be ideal depending on the situation.

Fortunately, Mac users have the option of disabling this feature by using a simple command in their terminal. To do this, simply enter ‘defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool TRUE’, followed by ‘killall SystemUIServer’. This will turn off all drop shadows from any screenshots taken using Command-Shift-4 and Spacebar, leaving only a clean image without any unneeded visual effects. As long as you remember the command above, you can easily adjust your settings whenever needed regardless of whether you prefer to capture screenshots with or without shadows.

10. One can view the contents of a file without having to open it

The command “cat” is a useful tool in Terminal to view the contents of a file without actually opening it. This is helpful if you need to quickly check what’s inside a file, but don’t want to commit to opening it. To use this command use the syntax “cat “, replacing with the location of your desired file. This could be an absolute path or a relative path based on your current directory. For example, if you have a python file called example.py in your current directory and you wish to check its contents with Terminal, just type “cat example.py”. The contents of the file will then appear in your Terminal window so that you can examine them quickly and easily without having to go through the whole process of actually opening it up.

The cat command also works on multiple files if needed – just specify more than one filename when calling the command and the content of each is printed consecutively in the terminal window.