Customizing Your Mac Terminal for Productivity

The Mac Terminal is a powerful tool for developers and power users alike. It allows you to interact with your computer using text commands, giving you a level of control and customization that can greatly enhance your productivity. In this article, we'll explore some ways you can customize your Mac Terminal to make it work better for you.

1. Choose a Better Terminal Emulator

While the default Terminal app on macOS gets the job done, there are alternative terminal emulators available that offer more features and customization options. One popular option is iTerm2, which provides a sleek interface and a plethora of useful features like split panes, hotkey navigation, and customizable keyboard shortcuts. Consider giving it a try and see if it suits your needs better.

2. Use a Custom Theme

Customizing the appearance of your terminal can make it more visually appealing and easier to use. Most terminal emulators allow you to choose from a variety of color schemes or create your own. You can find a plethora of themes on websites like or GitHub. Experiment with different themes until you find one that is easy on the eyes and suits your workflow.

3. Customize the Prompt

The prompt is the text that appears before you can input commands. By customizing the prompt, you can display information that is relevant to your workflow and make it easier to navigate through your terminal sessions. One popular tool for customizing the prompt is Oh My Zsh, which provides a framework for managing your Zsh configuration and comes with a wide range of themes and plugins.

4. Create Aliases and Shortcuts

If you frequently use long and complex commands, creating aliases can save you time and effort. Aliases allow you to assign a shorter name or keyword to a longer command, making it easier to remember and type. For example, you can create an alias that maps git push origin master to gpom. Additionally, many terminal emulators allow you to define custom keyboard shortcuts for commonly used commands. Take advantage of these features to streamline your workflow and save time.

5. Install Productivity Tools

There are many command-line tools available that can help boost your productivity. Here are a few examples:

  • tmux - a terminal multiplexer that allows you to split your terminal into multiple panes and manage multiple sessions.
  • fzf - a powerful command-line fuzzy finder that makes it easy to search for files, directories, and even command history.
  • htop - a more powerful alternative to the default top command, providing a better overview of system processes and resource usage.
  • thefuck - a hilarious but useful tool that corrects your previous command, saving you from retyping or editing.

Explore these tools and others to find ones that align with your workflow and make your life easier.


Customizing your Mac Terminal can greatly enhance your productivity and make your development or administrative tasks more enjoyable. Whether it's changing the appearance with a custom theme, customizing the prompt, creating aliases, or installing productivity tools, take the time to customize your terminal to fit your needs. Experiment with different options and find what works best for you. Happy coding!

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