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Tab Switching in Terminal

If you’re like me then you no longer use multiple windows in at all, relying on tabs in a single window instead. Unfortunately this makes the hotkeys for switching between windows somewhat useless, so I did this SIMBL plug-in a while ago to change ⌘1-9 to switch between the tabs in the current window instead. I completely forgot to post it, but you can now download it here. See this post for how to install.

44 Responses to “Tab Switching in Terminal”

  1. on 10 Dec 2007 at 10:02 pmJason

    Very nice. I’ll be using tabs more in Terminal now.

    I use these shortcut keys all the time in Firefox to switch tabs. Does anyone know if there is anything similar for Safari?

  2. on 10 Dec 2007 at 11:00 pmMatt

    Sadly, Safari’s annoying because cmd-1 – 9 selects the pages from your bookmarks toolbar.

    I also wish that there was a standard for tab switching. Safari use cmd-shift-{, Adium uses cmd-left, TextMate uses cmd-opt-left

  3. on 11 Dec 2007 at 3:09 amVidyut Luther

    Matt, just an fyi.. in Adium you can use cmd1-9 as well.

  4. on 11 Dec 2007 at 7:01 amvesan

    Matt, I also hope for a standard.

    While waiting it to emerge, you can change those keycombos from system preferences – keyboard and mouse.

  5. on 11 Dec 2007 at 8:40 pmmkb

    I am always surprised when I read about people using tabs for terminal windows, either in Apple’s Terminal or in iTerm. Serious command-line users that don’t know about GNU Screen need to try it out. I can’t imagine switching terminal sessions any other way now.

  6. on 12 Dec 2007 at 2:07 ammiha

    Ciarán, you rock :D

  7. on 13 Dec 2007 at 8:58 pmYi Qiang

    This is fricking fantastic, thanks!

  8. on 18 Dec 2007 at 12:47 amMichael Granger

    You can also cycle tabs left and right in with ⌘{ and ⌘} (listed in the Window menu), or (my preference) ⌘⇧← and ⌘⇧→.

  9. on 20 Dec 2007 at 10:16 pmethanm

    This is great, thank you. Now has everything I want except 256 color support, which I can live without. I don’t suppose you’ve seen anything that does this same thing for iChat?

  10. [...] to ‘drop in’ is sweet but most of us need more than one terminal at a time. No problem. Add tab support to your terminal. [...]

  11. on 29 Jan 2008 at 10:56 pmYi Qiang

    As a follow-up, is there anyway to make a similar plugin for Safari?

  12. on 10 Feb 2008 at 8:48 pmAlejandro

    Is Tab Switching supposed to work on Terminal 1.5? I’m currently using Tiger and it doesn’t work. It says it has not been tested (the SIMBL bundle) on my version on Terminal. I tried to ignore that message, but I don’t get the Tab view option in Terminal preferences.

  13. on 12 Feb 2008 at 2:39 amGeorge

    Great plugin, something the Terminal desperately needed…

    But it won’t load on 10.5.2 that’s just been released. Can you issue an update? Much thanks.

  14. on 12 Feb 2008 at 10:59 pmRyan McGeary

    @George et al, To get this working after the 10.5.2 update, just “Show Package Contents” on the TerminalTabSwitching.bundle, and navigate to Contents/Info.plist. Edit the Info.plist file and change SIMBLTargetApplications/0/MaxBundleVersion to 240 (the old value was 237). This number corresponds to the Terminal build number.

  15. [...] Terminal Tab Switching – Original Post [...]

  16. on 20 Feb 2008 at 6:51 pmHarry

    Great plugin! But: If you switch place of e.g. tab 3 and 4, they still match their old number. I.e., Cmd-3 switches to what is now tab 4. Could that be fixed?

  17. on 02 Mar 2008 at 8:47 pmlypanov

    finally i can ditch iterm (i’d love to use it… but cpu usage is just horrific, and it crashes all the damn time)! great work!

  18. on 06 Mar 2008 at 7:28 amAdam

    I don’t supposed you’d be willing to share the source-code for your bundle??

  19. on 01 Aug 2008 at 7:52 pmCody

    @chris – I agree that having to using an unsupported SIMBL is not ideal, however iTerm has a horrible bug in that it cannot buffer that much text and it hangs up and often crashes.

    Replicate: tail -f a big log file that goes by, scroll up a little bit to halt the screen from constantly going down and following the text (example – you are perusing a specific log line) and boom, iTerm hangs and might or might not crash.

  20. [...] [...]

  21. on 04 Dec 2008 at 12:08 amdm

    Thanks! This is really helpful!

  22. [...] Terminal não permite que você acesse uma aba diretamente. Com o bundle Terminal Tab Switching, basta pressionar Command + [1-9] para ir diretamente para a aba [...]

  23. on 30 Apr 2009 at 5:30 pmCarl Mercier

    For the same thing in Safari, get Safari Commander:

  24. on 24 May 2009 at 6:28 pmPimping Terminal @ Roberto Carvajal

    [...] Tab Switching in Terminal [...]

  25. on 27 May 2009 at 10:04 pmTwitted by jezdez

    [...] This post was Twitted by jezdez – [...]

  26. on 27 May 2009 at 10:17 pmAndreas

    You can also click links in with cmd shift double click

  27. [...] Eine der Schwachstellen ist klar die fehlende Shortcuts-Funktion für einen Tab-Wechsel innerhalb dem Apple Terminal. Wer weiterhin das Apple Terminal verwenden will findet mit auf Ciaran Walshs Blog ein SIMBL Plugin namens TerminalTabSwitching. [...]

  28. on 21 Aug 2009 at 4:54 pmCarl Mercier

    This no longer works in Snow Leopard. Is there a work around?

  29. on 28 Aug 2009 at 2:23 pmRenato Ornelas

    To work on Snow Leopard you have to bump version number on the bundle’s Info.plist to 272 and run on 32bit mode (there’s a checkbox on the Get Info window)

  30. on 01 Sep 2009 at 12:40 amCarl Mercier


    It worked, thanks! I just hope there will be something like SIMBL for 64 bit apps now.

  31. on 09 Sep 2009 at 11:05 amBernhard Fürst

    SIMBL for 64bit is available (v0.9.2 and greater).

    I did not get Tab Switching running using v0.9.4b though ( running in 32bit mode) so I stepped back to SIMBL v0.8.2 which works.

    Would be nice to have the Tab Switching plugin converted to 64bit!

  32. on 10 Sep 2009 at 1:03 amCody Caughlan

    A 64-bit version would be great.

  33. on 21 Sep 2009 at 2:22 pmMatt Behrens

    Second for 64-bit version. Now that SIMBL + Visor are all 64-bit, this is the only thing holding me back!

  34. on 01 Oct 2009 at 4:55 pmConfluence: Bing Zou

    Keyboard shortcut to switch between tabs in on Mac…

    Use Command Shift < or Command Shift > Thanks to comments at…

  35. on 20 Oct 2009 at 10:45 amChris McGrath

    It’s trivial to grab the source and compile as 64 bit for 10.6. I’ve pushed what I used to my fork @ The Info.plist is now lying about the minimum terminal version, so don’t try and use on leopard :)



  36. on 20 Oct 2009 at 1:53 pmRenato Ornelas

    @Chris McGrath,

    There’s something wrong when running on 64bit mode…

    I can only change tabs after I select another program and changing back to… I’ve put some debug on xcode and updateTabListMenu isn’t being called on new tab creation…

    Did you get the same behavior?

  37. on 20 Oct 2009 at 10:47 pmAlex

    I made a tiny patch for 64-bit support and fix new tab bug.

  38. [...] Terminal – with Ciarán’s terminal tab switching bundle [...]

  39. on 07 Dec 2009 at 1:54 amBen


    Patch’d version still isn’t working for me. Any suggestions?

  40. on 20 Jan 2010 at 10:19 pmDavid Backeus

    Any chance to get an explanation on how to compile the source?

    Best would be if someone could do it and just post the compiled version I suppose.

  41. on 21 Feb 2010 at 12:28 amBen

    I compiled this for Snow Leopard, you can download it here:

  42. [...] [...]

  43. [...] Ciarán Walsh?s Blog Tab Switching in Terminal – The plugin. Read the original here: Cycle Terminal Tabs with Numbers [...]

  44. on 11 Mar 2010 at 4:51 amDaily Review #52 | The Queue Blog

    [...] Cmd+[1-9] Tabbing in Terminal – nuff said. [...]

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