Posts Tagged With ‘tools&8217

Microsoft Terminal

This is another relatively new open source tool from Microsoft. I absolutely love it and can’t work without it. It is not exactly a terminal but provides tabs to open different terminals installed on Windows. It supports Windows console, PowerShell, all installed distributions in WSL, and Azure in a single window. If you work with embedded systems, use multiple build servers, or multiple remote machines this is a must to have tool.

This is how the Microsoft Terminal looks likes:

Customizing Profiles

Microsoft terminal has concept of profiles corresponding to each type of console it can open. By default it will detect and enable all detected consoles: Windows command prompt, PowerShell, Azure Cloud Shell, and all WSL distributions. If you don’t need to use a console, then it is possible to hide them from the Settings JSON by toggling the hidden key to false. It is also possible to change the name terminal shows in the tab list. The full set of settings provided for profiles are available at

Color Schemes

Microsoft terminal offers some color schemes out of the box and it is possible to create our own or customize an existing scheme by editing the JSON file. The documentation for color schemes is located at I am happy with the default color scheme but if you like to change, there are tons of color schemes available from

Keyboard Shortcuts

Working with terminal is pretty useless without using keyboard short cuts and Microsoft terminal allows to bind keyboard shortcuts for almost all tasks. The full documentation is located at The keyboard shortcuts are called actions and there are two types: without arguments and with arguments. Some of the important short cuts that I use are:

        { "command": { "action": "splitPane", "split": "auto", "splitMode": "duplicate" }, "keys": "alt+shift+d" },
        { "command": "commandPalette", "keys": "ctrl+shift+p" },
        { "command": "toggleFullscreen", "keys": "ctrl+enter" },
        { "command": "openNewTabDropdown", "keys": "ctrl+space" },
        { "command": "openSettings", "keys": "ctrl+," },
        { "command": "duplicateTab", "keys": "ctrl+shift+d" },
        { "command": "closePane", "keys": "ctrl+w" },
        { "command": { "action": "moveFocus", "direction": "down" }, "keys": "alt+down" },
        { "command": { "action": "moveFocus", "direction": "left" }, "keys": "alt+left" },
        { "command": { "action": "moveFocus", "direction": "right" }, "keys": "alt+right" },
        { "command": { "action": "moveFocus", "direction": "up" }, "keys": "alt+up" },
        { "command": { "action": "moveFocus", "direction": "previous" }, "keys": "ctrl+alt+left" }

The most interesting of these shortcuts is the command palette. It can be launched from the default key bindings of Control + Shift + P. It can search and execute any command available in the terminal.

Goodbye Launchy!

I have been using Launchy for last 15 years since it was first released in 2005. I has been an awesome companion since then and saved me tons of time. Simple press Alt + Space and enter the name of the program you want execute and voila! It allowed skins and specifying directories to include in search and filter the folders based on extensions. Launchy had everything I could have asked. However, it doesn’t work with Windows 10 store apps and it was last updated in 2010 so there are no new updated or patches since then.

Recently, Microsoft released Power Toys as opensource tool on Github. One of the included tools is PowerToys Run. It has the same core functions plus more other added goodies such as “Open containing folder”, “Run as administrator”, and “Open path in console” which I fund quite useful. My only complaint with PowerToys Run is that it doesn’t allow customs paths and instead uses Windows Search Index.