Scott Hanselman

How to use, open, resize, and split Panes in the Windows Terminal

September 29, 2020 Comment on this post [4] Posted in Win10
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My love and appreciate for the new open-source Windows Terminal is well-documented. I enjoy customizing the Windows Terminal with a nice prompt.

The Terminal of course has Tabs so you can open many different shells at once within a terminal instance, often I want to do things like Split Screen/Split Pane. "Use Tmux!" you might shout, and that's a valid thing to yell if I was only living in Linux (using WSL2). There are several multi-pane options to choose from within a shell using something like tmux.

However, the Windows Terminal supports a multi-pane view at the Terminal-level, regardless of shell!

There's great docs on setting up hotkeys for this, and you should.

The best way to get started with ZERO setup is to click the main Dropdown in Windows Terminal and hold down the ALT key while you click on a shell!

Below you can see Ubuntu/WSL2 on the left running htop, while on the right I'm running PowerShell 7 (powered by .NET Core) and sitting in my podcast's source code directory.

MultiPane Windows Terminal

I'll then click the dropdown, hold ALT, and click on the Visual Studio Developer Command Prompt that I've added to the menu. I'm doing this while Ubuntu is the focused pane.

My Windows Terminal Menu

And the result:

Three panes in Windows Terminal

Now you can see the VS2019 prompt in the lower left corner. With hotkeys I can control where panes open.

I can even navigate between pans with the ALT key and my arrow keys! Even better, SHIFT+ALT and the arrow keys will resize them!

Resized my Terminal Panes

Go spend some time learning about Panes in Windows Terminal and let me know how it goes for you! It's gonna make your command line life so much better!

ACTION: Finally, please take a moment and subscribe to my YouTube or head over to http://computerstufftheydidntteachyou.com and explore! I'd love to hit 100k subs over there. I heard they give snacks.


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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October 07, 2020 14:28
Thanks for sharing Scott! Little tips like this end up being huge time savers!
October 07, 2020 16:13
Scott, please pass to the Terminators (Terminal devs?) to have a feature where I can have a few smaller sized terminals along one edge and the focused one at a larger sized. When I switch it will enlarge the new focused one and shrink the old focused to the edge. That way I can still keep an eye on multiple instances and don't have resize.
Thanks!
October 09, 2020 13:39
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October 10, 2020 18:31
I use Windows Terminal all the time. It's great. Thanks for this tip.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.