Git for Everyone

Pimp your Terminal

The first step to making the Terminal easier to use it to make it easier to look at and work with. The Terminal's application preferences give us some things to start with:


If you are new to Terminal, on the Startup tab, there isn't much you should really touch there.

The 'Settings' tab

  • Under Profiles select the theme that would like to use
  • Be sure to click the default button at the bottom so that this becomes your default theme when opening a new Terminal session

The 'Text' sub-tab

Font: You want to update this to your preference. Monaco 14pt is a great looking font IMHO. Characters are distinct and are difficult to confuse, which is important.

Text: Check and uncheck these options until the terminal looks good to you. Personally, I like to have the following checked:

  • Antialias text
  • Use bold fonts
  • Allow blinking text
  • Display ANSI colors

To the right of Antialias text is a color well, I suggest changing this to a color you prefer.

ANSI Colors: For the inexperienced users I suggest leaving those alone.

Cursor: Select a style of cursor you like and if you want it to blink or not and you can change the cursor color.

Not sure what it is, but developers for some reason really like to tweak out their Terminal to look like old skool green screen terminal computers. Myself, my first computer screen was amber, so I have a nostalgic connection to this and an amber screen has been claimed to give improved ergonomics, specifically by reducing eye strain. There is no proof to this, but who needs science?

The 'Window' sub-tab

Title: This is what will appear in the gray bar at the top of the Terminal window. The checkboxes below, with a terminal window open, check/uncheck these options to see if they are of any value to you.

Background: This is the fun one. Click on the color well for Color & Effects. This is where you can set your background to a color and adjust the transparency. There is a feature to set a background image, but this tends to be really distracting.

Window size: This will set the default new open window size.

And that is it for here. At this point, you should have a Terminal window that is looking pretty cool and makes you feel a little but more comfortable working with it.