Developers: Windows Terminal Preview 1.3 arrives with new 'command palette'

Windows Terminal users can test out a new command palette to search for commands in the application.

Microsoft Build 2020: All developers need to know

Microsoft's latest preview of the command line tool Windows Terminal, version 1.3, is now available for developers to test. 

As of June, Microsoft is releasing Windows Terminal as a more stable release and Windows Terminal Preview with the latest features and experiments. Both open-source developer applications are released monthly and can be installed from the Microsoft Store or from its GitHub releases page.

Microsoft released Windows Terminal 1.0 this May, a year after its first Windows Terminal Preview. The application caters to developers who use command line tools such as Command Prompt, PowerShell, Azure Cloud Shell and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) distributions. Windows Terminal tabs allow users to run multiple command-line tools from a single window with loads of options to customise the experience. 

SEE: Hiring Kit: Python developer (TechRepublic Premium)

Windows Terminal Preview 1.3 introduces the 'command palette', a feature that lets users search through every command available in Windows Terminal, mirroring a similar feature in Microsoft's code editor, Visual Studio Code or VS Code.

Developers can bring up command palette by keying Ctrl+Shift+P and can change that key binding to another key combination if they want. 

The command palette's two modes include 'Action mode' and 'Command line mode'. Action mode is the default and lists all of Windows Terminal commands, while Command line mode requires typing > followed by any 'wt' command.

Microsoft has detailed how the command palette for Windows terminal works in a newly posted document for developers.  

There's a new 'advanced tab switcher' to make it easier to move between tabs that are handling WSL, PowerShell and so on. 

"This is enabled by default with the useTabSwitcher global setting. When enabled, the nextTab and prevTab commands will use the tab switcher. By default, these keyboard shortcuts are Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab, respectively," explains Kayla Cinnamon, a program manager for Windows Terminal

SEE: Microsoft to developers: These are our biggest and best open-source projects

The Windows Terminal team is experimenting with some new commands that can be added to users' key bindings in the settings.json file via wt.exe command line arguments with key bindings. It can be done with the 'wt' command.  

Also, open-source contributors have pushed through a feature that lets users send input into the shell via a keyboard shortcut with a 'sendInput' command. 

And a new Tab search feature caters to people who open loads of tabs. According to Cinnamon, it's a "life saver" that lets users search through tabs in a new search box after using the tabSearch command.