Microsoft brings 'quake mode' to Windows Terminal

Microsoft adds quake mode to Windows Terminal and introduces italics to its Cascadia Code font.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has released a new preview version of its Windows Terminal for running command-line applications with a new Quake mode feature. 

The update for Windows Terminal comes as Microsoft's Build 2021 conference wraps up and marks the two-year anniversary of its open-source terminal application for developers who use Command Prompt, PowerShell, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). 

Version 1.9 of the Windows Terminal Preview introduces "quake mode", which allows users to fire up a new terminal instance from anywhere in Windows by typing the shortcut Win + `. It can be dismissed with the same shortcut. The terminal is 'snapped' to the top half of the monitor and can only be resized from the bottom. 

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With this version of Windows Terminal Preview, users can set it as the default emulator on Windows, allowing any command line application to launch inside the user's selected terminal emulator. For example, double clicking on PowerShell will automatically open it inside Windows Terminal Preview. 

The new default emulator setting is in the just-released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21390 for Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. The setting can be found inside the console property sheet and is in the settings UI in Windows Terminal Preview.

Microsoft has also created an italic version of its Cascadia Code font that it developed just for Windows Terminal. The font can be downloaded from GitHub. The Windows Terminal team are also adding Arabic and Hebrew characters to Cascadia Code in mid-June. 

Customizing keyboard shortcuts should be easier now with the ability to edit existing actions from the Actions page inside the settings UI. There's also a new page in the settings UI for creating a new profile with the option to start a new profile or duplicate an existing one. And there's new preview window that let's users check the look of their profile as they're making it. 

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The Windows 10 Insider Preview build 21390 release brings Microsoft's Fluent design to Task Manager and MSI installers icons. 

There are several bug fixes too, including a bug causing the 'news and interest' taskbar widget to appear blurry on some resolutions and scaling factors. It also fixes a dark mode glitch that caused the text in the File Explorer search box to be black on a black aground. Microsoft is still trying to fix a similar text coloring issue affecting Search in the task bar. 

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