Windows Terminal picks up new features with version 1.2

Microsoft makes available a preview of the new features and improvements coming to the Windows Terminal in August.

Windows Terminal focus mode (source: Microsoft)
Windows Terminal focus mode (source: Microsoft)

The Windows Terminal app to run Command Prompt, PowerShell, and Linux commands on Windows 10 is receiving new features and improvements with version 1.2 (preview).

Starting with version 1.2, according to Microsoft, Windows Terminal now includes a new focus mode to hide the chrome and make the command experience front and center. The app is also introducing option to have the experience always on top of the screen, new binding commands, and font weights.

In addition, the company is showing the progress made to the Settings page that will soon be implemented in the Windows Terminal app.

Focus mode

In the Windows Terminal app, focus mode is a new feature that hides the title bar and tabs. You can enable focus mode by adding the toggleFocusMode key in the settings.json file.

// Key binding
{ "command": "toggleFocusMode", "keys": "shift+f11" }

Always on top mode

Also, you can now enable Windows Terminal to always be on top of the screen. You can use this feature using the alwaysOnTop global setting and a key binding with the toggleAlwaysOnTop command.

// Global setting
"alwaysOnTop": true
// Key binding 
{ "command": "toggleAlwaysOnTop", "keys": "alt+shift+tab" }

Key binding commands

In addition, Windows Terminal version 1.2 is introducing new key binding commands to add more flexibility when interacting with the app.

Set tab color — Using the setTabColor command, you can now set the color of your focused tab. (It accepts a color in hex format, for example #rgb or #rrggbb.)

// Key binding 

{ "command": { "action": "setTabColor", "color": "#ffffff" }, "keys": "ctrl+a" }

Open tab color picker — Using the openTabColorPicker command, it’s possible to open the tab color picker menu. If you want to color a tab with your mouse, you can right-click on the tab to access the color picker.

// Key binding 
{ "command": "openTabColorPicker", "keys": "ctrl+b" }

Rename tab — Using the renameTab command, you can now rename the tab to anything you want. Alternatively, you can right-click or double-click on the tab to rename it.

// Key binding 
{ "command": { "action": "renameTab", "title": "Foo" }, "keys": "ctrl+c" }

Toggle retro terminal effects – Using the toggleRetroEffect command, it’s possible to enable the retro terminal effects that add scanlines and a glow to the text. This enables the experimental.retroTerminalEffect profile setting.

// Key binding 
{ "command": "toggleRetroEffect", "keys": "ctrl+d" }

Font weight

In addition, Windows Terminal 1.2 introduces font weights for Cascadia Code, and you can enable these font weights using the fontWeight profile setting.

"fontWeight": "light"

Command palette update

It’s still under development, but you can now try the command palette adding the commandPalette command to your key bindings and invoke it using your keyboard.

// Key binding 
{ "command": "commandPalette", "keys": "ctrl+shift+p" }

Settings page

Microsoft has also been working to integrate a UI to customize the settings for Windows Terminal, and the screenshots below shows a glimpse of the current work that is expected to arrive in future updates.

Windows Terminal Settings UI (source: Microsoft)
Windows Terminal Settings UI (source: Microsoft)

In addition to these new features and changes, version 1.2 includes some other improvements, including up to 20 faster speed printing large amount of text with WSL. You can now run wt as an administrator from the Run command, and more.

These new changes are available now in preview, and they’re expected to arrive in the public release sometime in August 2020.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].