Windows Terminal gets new features with version 1.3

Microsoft pushes version 1.3 for its Windows Terminal app with tab improvements, command palette, and new commands.

Windows Terminal with tab color (source: Microsoft)
Windows Terminal with tab color (source: Microsoft)

Windows Terminal, the app to run PowerShell, Command Prompt, and Linux commands on Windows 10 picks up a few new features and changes with version 1.3. 

Starting with version 1.3, according to the software giant, in Windows Terminal there is a new command palette that allows you to search through the available commands. You can use the new tab switcher to navigate quickly between open tabs. It’s also possible to specify a tab color for each profile, and there are new commands.

Command search

In this release, there is a new command palette to search commands. You can invoke the command palette  using the Ctrl + Shift + P keyboard shortcut. Also, you can change the key binding by adding the commandPalette command to the keybindings array in the settings.json file.

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

The command palette has two modes, including “action” and “command line.” Action mode is the default mode, and it will list all theWindows Terminal commands. Then you can access the Command line mode using > and you can then enter any wt command, which will be invoked on the current window.

You can also customize actions for the command palette by integrating commands to the settings.json file. You can learn more about this feature in this documentation page.

Tab switcher

The tab switcher in Windows Terminal allows you to navigate more efficiently between open tabs. It’s enabled by default with the useTabSwitcher global setting. To navigate between tabs use the Ctrl + Tab keyboard shortcut to jump to the next tab, and the Ctrl + Shift + Tab keyboard shortcut to navigate the previous tab.

"useTabSwitcher": true

Color tabs

When using the terminal, it’s now possible to specify a tab color for each profile using the tabColor setting in a profile and setting it to a color in hex format.

Windows Terminal commands

Starting with version 1.3, the Windows Terminal introduces new commands that you can add to your key bindings inside the settings.json file.

WT commands as key binding

You can now execute wt.exe command line arguments with key bindings. 

// This command opens a new tab with PowerShell in a pane, a vertical pane running  the Command Prompt profile in the C:\ directory, and a horizontal pane running the Ubuntu profile.
{ "command": { "action": "wt", "commandline": "new-tab pwsh.exe ; split-pane -p \"Command Prompt\" -d C:\\ ; split-pane -p \"Ubuntu\" -H" }, "keys": "ctrl+a" }

Send input to shell

You can now send input to the shell using the sendInput command.

// This command navigates backwards through the shell history.
{ "command": { "action": "sendInput", "input": "\u001b[A" }, "keys": "ctrl+b" }

Tab search

You can now search through your tabs in a new search box using the tabSearch command.

{ "command": "tabSearch", "keys": "ctrl+c" }

Custom color scheme

You can change the color scheme of the active window by using the setColorScheme command.

{ "command": { "action": "setColorScheme", "colorScheme": "Campbell" }, "keys": "ctrl+d" }

These new changes are available now, and you can get the Windows Terminal version 1.3 from the Microsoft Store or GitHub.

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].