Microsoft has made available version 1.6 for its Windows Terminal app, and among the new features and improvements, there is a preview of the new settings UI, which allows you to customize virtually every aspect of the app and the console profiles.
In this guide, you will get a closer look at the interface that Microsoft has been working on to customize the terminal experience without editing the settings.json file. (You can also watch this video highlighting the new settings experience.)
Windows Terminal settings UI
In the preview release of the settings, you need to enable the experience manually. Once enabled, you can access the settings using the Ctrl + Shift + , keyboard shortcut.
While in the settings for Windows Terminal, you will notice that everything looks similar to the settings of any other modern application of Windows 10 with a collapsable left pane that lets you navigate the different pages.
At the time of this writing, the experience includes five settings pages (Startup, Interaction, Appearance, Color Schemes, and Rendering), then there are the profile settings, which includes the “Base layer” page so you can set the customizations that will apply to all profiles, or you can change settings for profiles individually.
The Startup page includes the settings to manage the startup behavior. For example, you can specify the default console profile to start with the app and the launch mode and size.
The Interaction page lets you manage the settings to interact with the consoles, such as how to copy text and others.
The Appearance page has the settings to change the theme (light or dark) and tabs settings.
The Color schemes page includes the settings to create schemes that you can apply to the different profiles. Using these settings, you can create schemes to customize the foreground, background, and selection background. And you can even select the cursor color.
Once you created a scheme, you can select it from the profile appearance settings.
The Rendering page is not a place you would often use since it only includes options to troubleshoot issues with the app.
The Base layer page is that where you will configure the settings that will apply to all profiles.
The page has three tabs, including General, Appearance, and Advanced.
The General tab lets you customize the icon, tab title, and starting directory.
In contrast, the Appearance tab lets you customize things like the color scheme, font, cursor, and background image.
Finally, the Advanced page houses settings to control title changes, text style, history size, profile termination behavior, and bell notification style.
All the settings available on this page are overridden by the profile’s settings.
Then there is a page for each profile (Windows PowerShell, Command Prompt, etc.) you have configured with the app.
All the pages also include three tabs, including General, Appearance, and Advanced, and they provide the same settings available in the “Base layer” page, plus specific settings for each profile.
Using the setting UI, you can also configure new profiles and access the JSON file to edit settings with code.
The settings UI is more a user-friendly editor than a traditional settings interface since you have to click the Save button to apply each new customization.
While the ability to customize the Windows Terminal experience has been available for a long time, the settings UI brings a more convenient and faster way to personalize the experience on Windows 10. However, at the time of this writing, the interface is still a work in progress, and not all the settings are available.