01. Efficient Cursor Movements

Let's learn some shortcuts for quick navigation around the command line.

Type the following sentence out into your command line for practice.

$ hello I am a testing monkey

Moving to the beginning and end of line

We can use the ctrl-key (^) to move our cursor:

^a
To beginning of the line (bol).
^e
To end of line (eol).

Moving a character or word at a time

We can move through either a character or a word at a time.

^f
Forward one character.
^b
Backward one character.
alt+f
Move cursor forward one word.
alt+b
Move cursor backward one word.

Transposing letters or words

Sometimes when we type really fast, we switch letters or words around.

We can fix this with transpose:

^t
Switches the character with the one next to it.
alt+t
transpose the word at the cursor location with the one preceding it.

Try it with these examples here:

$ java helloWordl
$ ls directoryName -l

Changing casing

To convert to lower or uppercase:

alt+l
Convert characters from cursor to end of the word to lowercase.
alt+u
Same as above, but to uppercase.

Deleting characters or words

To delete (or kill) characters or words, use the following:

^d
Delete the character at the cursor location.
^k
Kill the text from the cursor location to eol.
^u
Kill text from the cursor location to bol.
alt+d
Kill text from the cursor location to the end of the current word.

Clearing the terminal window

If the terminal window seems cluttered and we'd like to clear everything, we type:

$ clear 

Or to be more efficient, just hit ^l.

Take your Linux skills to the next level!

Command Line Kung Fu

Take your Linux skills to the next level! Try Linux & UNIX

Command Line Kung Fu is packed with dozens of tips and practical real-world examples. You won't find theoretical examples in this book. The examples demonstrate how to solve actual problems. The tactics are easy to find, too. Each chapter covers a specific topic and groups related tips and examples together.

$ Check price
14.9914.99Amazon 4.5 logo(27+ reviews)

More Linux & UNIX resources

Aching back from coding all day?

Acupressure Mat & Pillow

Aching back from coding all day? Try Back Problems

Relieve your stress, back, neck and sciatic pain through 1,782 acupuncture points for immediate neck pain relief. Made for lower, upper and mid chronic back pain treatment, and improves circulation, sleep, digestion and quality of life.

$$ Check price
144.87144.87Amazon 4.5 logo(1,890+ reviews)

More Back Problems resources

Ad