How to Make Mac OS X's Terminal Accessible via Hotkey

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Visor is a neat way to make the terminal in Mac OS X (s aapl) universally accessible via a hotkey. It’s useful because it means you can jump to the terminal without moving your hands from the keyboard regardless of which application you happen to be using at the time, then just as quickly close it again.

Visor works on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard), and while installation takes a little fiddling it shouldn’t cause you too many problems. First, ensure that you have SIMBL installed (you’ll need SIMBL 0.9 or later). Then download the Visor package and place it into the ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins directory (you might need to create this directory).

Now, when you restart terminal.app, you’ll find that a little terminal icon has been added to your menu bar. You can configure Visor’s preferences though this icon, including defining your own hotkey (it’s set as ctrl+` by default), the position of the terminal window and its “slide out” animation effect. The hotkey both opens and closes terminal.

(Note: Visor’s homepage appears to be down at the moment, but you can still download the package from Github).

Found a useful little hack like Visor? Share it in the comments!

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Tris Hussey

Visor is fantastic for those of us who are in and out of Terminal all the time. I’d also suggest TotalFinder with does the same thing for a Finder window and gives you tabs in your Finder windows as well.

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