A Favorite Command Line Feature: Tab Completion
When you are navigating in the command line, typing folder and file names can seem to go against the promise of easier communication with your computer. Here comes tab completion, stage right!
When you need to type out a file or folder name—for example, the name of that csv file we’ve been working with:
nypl_items.csv—in the command line and want to move more quickly, you can just type out the beginning characters of that file name up until it’s distinct in that folder and then click the tab key. And voilà! Clicking that tab key will complete the rest of that name for you, and it only works if that file or folder already exists within your working directory.
In other words, anytime in the command line you can type as much of the file or folder name that is unique within that directory, and tab complete the rest!
If all the text remaining in your terminal window is starting to overwhelm you, you have some options. You may type the
clear command into the command line, or click the command (⌘) and k keys to clear the scrollback. Pressing the command (⌘) and l keys in macOS, or control and l in Windows will clear the output from your most recent command.