How To Use Terminal On Mac

As a Mac user, you might’ve seen the Terminal app but didn’t understand its purpose. Even worse, you might have been afraid to use it! It’s time to demystify this powerful tool and make it your friend. Terminal brings the command line interface to your Mac, and it can dramatically speed up your workflow and give you a greater understanding of how your Mac works.

Opening Terminal

First things first, you need to open Terminal. It’s located in the Utilities folder within Applications. You can also quickly access it using Spotlight Search. Type in “Terminal” and hit Enter.

Basic Commands

Now that you’ve opened Terminal, you might be overwhelmed by its blank screen. But don’t worry, let’s start with some basic commands:

pwd – This command stands for “Print Working Directory”. It shows you the directory you’re currently in.

cd – This command stands for “Change Directory”. It allows you to move to different directories.

ls – This command lists all the contents of the current directory.

$ pwd
$ cd /Applications
$ ls
App     Image

See? It’s not too intimidating, right? Remember, Terminal is just a tool and it’s only as useful as the commands you know how to run.

Creating and Editing Files

Terminal is not just for navigating directories, you can also use it to create and edit files. Here are a couple of commands that come in handy:

touch – This command creates a new file.

nano – This command opens a simple, easy-to-use text editor right in the terminal.

$ touch newfile.txt
$ nano newfile.txt

Once you’re in nano, you can start typing right away. Once you’re done, hit Control+O to save your changes, then Control+X to exit nano.


Remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Terminal can do. There’s a lot more to learn, like file permissions, system configuration, and even installing new software! But hopefully, this post has demystified Terminal for you a bit and given you the confidence to start exploring on your own.

So go ahead and start your journey with Terminal. It’s not as scary as it seems. With practice, you’ll become proficient and wonder how you ever got by without it!