Configuring Key Assignments

The default key table assignments can be overridden or extended using the keys section in your ~/.wezterm.lua config file. For example, you can disable a default assignment like this:

local wezterm = require 'wezterm';

return {
  keys = {
    -- Turn off the default CMD-m Hide action, allowing CMD-m to
    -- be potentially recognized and handled by the tab
    {key="m", mods="CMD", action="DisableDefaultAssignment"}

The action value can be one of the available key assignments. Every action has an example that shows how to use it.

Possible Modifier labels are:

  • SUPER, CMD, WIN - these are all equivalent: on macOS the Command key, on Windows the Windows key, on Linux this can also be the Super or Hyper key. Left and right are equivalent.
  • SHIFT - The shift key. Left and right are equivalent.
  • ALT, OPT, META - these are all equivalent: on macOS the Option key, on other systems the Alt or Meta key. Left and right are equivalent.
  • LEADER - a special modal modifier state managed by wezterm. See Leader Key for more information.
  • VoidSymbol - This keycode is emitted in special cases where the original function of the key has been removed. Such as in Linux and using setxkbmap. setxkbmap -option caps:none. The CapsLock will no longer function as before in all applications, instead emitting VoidSymbol.

You can combine modifiers using the | symbol (eg: "CMD|CTRL").

The key value can be one of the following keycode identifiers. Note that not all of these are meaningful on all platforms:

Hyper, Super, Meta, Cancel, Backspace, Tab, Clear, Enter, Shift, Escape, LeftShift, RightShift, Control, LeftControl, RightControl, Alt, LeftAlt, RightAlt, Menu, LeftMenu, RightMenu, Pause, CapsLock, VoidSymbol, PageUp, PageDown, End, Home, LeftArrow, RightArrow, UpArrow, DownArrow, Select, Print, Execute, PrintScreen, Insert, Delete, Help, LeftWindows, RightWindows, Applications, Sleep, Numpad0, Numpad1, Numpad2, Numpad3, Numpad4, Numpad5, Numpad6, Numpad7, Numpad8, Numpad9, Multiply, Add, Separator, Subtract, Decimal, Divide, NumLock, ScrollLock, BrowserBack, BrowserForward, BrowserRefresh, BrowserStop, BrowserSearch, BrowserFavorites, BrowserHome, VolumeMute, VolumeDown, VolumeUp, MediaNextTrack, MediaPrevTrack, MediaStop, MediaPlayPause, ApplicationLeftArrow, ApplicationRightArrow, ApplicationUpArrow, ApplicationDownArrow, F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12, F13, F14, F15, F16, F17, F18, F19, F20, F21, F22, F23, F24.

Alternatively, a single unicode character can be specified to indicate pressing the corresponding key.

Pay attention to the case of the text that you use and the state of the SHIFT modifier, as key="A" will match

Physical vs Mapped Key Assignments

Since: 20220319-142410-0fcdea07

The key value can refer either to the physical position of a key on an ANSI US keyboard or to the post-keyboard-layout-mapped value produced by a key press.

You can explicitly assign using the physical position by adding a phys: prefix to the value, for example: key="phys:A". This will match key presses for the key that would be in the position of the A key on an ANSI US keyboard.

You can explicitly assign the mapped key by adding a mapped: prefix to the value, for example: key="mapped:a" will match a key press where the OS keyboard layout produces a, regardless of its physical position.

If you omit an explicit prefix, wezterm will assume phys: and use the physical position of the specified key.

The default key assignments listed above use phys:. In previous releases there was no physical position support and those assignments were all mapped:.

When upgrading from earlier releases, if you had {key="N", mods="CMD", ..} in your config, you will need to change it to either {key="N", mods="CMD|SHIFT", ..} or {key="mapped:N", mods="CMD", ..} in order to continue to respect the SHIFT modifier.

Since: 20220408-101518-b908e2dd

A new key_map_preference option controls how keys without an explicit phys: or mapped: prefix are treated. If key_map_preference = "Mapped" (the default), then mapped: is assumed. If key_map_preference = "Physical" then phys: is assumed.

The default key assignments will respect key_map_preference.

Raw Key Assignments

In some cases, wezterm may not know how to represent a key event in either its phys: or mapped: forms. In that case, you may wish to define an assignment in terms of the underlying operating system key code, using a raw: prefix.

Similar in concept to the phys: mapping described above, the raw: mapping is independent of the OS keyboard layout. Raw codes are hardware and windowing system dependent, so there is no portable way to list which key does what.

To discover these values, you can set debug_key_events = true and press the keys of interest.

You can specify a raw key value of 123 by using key="raw:123" in your config rather than one of the other key values.

Leader Key

Since: 20201031-154415-9614e117

A leader key is a a modal modifier key. If leader is specified in the configuration then pressing that key combination will enable a virtual LEADER modifier.

While LEADER is active, only defined key assignments that include LEADER in the mods mask will be recognized. Other keypresses will be swallowed and NOT passed through to the terminal.

LEADER stays active until a keypress is registered (whether it matches a key binding or not), or until it has been active for the duration specified by timeout_milliseconds, at which point it will automatically cancel itself.

Here's an example configuration using LEADER. In this configuration, pressing CTRL-A activates the leader key for up to 1 second (1000 milliseconds). While LEADER is active, the | key (with no other modifiers) will trigger the current pane to be split.

local wezterm = require 'wezterm';

return {
  -- timeout_milliseconds defaults to 1000 and can be omitted
  leader = { key="a", mods="CTRL", timeout_milliseconds=1000 },
  keys = {
    {key="|", mods="LEADER|SHIFT", action=wezterm.action.SplitHorizontal{domain="CurrentPaneDomain"}},
    -- Send "CTRL-A" to the terminal when pressing CTRL-A, CTRL-A
    {key="a", mods="LEADER|CTRL", action=wezterm.action.SendString("\x01")},


Since: 20210814-124438-54e29167

On X11 systems, If you decide to change certain keys on the keyboard to VoidSymbol (like CapsLock), then you can utilize it as a LEADER or any other part of key bindings. The following example now uses VoidSymbol and uses CapsLock as a LEADER without it affecting the shift / capital state as long as you have setxkbmap -option caps:none configured.

local wezterm = require 'wezterm';

return {
  -- timeout_milliseconds defaults to 1000 and can be omitted
  -- for this example use `setxkbmap -option caps:none` in your terminal.
  leader = { key="VoidSymbol", mods="", timeout_milliseconds=1000 },
  keys = {
    {key="|", mods="LEADER|SHIFT", action=wezterm.action.SplitHorizontal{domain="CurrentPaneDomain"}},
    {key="-", mods="LEADER", action=wezterm.action.SplitVertical{domain="CurrentPaneDomain"}},

Available Actions

See the KeyAssignment reference for information on available actions.