Keyboard bindings are configurable.

The assignments are based around a triggering keypress which may be combined with a set of modifier keys to produce an action.

Alt / Option Key Behavior & Composed Keys

The operating system has its own user selectable keymap that is sometimes at odds with old-school terminal emulation that pre-dates internationalization as a concept. WezTerm tries to behave reasonably by default, but also give you control in other situations.

Layouts with an AltGr key

If you have, for example, a European keyboard layout with an AltGr key then wezterm will respect the composition effects of AltGr produced by the system. For example, in a German keymap, AltGr < will produce |.

If your physical keyboard doesn't match the keyboard layout (eg: using a US keyboard with DEU selected in the OS), then the right hand Alt key is often re-interpreted as having the AltGr function with behavior as described above.

The left Alt will be treated as a modifier with no composition effects.

macOS Left and Right Option Key

since: 20200620-160318-e00b076c

The default behavior is to treat the left Option key as the Alt modifier with no composition effects, while the right Option key performs composition (making it approximately equivalent to AltGr on other operating systems).

You can control this behavior in your configuration:

return {
  send_composed_key_when_left_alt_is_pressed=false,
  send_composed_key_when_right_alt_is_pressed=true,
}

If you're running an earlier release the options were a bit more limited; both left and right Option keys behave identically and composition behavior was influenced for both of them via the send_composed_key_when_alt_is_pressed configuration option.

since: 20210203-095643-70a364eb

WezTerm is now able to perform dead-key expansion when use_ime = false. Dead keys are treated as composition effects, so with the default settings of send_composed_key_when_left_alt_is_pressed and send_composed_key_when_right_alt_is_pressed above, in a US layout, Left-Opt n will produce Alt N and Right-Opt n will will for a subsequent key press before generating an event; Right-Opt n SPACE will emit ~ whereas Right-Opt n n will emit ñ.

You may also set use_dead_keys = false to skip the hold state; continuing the example above, Right-Opt n will then immediately produce ~.

Input Method Editor (IME)

WezTerm has support for using the operating system Input Method Editor (IME) on some operating systems.

The use_ime docs have more information.

Microsoft Windows and Dead Keys

since: 20201031-154415-9614e117

By default, if you are using a layout with dead keys (eg: US International layout, or a number of European layouts such as German or French) pressing a dead key in wezterm will "hold" the dead key until the next character is pressed, resulting in a combined character with a diacritic. For example, pressing ^ and then e will produce ê. Pressing ^ then SPACE will produce ^ on its own.

If you are a heavy user of Vi style editors then you may wish to disable dead key processing so that ^ can be used with a single keypress.

You can tell WezTerm to disable dead keys by setting this in your configuration file:

return {
  use_dead_keys = false
}

Microsoft Windows and Ctrl-Alt <-> AltGr

If you are using VNC and a keyboard layout with dead keys, then you may wish to enable treat_left_ctrlalt_as_altgr.

Defining Assignments for key combinations that may be composed

When a key combination produces a composed key result, wezterm will look up both the composed and uncomposed versions of the keypress in your key mappings. If either lookup matches your assignment, that will take precedence over the normal key processing.

Default Shortcut / Key Binding Assignments

The default key bindings are:

ModifiersKeyAction
SUPERcCopyTo="Clipboard"
SUPERvPasteFrom="Clipboard"
CTRL+SHIFTcCopyTo="Clipboard"
CTRL+SHIFTvPasteFrom="Clipboard"
CTRLInsertCopyTo="PrimarySelection" (since: 20210203-095643-70a364eb)
SHIFTInsertPasteFrom="PrimarySelection"
SUPERmHide
SUPERnSpawnWindow
CTRL+SHIFTnSpawnWindow
ALTEnterToggleFullScreen
SUPER-DecreaseFontSize
CTRL-DecreaseFontSize
SUPER=IncreaseFontSize
CTRL=IncreaseFontSize
SUPER0ResetFontSize
CTRL0ResetFontSize
SUPERtSpawnTab="CurrentPaneDomain"
CTRL+SHIFTtSpawnTab="CurrentPaneDomain"
SUPER+SHIFTTSpawnTab="DefaultDomain"
SUPERwCloseCurrentTab{confirm=true}
SUPER1ActivateTab=0
SUPER2ActivateTab=1
SUPER3ActivateTab=2
SUPER4ActivateTab=3
SUPER5ActivateTab=4
SUPER6ActivateTab=5
SUPER7ActivateTab=6
SUPER8ActivateTab=7
SUPER9ActivateTab=-1
CTRL+SHIFTwCloseCurrentTab{confirm=true}
CTRL+SHIFT1ActivateTab=0
CTRL+SHIFT2ActivateTab=1
CTRL+SHIFT3ActivateTab=2
CTRL+SHIFT4ActivateTab=3
CTRL+SHIFT5ActivateTab=4
CTRL+SHIFT6ActivateTab=5
CTRL+SHIFT7ActivateTab=6
CTRL+SHIFT8ActivateTab=7
CTRL+SHIFT9ActivateTab=-1
SUPER+SHIFT[ActivateTabRelative=-1
CTRL+SHIFTTabActivateTabRelative=-1
CTRLPageUpActivateTabRelative=-1
SUPER+SHIFT]ActivateTabRelative=1
CTRLTabActivateTabRelative=1
CTRLPageDownActivateTabRelative=1
CTRL+SHIFTPageUpMoveTabRelative=-1
CTRL+SHIFTPageDownMoveTabRelative=1
SHIFTPageUpScrollByPage=-1
SHIFTPageDownScrollByPage=1
ALT1ActivateTab=0
ALT2ActivateTab=1
ALT3ActivateTab=2
ALT4ActivateTab=3
ALT5ActivateTab=4
ALT6ActivateTab=5
ALT7ActivateTab=6
ALT8ActivateTab=7
ALT9ShowTabNavigator
SUPERrReloadConfiguration
CTRL+SHIFTRReloadConfiguration
SUPERhHideApplication (macOS only)
SUPERkClearScrollback="ScrollbackOnly"
CTRL+SHIFTKClearScrollback="ScrollbackOnly"
CTRL+SHIFTLShowDebugOverlay (Since: 20210814-124438-54e29167)
SUPERfSearch={CaseSensitiveString=""}
CTRL+SHIFTFSearch={CaseSensitiveString=""}
CTRL+SHIFTXActivateCopyMode
CTRL+SHIFT (Space)QuickSelect (since: 20210502-130208-bff6815d)
CTRL+SHIFT+ALT"SplitVertical={domain="CurrentPaneDomain"}
CTRL+SHIFT+ALT%SplitHorizontal={domain="CurrentPaneDomain"}
CTRL+SHIFT+ALTLeftArrowAdjustPaneSize={"Left", 1}
CTRL+SHIFT+ALTRightArrowAdjustPaneSize={"Right", 1}
CTRL+SHIFT+ALTUpArrowAdjustPaneSize={"Up", 1}
CTRL+SHIFT+ALTDownArrowAdjustPaneSize={"Down", 1}
CTRL+SHIFTLeftArrowActivatePaneDirection="Left"
CTRL+SHIFTRightArrowActivatePaneDirection="Right"
CTRL+SHIFTUpArrowActivatePaneDirection="Up"
CTRL+SHIFTDownArrowActivatePaneDirection="Down"
CTRLZTogglePaneZoomState

If you don't want the default assignments to be registered, you can disable all of them with this configuration; if you chose to do this, you must explicitly register every binding.

return {
  disable_default_key_bindings = true,
}

Configuring Key Assignments

These can be overridden 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.

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.

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.
  • 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").

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", 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"}},
  }
}

VoidSymbol

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", action=wezterm.action{SplitHorizontal={domain="CurrentPaneDomain"}}},
    {key="-", mods="LEADER", action=wezterm.action{SplitVertical={domain="CurrentPaneDomain"}}},
  }
}

Using Raw/Scan Codes for key bindings

In some cases it is desirable to assign keys based on their physical position rather than their mapped value--perhaps you regularly switch between different regional keymaps but you always want CTRL-SHIFT plus a number to switch to a tab by ordinal position, and you don't want to define the mapping in terms of !, @ etc. in the US map and whatever those keys are in some other regional keymap.

You can achieve this by matching the raw_key value for the key. raw_key values are hardware and windowing system dependent values, 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.

On my linux system the number key row produces sequential raw key values so I use configuration like this to enable this key binding; notice how the numbers are different between wayland and X11 on the same system!

local wezterm = require 'wezterm';
local keys = {};
local enable_wayland = false;

if wezterm.target_triple == "x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu" then
  -- rebind CTRL+SHIFT+<number> to switch to a tab.
  if os.getenv("WAYLAND_DISPLAY") and enable_wayland then
    local tab_no = 0
    for i = 2, 9 do
      table.insert(keys, {
        key="raw:"..tostring(i),
        mods="CTRL|SHIFT",
        action=wezterm.action{ActivateTab=tab_no},
      })
      tab_no = tab_no + 1
    end
  else
    local tab_no = 0
    for i = 10, 20 do
      table.insert(keys, {
        key="raw:"..tostring(i),
        mods="CTRL|SHIFT",
        action=wezterm.action{ActivateTab=tab_no},
      })
      tab_no = tab_no + 1
    end
  end
end

return {
  keys = keys,
  enable_wayland = enable_wayland,
}

Available Actions

See the KeyAssignment reference for information on available actions.