How to Enable Tab Completion in Mac OS X Terminal

Posted on July 12, 2014 by


Tab completion isn’t enabled by default in Terminal on OS X, but following these simple steps will give you access to this awesome feature.

Launch Terminal and make sure you are in the home directory.

  • Use pico, nano, vi or whatever your favorite text editor is to edit/create .inputrc, I’ll use pico for this walkthrough.

pico .inputrc

  • Paste in the following three lines of rules:

set completion-ignore-case on
set show-all-if-ambiguous on
TAB: menu-complete

  • Press Control+O to save changes to .inputrc followed by Control+X to quit
  • Close and reopen Terminal for the rules to take effect
  • Start typing a path or command and press the Tab key to see this feature in action

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