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Maximize Your Productivity in Windows 11 Terminal

Windows 11 introduces a new and improved Terminal application, which includes PowerShell by default. PowerShell is a powerful tool for automating tasks and managing systems, and it’s now more accessible than ever. In this blog post, we’ll explore some ways to maximize your productivity in the Windows 11 Terminal using PowerShell.

Customizing the Terminal

The first step to maximizing productivity in the Terminal is to customize it to your liking. You can change the color scheme, font size, and even add custom background images. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Terminal settings by clicking on the drop-down menu in the top-right corner and selecting “Settings”.
  2. In the “Appearance” tab, you can change the color scheme and font size to your liking.
  3. In the “Background” tab, you can add a custom image as your background.

Here’s an example of how to change the color scheme to “Solarized Dark” using PowerShell:

Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize' -Name 'AppsUseLightTheme' -Value 0

Creating Aliases

Another way to maximize productivity in the Terminal is to create aliases for frequently used commands. Aliases allow you to use a shorter, more memorable command instead of typing out the full command every time. Here’s how to create an alias:

New-Item -Path 'alias:ls' -Value 'Get-ChildItem'

This creates an alias “ls” for the “Get-ChildItem” command, so you can use “ls” instead of “Get-ChildItem” in the future. But the moment you reload the terminal the alias is cleared. For a permanent alias follow this blog.

Scripting

PowerShell is not only a powerful command line tool, but also a powerful scripting language. You can automate repetitive tasks and create powerful scripts to manage your systems. Here’s an example of a script that creates a new folder and sets its permissions:

$folderPath = 'C:\example'
New-Item -ItemType Directory -Path $folderPath
$Acl = Get-Acl $folderPath
$Ar = New-Object System.Security.AccessControl.FileSystemAccessRule("Users","FullControl","Allow")
$Acl.SetAccessRule($Ar)
Set-Acl $folderPath $Acl

Creating Functions

Creating functions in PowerShell allows you to encapsulate a set of commands and reuse them multiple times. Functions can also accept parameters, making them even more versatile. Here’s an example of a function that takes a folder path as a parameter and lists the files in that folder:

function List-Files($folderPath) {
    Get-ChildItem $folderPath
}

Using the Pipeline

The pipeline in PowerShell allows you to chain commands together, making it easy to filter and manipulate data. Here’s an example of using the pipeline to list all files in the Documents folder that were modified in the last 7 days:

Get-ChildItem -Path 'C:\Users\\username\Documents' | Where-Object { $_.LastWriteTime -gt (Get-Date).AddDays(-7) }

Using the Up Arrow and Tab Completion

The up arrow key allows you to quickly access previous commands, while tab completion allows you to quickly complete commands and file paths. This can save a lot of time and typing in the long run.

Using the Windows PowerShell ISE

The Windows PowerShell ISE (Integrated Scripting Environment) is a more advanced version of the Terminal that provides features such as syntax highlighting, code snippets and debugging. It’s a great tool for creating and editing scripts.

Using the Windows PowerShell Gallery

The Windows PowerShell Gallery is a collection of scripts, modules, and DSC resources that can be easily downloaded and used. It’s a great resource for finding pre-built scripts and modules that can save you time and effort. For modules go to: PowerShell Gallery | Home

To install a module from the PowerShell Gallery, use the command

Install-Module -Name <ModuleName>

Using Panes in Windows Terminal

The Windows Terminal allows you to open multiple panes, which can be very useful for multitasking. Here are some tips for using panes in the Windows Terminal:

Creating a New Pane

You can create a new pane by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + -. This will split the current pane either horizontally or vertically, depending on the current layout.

You can also create a new pane by right-clicking on an existing pane and selecting “New Pane” from the context menu.

Switching Between Panes

You can switch between panes by using the keyboard shortcut Alt + <Arrow key>. This will move the focus to the next pane in the specified direction.

Moving a Pane

You can move a pane to a different location by clicking and dragging the tab for that pane. This can be useful for organizing your panes in a way that makes sense for your workflow.

Closing a Pane

You can close a pane by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + W. This will close the current pane and move the focus to the next pane.

Resizing a Pane

You can resize a pane by clicking and dragging the border between the panes. This can be useful for adjusting the size of a pane to better fit the content.

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