Windows Terminal Preview 1.7 improves window management, settings UI, and more

Windows terminal preview version 17 GUI with features

Microsoft today announced a new preview release of Windows Terminal, bumping up the version to 1.7. This also means that version 1.6 is now being made generally available. As for version 1.7, the company is bringing a bunch of improvements to the newly added settings UI, enhancements to windowing, and the usual crop of bug fixes.

The biggest additions come to windowing, as the tool now lets users choose where a new terminal instance launches thanks to the ‘windowingBehavior’ global settings. The options include the ability to open a new window in an already existing terminal instance or a new window. There are three available options and they can be found on the Startup page of the new settings UI.

Windows terminal preview version 1 point 7 GUI

The tool is also getting a ‘newWindow’ action that allows users to open a new window through keyboard shortcuts. Additionally, there are new arguments for commands to choose between the windows that one wants to interact with. For example, users can open a new tab with the default profile in the current window or in a new window.

Another interesting addition coming with version 1.7 is the read-only panes feature. As the name suggests, users can prevent input into panes by using the 'toggleReadOnlyMode' action, letting them avoid untoward key presses when a build is in process. Currently, there are no shortcuts assigned to it. The tool is also getting the option to automatically move focus to a pane by hovering on it with a mouse. This setting is present in the Interaction section of the settings UI or can be enabled using the 'focusFollowMouse' action. It is set to false by default.

Windows terminal preview version 17 GUI with features
Color schemes settings UI on Windows Terminal Preview version 17

Next up are improvements to the new settings UI. The UI is now being made the default for Preview users. However, not all options from settings.json are available in the UI yet, and the firm is requesting feedback on users’ preferences on GitHub here. As for the improvements, there’s a new Actions page to list all the keyboard shortcuts, a redesigned Color Schemes page that aims to be less cluttered, and enhancements that make it easy to use with a screen reader or the keyboard alone, improving accessibility.

Other changes coming with version 1.7 include JSON fragment extensions support, a new centerOnLaunch setting to always launch the terminal in the center of the screen, a new action for search that allows users to search between the next and previous matches, and a few bug fixes.

Here are the miscellaneous improvements made for the release:

  • The tab switcher now displays the zoom, bell, and progress indicators (Thanks @Don-Vito!).
  • The terminal now supports paste filtering and bracketed paste mode (Thanks @skyline75489!).
  • The bell indicator will always appear in the tab when the BEL sequence is emitted.
  • Hyperlinks now support the file URI scheme.

And here are the bug fixes:

  • Hyperlinks now de-underline when the pane is not focused (Thanks @Don-Vito!).
  • The tab color picker now supports keyboard navigation (Thanks @BenConstable9!).
  • You can once again use arrow keys in the tab switcher (Thanks @Don-Vito!).
  • Focus should now return to the terminal after you dismiss the tab rename field (thanks @Don-Vito!).

Those that installed Windows Terminal from the Microsoft Store should be able to update to the latest version automatically. These updates can also be installed manually from the GitHub page here that contains both the preview version and the version being made generally available.

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