Hail and well met, fellow computing machine users. Most of the tips we present are generally useful on most any Unix® or Linux system thou may chance upon. This page’s tips, however, relate specifically to the Unix® built in to Apple’s Mac OS X. Some may apply elsewhere — e.g., ‘banner’ may not be included on thy system but may be installed — but no guaranty whatsoever is made herein as to cross-platform applicability.
First let us speak of ‘banner’, a utility which wonderfully enlarges and sideways-ifies the text thou giveth. Though long messages and low-rent Desktop Publishing may come to mind, rather it is a simpler use which brings it to mind here. That use is simply clear visual separation of repeated command runs.
Imagine, for instance, thou art repeatedly running some Script or Program which produceth many lines of output. After each of these repeated runs, imagine as well that you wish to scroll back and compare some detail that hath flown past, but you find yourself disoriented by the tide of Lines, unsure if the Line upon which you gaze is from the most recent run, or the one before, or one earlier still. Mayhap you attempt creating visual separation by pressing ‘Enter’ five times. This is just where ‘banner’ may be of use. Give a single character, no lengthy message, is plenty for this case. Id est,
The next and more OS-X-specific technique is a way to select Text in a marvelous and occasionally useful way. If thou but hold down the ‘Option’ key while selecting text in the Terminal, then your Selection can be made vertically, without including entire Lines and their Line-endings. When initiated, thou shall see thy mouse pointer transform into a Cross. In the following example, the center gray area containing the names of these delicacies has been thus selected:
Last, yet certainly unable to be considered Least, is a delightful capability that thou may find passing useful, and that thou may also use at Parties to entertain thy fellow Guests. If the output of thy programs or the contente of thy logges ever contains structured data, especially the structure decreed by St. JASON, but really any text that may be wrap’d in Parentheses or Brackets, this trick will fill thee with joy and wonderment. Simply double-click directly upon a Parenthesis, a Bracket, or a Curly Brace within the Terminal, and contents of that enclosure shall be highlighted, and thy ability to understand the jumbled babel of text will be well bolstered. Id est,