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Tab/window management with titles

Do you get lost managing multiple tabs or windows in your terminal emulator? If so, this trick might be handy to your shell toolbox.

Define a function like this in your shell profile

function title {
    echo -ne "\033]0;"$*"\007"
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And then when you open your all important terminal window or tab, call the function and pass a string to it like so:

$ title <title string>
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Viola, you have a handy way of identifying your terminal window/tab and not be lost in a forest of tabs or windows.

Isn't this neat?

Image description

Now, let's explain this function a bit. echo needs no introduction. -n stands tells echo not to print a new-line after the message. -etells echo to interpret escape sequences.

The trick that makes this work is the text flanked by xterm escape sequences and sequences themselves.

\033 Escape
\077 Bell
]0; Identifier for window title and icon
"$*" String that contains all arguments passed to echo

Most terminal emulators support these xterm sequences. I tested in iterm and it works beautifully. Go ahead, try it out and help yourself navigate the terminal tab/window maze.

Stackoverflow threads on this topic.

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