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How do I quickly select-all text using a hotkey or a menu in the new Windows Terminal App in Windows 10?

In the Command Prompt or in PowerShell I can right-click on the top of the window and select the menu "Copy All". In the former I can also use [CTRL]+A, but none of these work in the newer Windows Terminal App.

6 Answers 6

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+50

The feature of select-all via Ctrl+A is arriving soon also in Windows Terminal.

This feature was opened in the post Ability to select/copy all the text in the session #1469 and was assigned to the developer Carlos Zamora.

The developer documented his work in Scenario: Keyboard Text Selection #4993.
The last entry in this post says:

@cinnamon-msft - cinnamon-msft modified the milestones: Terminal v1.x, Terminal v2.0 Sep 29, 2020

As the last release of Windows Terminal today is v1.3.2651.0 from Sep 22, 2020, this feature might arrive in the next release of Windows Terminal.

EDIT: This feature seems to have become Ctrl+Shift+A.

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  • 9
    Years later, in v1.11.3471.0 this feature is still not available.
    – divenex
    Mar 6, 2022 at 15:28
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    "is arriving soon"-- famous last words 😔 Apr 7, 2022 at 23:39
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    Add ability to select all text in the buffer #13045 : " DHowett pushed a commit that referenced this issue May 11, 2022 ". It may yet arrive!
    – harrymc
    May 16, 2022 at 14:01
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    For anyone reading this: It's ctrl-shift-A (of course; ctrl-A would send a control character).
    – tewha
    Jul 12, 2023 at 17:52
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I did it! Go to the top of the terminal tab/tile of your target the document. Press ctrl + shift paint some text, go with the mouse to the scroll bar (do not release ctrl + shift), move to the desired bottom. Then click/paint with the mouse and you will be selecting from the desired begining to the desired end. Then press "c" (now you will see the selection is not selected any more and you can release ctrl and shift) the text is now in the clipboard for pasting where you need. While writing this I selected/paste more than 18K lines in a single operation. Obviously the escape sequence that gave color the my text is not there for being copied.

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  • Thanks, daniel. I guess you meant "then press [ctrl] + c"? As c by itself does not work for me. Note however that I was really hoping for a solution that does not require using the mouse for selections.
    – divenex
    Dec 2, 2020 at 13:35
  • Worked for me, select area, scroll a bit, press and hold ctrl+shift and click again, then press your hotkey for copy. Dec 31, 2020 at 10:55
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Update July 2022

After two years of wait, the possibility of selecting all text with a hotkey in the Windows Terminal arrived in version 1.14.

The new hotkey is Ctrl+Shift+A as shown in the Command Palette below, and then one can use the usual Ctrl+C to copy all selected text into the clipboard.

enter image description here

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    Wonder how the meeting went when someone said "Why not just stick with ctrl+A like every other version of windows?" slap
    – Rich S
    Feb 8, 2023 at 23:46
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I know I'm late to the party, but here's what I do. It uses your mouse but does not require dragging the mouse to select the text. It is actually very fast.

  1. First, highlight some text at the beginning of the block you want to copy. It can even be the first character or word all by itself.
  2. Next, scroll in whatever way is fastest for you to the end of the block you want to copy. You do not need to hold down anything - not a mouse button, a key, or anything else. To the OP's specific question, if I want to copy everything in Terminal, I grab the thumb in the scroll bar and drag it to the end of the block I want to copy. This usually takes about one second or less.
  3. Find the end of the block of text you want to copy. Now you want to hold down the Shift key. With the Shift key held down, click the last character of the block of text you want to copy. At this point, you should be able to see that the entire block of text is selected.
  4. Copy as you normally would, using Ctrl-C, or Right-Click/Copy, or whatever works best for you.
  5. Profit.
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You have to manually select the text history, you can't use CTRL+A since that only selects all of the text you have typed currently.

Select your text history starting at the bottom or top of the terminal history by holding left click and dragging the mouse up/down.

While selecting the text, you can use the mouse scroll wheel to speed up the select speed. So if you have a free scrolling mouse wheel, you can do this quite fast.

EDIT: You can actually highlight text even faster. Make sure the terminal is minimized and start highlighting the farthest you can away from the window. Here's some video comparisons.

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  • Thanks, I know one can always use the mouse, but I was looking for a quick way. I have edited my question to clarify this. The mouse scroll wheel seems to just scroll the lines as usual. It is not speeding up the text selection. It may be that the answer to my question is that there is still no menu/hotkey and one has to use the mouse.
    – divenex
    Aug 27, 2020 at 14:14
  • @divenex The mouse scroll doesn't help? Are you using a free scrolling mouse wheel though? While there's no hot key, I just now found out you can highlight text even faster. Make sure the terminal is minimized and start highlighting the farthest you can from the window. Here's some video comparisons. Aug 28, 2020 at 6:06
  • Thanks. Great video explanation. Plus for that. I would consider integrating it in your answer.
    – divenex
    Aug 30, 2020 at 11:14
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In version 1.15.2713.0 running on Windows 11:

  • Go to Settings → Actions
  • Scroll down to "Select all text"
  • Mouse over it. You should see "ctrl+shift+a" and a pencil icon to edit. Click edit.
  • Click the "ctrl+shift+a" shortcut and do "ctrl+a".
  • Click the checkbox, and then click Save in the bottom right corner.

Screenshot

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