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I want to hold the 'delete' key and delete characters more quickly than OSX Mavericks does by default. Something like Ubuntu, which delete really quickly. Any suggestions?!

3 Answers 3

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Under System Preferences, click Keyboard, and adjust the "Key Repeat" speed (see below). Tested in Word and it does affect how quickly the delete key deletes characters when held down.

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Alternatively, in the terminal you can enter

defaults write NSGlobalDomain KeyRepeat -int 0
which is the fastest setting. The fastest exposed by System Preferences is 2 (log out and back in to see changes). See here: Mac OSX Hints

Additionally,

defaults write NSGlobalDomain InitialKeyRepeat -int 15
can be used to change the delay before the repeat starts (default is 15).

For a graphical solution, see keyremap4macbook, detailed here.

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13

You can also hold the Option key while pressing delete. This deletes whole words instead of characters. Similar functionality to holding Control while pressing backspace in windows.

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  • 3
    For some reason, this doesn't work inside the terminal on my mac. Option+arrow-keys moves the cursor a word a time, but option+delete doesn't delete a word a time. Oddly, it does inside this editor window.
    – r12
    Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 16:57
  • Great for other apps but doesn't work in Terminal. Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 22:39
5

esc+delete should work on Mac terminal

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  • The answer is just too short. Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 9:01
  • But correct! Though only works for one word at a time. You have to repeat pressing esc. Hopefully my answer is not too short.
    – Roman
    Commented Dec 10, 2023 at 5:41

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