Version 5.0 Features

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This page shows off the features of MacTerm 5.0 alpha (unstable and incomplete).  This is a major upgrade, and while it is being developed periodic test releases will be available.  In addition, code changes are available on GitHub.

Check out the change log, which sums up pretty much everything that has ever happened over the past several years!

See also features for the current stable version, 4.1.0.

MacTerm is Free Software Under the GPL

MacTerm 5.x is free software; you are welcome to change it and/or distribute copies under certain conditions.  There is absolutely no warranty for MacTerm.  See the GNU General Public License (as published by the Free Software Foundation) for details.

You can access the source code for this project from the Developers page.

Major Upgrades

Native Cocoa

Terminal windows will finally look at home on Retina displays, with support for modern user interface idioms.

Full Screen Split-Panes
By adopting native Cocoa windows, MacTerm terminals can finally appear alongside other application windows in Full Screen split-view.
Window Tabs
The custom “window tab” implementation from MacTerm 4.x is being replaced by native macOS window tabs, integrating with other window tab features in macOS.
Beautiful Text
Text rendering is smoother and especially striking on Retina displays.
System Services
One benefit of moving to Cocoa is that selected text in the terminal and other data sources in the program are visible to other apps on your computer, such as those in Services submenus and Share sheets.

Toolbar and Window Title Enhancements

Ultra Customization
MacTerm 5.0 has extremely powerful integrated toolbars that allow you to customize far more than any other application.  You can place window controls like Close/Minimize/Zoom anywhere you want, or entirely remove some or all of them.  You can decide where you want the window title to be (or remove it from the top bar entirely), and you can decide how to align the title: for example, maybe you want it left-justified starting in the top-left corner.  Furthermore, the title region automatically shrinks to display as much of the title as it possibly can, which is great when you use the title to display things that are very long, like Unix directory paths in your shell.  If you hide the toolbar, MacTerm windows revert to a completely standard title bar.
Retina Ready
Toolbar icons have been reimplemented as vector graphics with smooth lines that look beautiful on Retina displays.

Unicode Boost

While MacTerm 4.1 added UTF-8 parsing and significantly expanded rendering capabilities, MacTerm 5.0 is raising the bar substantially.

Proper Cell Widths
Unicode is inherently complex, with a wide variety of potential “widths” for composed sequences: while terminals originally only supported characters with the width of English letters, now double-width and arbitrary-width renderings are important too.  In MacTerm 5.0, substantial changes are going to make sure that text alignment is always appropriate for the text.
Extended Character Tables
While UTF-8 was supported in MacTerm 4.x, the renderer was still unable to handle many kinds of Unicode sequences (such that text might not appear in the terminal, even if it was possible to copy/paste or print correctly!).  In MacTerm 5.0, these problems are being fixed and virtually all Unicode sequences will be in the display itself.

New Architecture

Adopting the latest software kits and development tools from Apple, MacTerm 5.0 will improve significantly.

No longer 32-bit, MacTerm will be a completely modern macOS application that takes advantage of more recent system improvements, such as performance enhancements and extra memory capacity.
Inherently Parallel and Segregated
Although MacTerm 4.1 started to compartmentalize certain components for better stability and performance, MacTerm 5.0 does this even more.
With a new compiler, new optimizations and the latest development kits, MacTerm will be able to handle data more efficiently in some cases.

And More…

More features are under development, stay tuned…