The Nova command line interface (CLI) tool can be used to open and create files and workspaces from your preferred terminal application.


To install the Nova CLI tool, open Nova’s preferences and choose the Tools tab.

Preferences > Tools

Next, click Install and enter the user name and password for administrator access when prompted.

Install CLI prompt

To verify successful installation, open your terminal application and type nova followed by the return key.

If you see the following output, the tool is successfully installed:

running `nova` command


The CLI tool can open an existing file or folder in a workspace.

For example, nova /path/to/existing/folder/ will open an existing folder in a new workspace.

Entering nova /path/to/existing/folder/index.html will open an existing file.

The CLI tool can also create a new file or folder and immediately open it in a new workspace.

To create a new folder called “new-project” and open it as a workspace:

nova /path/to/existing/folder/new-project/

Here’s an example command that opens a new file “new.html” in an existing workspace:

nova /path/to/existing/folder/new.html


The Nova CLI tool supports the following arguments:

-a, --async Do not wait for the file to be closed by Nova before returning.
-w, --wait Wait for the file to be closed by Nova before returning.
-h, --help Show this information.
-v, --version Show version information.

If multiple files are given, -a is implied and -w is ignored.

By default, the Nova CLI tool will not wait for the file to be closed. However, if the tool’s output is redirected, such as in a pipe chain, the tool will wait by default instead.

This article was last updated on June 16, 2020