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I used to create new blank files in Nautilus (Files) using the right click context menu. It really saved me a lot of time. Since Nautilus 3.6, there is no such entry.

Is there a way to create a new blank file in Nautilus 3.6 and above?

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A new file? A blank text file? Just run gedit & in terminal, write stuff in it and Ctrl+S to save. If you want to get feisty, in the terminal, type vim which is a lot more complicated than gedit. Terminal-> Ctrl +Alt+T –  drN Oct 29 '12 at 17:12
As I wrote below, what I want to do is not to lose time while looking for the folder I'm working in. I could use a terminal but I still have to change directory (using cd). I could use gedit, but I will have to go manually to the folder where I want to create my new file. –  remjg Oct 29 '12 at 17:42
I have a very complex folder organization which makes finding my current folder painful. For example, let's say I want to write a new LaTeX report at "~/Documents/University/Master/CourseX/ProjectY/Report/". I'll have to open Latexila/gedit, create a new file, select this folder after going through every parent folder and save it... Before I use to create my "Report" folder, a new blank file, rename it with .tex extension and that was it. –  remjg Oct 29 '12 at 17:54
Oh... tell me about it! :P Just finishing my dissertation...What I actually do in that case is export curv=/home/username/Research/Dissertation/Draft/Curvature_effects/dftdata and then cd to say $curv and so on. I save all these file paths in a text file. You could perhaps put them in your .bashrc file (I've done that as well). Does save time... –  drN Oct 29 '12 at 17:59
I use gnome-shell, I must say I'm quite satisfied with it. I had to learn how to use it, but I'm very efficient now (the Desktop Scroller extension helps switching workspaces quickly). –  remjg Oct 29 '12 at 18:09

6 Answers 6

up vote 43 down vote accepted

Well, I filled a bug report on bugzilla.gnome.org and I feel stupid now... This feature still exists.

The solution is to create a blank file named for instance new inside the ~/Templates/ folder of your home directory.

Creation of a new template file

If you still facing problem, Check the file in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs if XDG_TEMPLATE_DIR variable is set correctly. If it is set to $HOME instead of $HOME/Templates, correct and save that file.

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This didn't work for me in Nautilus 3.6.3 –  szx Dec 26 '12 at 0:36
Strange, I've the same version as you. Maybe your Templates/ directory doesn't have the same name due to localisation settings ? –  remjg Dec 26 '12 at 14:31
Turns out this was caused by the XDG_TEMPLATE_DIR variable in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs being set to $HOME rather than $HOME/Templates. –  szx Jan 11 '13 at 9:03
@remjg But do you know why there's no New document menu at all when the Templates folder contains no files even though a possibility of creating an Empty document clearly exists (the last position in above mentioned context menu)? –  Cyprian Guerra Feb 3 '13 at 1:04
The "Empty document" entry is a bug and has been removed since (see the bug report), that was indeed non consistent! –  remjg Feb 4 '13 at 23:38

I can't really find this option in 3.6 either, but there are command line tools that can help you out (but it depends on what you are actually trying to accomplish here).

In a Terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) you can write the command:

 touch filename.ext 

This will create an empty file called filename.ext - you can call it whatever you want, with whatever extension (or no extension) you feel like.

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Thanks, I didn't know this command. But I still have to open a terminal at the desired location (ok nautilus-open-terminal can help me for that purpose). What I want to do is not to lose time to look for the folder I'm working in ! –  remjg Oct 29 '12 at 17:38
Yes I agree that this is very tedious in comparison to the old way. Not sure why they removed it - probably not many that used it or something. –  Gjermund Bjaanes Oct 29 '12 at 17:40
Normal users don't need this feature, they could even be mistaken ("Hey, I want to create a new .doc file, why not creating a blank new text file ?"). I can understand it, but I need it : it was a very convenient way to create a new source code file at the right project location. –  remjg Oct 29 '12 at 17:47
I understand. I did not find any extension doing this sort of thing, but perhaps you could do the community a service and write one? ;) –  Gjermund Bjaanes Oct 29 '12 at 17:51
I'm currently learning how to code, would be a lot of fun and an interesting task for me to contribute to a free software ! But I must say I'm overwhelmed for now. I studied math in the past, I teached for two years, and I'm going back to the university directly in the second year of a computer science master... Well, it's tough ! –  remjg Oct 29 '12 at 17:59

I guess you could write a nautilus script with touch "New files.txt" in it.

You could even keybind it using accels.

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Even if I have found the answer, it sounds like an interesting idea for those who want a keyboard shortcut ! –  remjg Oct 30 '12 at 15:44
If there still is the File->New Document->Empty Document entry, you can keybind it directly, no need for the script. –  user55822 Oct 30 '12 at 17:31
How do you do it ? –  remjg Oct 30 '12 at 20:48
Accels are shortcuts assigned to each entry inside menus. Read that question and answer askubuntu.com/questions/136062/…. Applies to nautilus as well of course. –  user55822 Oct 30 '12 at 21:57
Thank you for your answer ! –  remjg Oct 31 '12 at 8:26

Just create some file templates in your home Templates directory:

cd ~/Templates
touch 'New Text File.txt' && touch 'New Word File.doc' && touch 'New Excel Spreadsheet.xls'

Go to any folder then, right click and you will see the "New Document" option with the templates you created.

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I installed nautilus-terminal. It gives you a small embedded terminal inside nautilus. The directory in the embedded terminal is identical to the directory you are watching in nautilus. So you can use the touch command there without opening a separate terminal and changing directories manually.

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how did you install nautilus-terminal? –  KasiyA Jan 29 at 19:10

I wrote an extension for Nautilus to restore this functionality. It's not perfect yet, but it's better than nothing and I will improve it in the future.

This extension is written in Python. It adds a context menu entry "New file" for the Nautilus file manager and allows user to create a new empty file.

Open source under GPL v3 or later licence. For more see http://byteptr.com/nnf/

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You might want to elaborate on it a bit, rather than just linking to it - What does it do, how does it work, how to use it? –  user98085 Feb 6 '13 at 20:29

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