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For as long as I can remember, every time I install Ubuntu there is a folder in the home directory called "Templates." I've always just deleted it, but I'm curious: what's it supposed to be used for, and why is it in the default install?

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Great question. I've always done the same thing, deleting the folder after installing. I think @fossfreedom just made our lives a little bit easier. –  Tom Brossman Jan 12 '12 at 17:20

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up vote 64 down vote accepted

If you drop any files in this folder, for example

enter image description here

then when you right-click and create a new document, you can select any of these files as a basis for the new file - i.e. a template.

enter image description here

For as long as I remember, this has always been a standard feature on many desktops such as Gnome.


If you have deleted the folder and need to restore this functionality:

gedit ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

Check that there is a line containing the following - if not, add this line.

XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Templates"
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You just answered hours of questions. –  BenjaminRH Apr 18 '12 at 17:00
    
If you want to be able to create "folder templates" (in addition to single-file templates), take a look at the Nautilus extension available at bitbucket.org/edgimar/nautilus-new-folder-from-template/…. –  Mark Aug 17 at 23:21

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