I know this is some how silly and ridiculous, but it is really annoying!
I recently installed Ubuntu 18.04.. With Ubuntu 16.04, I was able, when I create a new empty document, to rename it directly: I didn't need to :

  1. step1: create the document.
  2. step 2: click on it with the right button and choose rename

Everything was done in one step.
However, in Ubuntu 18.04, I can not do this (creating and renaming) in one step: every time I want to create an Empty document, I have to:

  1. Create the empty document
  2. Right click on it then choose rename.

Is there anyone who faced the same problem? And is there a fix for this?

PS: It is not about how to create an empty document in Ubuntu 18.04, it is about how to create and rename, in one step, an empty document.

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    @WCP That won't help much. If you create a document in ~/Templates folder, you'll be able to right click and create a new document everywhere, but it won't provide you the "create and rename, in one step" feature OP is looking for.
    – pomsky
    May 4, 2018 at 16:56
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    It is Nautilus that does not allow this. I tested in Thunar and it worked fine. Nautilus only would allow for creating the file, then renaming afterwards. You can try thunar as sudo apt install thunar
    – Terrance
    May 19, 2018 at 14:19

2 Answers 2


I've been looking for a permanent solution for this problem, and I found out that the best solution is to change the File Manager:
Nautilus is the default File Manager for Ubuntu. However, in Ubuntu 18.04 release, it does not allow creating and renaming files in just one step. So if anyone wants that feature to get back, the solution is to install another File Manager, I recommend Nemo (very close to nautilus in appearance) or Dolphin (more features). Both of them are available for install via ubuntu-software (or gnome-software).


This probably isn't the answer you want, but:

The easiest way to do this that doesn't vary with the type of document you want to create (application dependent) is via the terminal and the command:

touch /path/to/filename which will create a file where filename is the name of your choice in the location specified by the path.

You can open a terminal with CtrlAltT or or by searching the Activities menu. I recommend the former for those who hate wasting time.

The benefit of this approach is it works across all supported Ubuntu desktop environments and versions I've encountered and allows for increased speed by uitlizing tab completion.

The alternative is to open the application that supports the type of file you want to create, create the document and select save as. Simply launching the application will take more time than the approach I've outlined here (although you'll have to do that to edit it anyway)

The GUI doesn't appear to have the "New Document" option although you can create one. Not a great loss for CLI geeks like myself, but certainly a pain for those of us who live and breathe the GUI.

  • I've taken a lot of time looking for a solution, and unfortunately, I didn't find anyone that meets my need. Even using the terminal to create a new document is not the one I looked for since it is not practical and fast (because I need to cd to the location where I want to create the doc everytime I want to.
    – singrium
    May 19, 2018 at 13:44
  • @singrium edited answer.
    – Elder Geek
    May 19, 2018 at 14:03
  • Since, as it seems, there is no solution but using the terminal, and I already got used to it, I'll accept this answer. At the end Linux is meant to be used via CLI not GUI.
    – singrium
    May 19, 2018 at 14:09
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    @singrium I do not agree, just install Nemo and set it as your default manager (askubuntu.com/a/1173861/927600). I do not think that Linux would have gotten so popular without GUI and I do not think that there is a particular way how Linux Distros should be used.
    – user927600
    May 14, 2020 at 8:03

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