I am not experiencing the problem in How to create a new blank file in Nautilus 3.6 and above?, perhaps because I have a newer version of Nautilus.

$ nautilus --version
GNOME nautilus 3.14.2

I can create a blank file very easily in most directories: find some blank space, right click, and select New Document » Empty Document. However, if a folder has enough content to fill the screen, there is no blank space. If I switch to icon mode, there is blank space between the icons, but in list mode there is no blank space anywhere. I don’t recall having this difficulty in the past. Right clicking in list mode used to work. Is there any way I can restore older behaviour?


The easiest method is this keyboard combo: Alt+F, D, E.

This basically mimics Florian Diesch’s answer: Alt+F opens “File”, D opens “New Documents” and E is for “Empty Document”.

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    Alt+F does not work anymore under Nautilus 3.26.x used with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver. – Hans Deragon Jun 3 '18 at 12:50

If there is no blank space you have to use New Document » Empty Document from the File menu.

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    New Document » Empty Document does not exists anymore under Nautilus 3.26.x used with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver. – Hans Deragon Jun 3 '18 at 12:51

The canonical command to create an empty file is indeed touch.

From the command line, enter touch <filename(including full path)>.

(Although, beware arguments containing spaces.)

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  • Your solution is a workaround. Users should not have to go to the terminal to create a new file. Since it is a workaround that solves the problem, I vote you up. – Hans Deragon Jun 3 '18 at 12:52

You could just use the cd command to move to your folder step by step from the terminal and then use any editor to create a file, such as

cd Desktop/../..
nano a

This opens "a" file. Just save the file by clicking Ctrl+o and exit with Ctrl+x. Two dots ".." is for parent directory.

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    This is unnecessarily complicated in the case the directory is already opened in Nautilus. ------ Easier way: In a terminal (start with Ctrl+Alt+t) write: cd (with a space) then drag and drop the directory from Nautilus to the terminal and press Enter. This will switch you to the directory. Then write: touch filename which will create an empty file named filename. – pabouk Jun 5 '15 at 14:17

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