Is there any way to create a text file without using the terminal at all?


Ubuntu 16.04 and earlier:

Prior to 16.10, you can create blank text-files by simply right clicking on the desired location in Nautilus. Creating blank text-file in Ubuntu 16.04

Ubuntu 16.10 and Later:

Later versions of Nautilus ("Files") removed this feature so you cannot create a blank text-file by just clicking anywhere. You need to use the "Templates" folder for this purpose.

To do this, first navigate to your templates directory: Templates folder

Then open a Terminal in that folder (by right clicking > "Open in Terminal") and then type the following command in the terminal.

touch "Blank Document"

You can name this file anything you want. I personally prefer "Blank Document" because what it creates is essentially a blank document.

After this you should be able to create blank text-files anywhere you want (and are allowed to): creating a blank-document Ubuntu 17.04

Note: You can use the Templates folder to do many other things like creating a particular image, etc. Anything you put there will appear in the "New Document" menu.

  • Did you find a way to assign a shortcut? In others words, not using a mouse. – Rudy Vissers Nov 10 '17 at 14:15
  • @RudyVissers Not really but I guess you can hack a script using xdotool or perhaps a nautilus script/plugin? – hexman Nov 11 '17 at 14:22
  • This is a joke, right? – Jose Faeti Dec 19 '17 at 12:06
  • 1
    @hexman the answer is great, thanks for it. I just find it ridiculous that in 2017 I have to google how to create a text file using the file manager. – Jose Faeti Dec 19 '17 at 15:57
  • 3
    @JoseFaeti That is indeed a problem and as much as I love Nautilus, this is totally unreasonable. Ubuntu is meant to be a "newbie" distro and you shouldn't have to google to create a text file using the graphical file-manager! Someone I helped switched to Linux messaged me regarding this once they upgraded from Xenial. I had to pass it as a bug and explain this. No wonder Linux gets it's "terminal is required for everything" reputation. – hexman Dec 19 '17 at 16:02

Right click inside the folder or on the desktop and choose New Document -> Empty Document and write the name and extension you want, for example myfile.txt.

Note that this option was removed in Ubuntu 16.10.

Nautilus screenshot


Navigate to the folder where you want to place the new document using the Nautilus file browser.

Right-click anywhere in the empty space in the folder and choose New Document from the menu.

  • 2
    theres no option new document for me, Im not that stupid – Alperen Bırçak May 21 '17 at 19:38
  • 2
    @AlperenBırçak: it will only work in the "grid of icons" view. In the list view you need to go to the "File" menu on the top bar. – Takkat May 21 '17 at 19:43
  • 5
    @AlperenBırçak I didn't mean to suggest that you are stupid, but you said you were new to Ubuntu. This normally works on grid view (I think you need to use the file menu in List view). If the New Document option is missing when you try to create a document in Grid view, the answers on this post may help. – sempaiscuba May 21 '17 at 19:46
  • 1
    @sempaiscuba You werent the one that meant I was stupid, take no offense please. It worked, thanks for the answer. – Alperen Bırçak May 22 '17 at 4:18

Click the Ubuntu logo to open the dash, then start typing Text Editor.

Click the Text Editor logo.

Type in any text you want in the file, then in the top-right of the menu, click File, then Save (or press Ctrl+S on the keyboard). Select the name and location for the file and click Save.


"Without opening the terminal" - if you press Alt+F2, you get a mini-command line, which will close as soon as you press return and it executes your command - is that allowed?

If so, Alt+F2, then

touch filename


> filename

This has the advantage of not having to take your hand from the keyboard to use the mouse.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.