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


5 Answers 5


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. Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 14:15
  • @RudyVissers Not really but I guess you can hack a script using xdotool or perhaps a nautilus script/plugin?
    – hexman
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 14:22
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    This is a joke, right?
    – Jose Faeti
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 12:06
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    @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
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 15:57
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    @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
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 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.

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    theres no option new document for me, Im not that stupid Commented May 21, 2017 at 19:38
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    @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
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 19:43
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    @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. Commented May 21, 2017 at 19:46
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    @sempaiscuba You werent the one that meant I was stupid, take no offense please. It worked, thanks for the answer. Commented May 22, 2017 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.

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