Brief: New versions of Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04 etc don’t include the option to create a new text document in right-click context menu anymore. Here is how to bring that useful option back.
The other day I was trying to create a new text file in Ubuntu 18.04. While in Nautilus, I right clicked and to my surprise, I didn’t see the option to create a new document. This option in the right-click context menu allowed creating an empty text file.
It’s a small inconvenience because I can always use the terminal to create a new document or I could open the text editor and save an empty text file. But I don’t want to do that. I want that good old right click new document option back.
In this quick tip, I’ll show you how to add the new document option in right-click context menu in Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04. Doing it in the terminal is a lot easier but I’ll show the graphical way of doing it as well.
Enable new document option in Nautilus File Manager in Ubuntu
If you prefer videos, you can see the tutorial steps in action in the video below:
If you go into your Home directory, you’ll see a folder called Templates. Chances are that you probably never used it. But today is your lucky day as you are finally going to utilize this Template directory.
This Template directory is used to create … templates. What I mean is that the documents saved in this special folder will be available in the right-click menu. For example, if you write letters regularly, you can put a sample letter file in this folder. Now if you right click in any other folder, you’ll see the option of creating ‘Letter’ in the menu. You select that and you’ll have that saved sample letter in the new location. You can edit it and save it with a new name. It’ll save you some of your precious time for sure.
Now, we are going to use this feature of Templates directory here. I’ll show the command line option first.
Method 1: Command line way
Open a terminal and use the following commands:
touch ~/Templates/Empty\ Document
This will create a new empty file named ‘Empty Document’ in Templates directory for you. And now when you right click in the file manager, you’ll see the New Document option.
A Quick tip that shows how to resize images with right click menu in Linux quickly. The trick should work on any Linux distribution that uses Nautilus file manager.
Method 2: The GUI way
If you are not comfortable with terminal and commands, no worries. I have got your back here. Just for your information, I am using the Ubuntu 18.04 Community Theme and this is why the icons may look different to you in these screenshots.
Press Super/Windows key and search for the text editor. And open the editor.
Now all you have to do is to save this empty file in Templates directory. You can give it any relevant name.
You should see it in the Templates directory.
And now when you right-click in any directory, you’ll see the option to create a new document in Nautilus.
I wonder why Nautilus removed the option of creating new documents from the right-click context menu. It’s a useful feature and should be present by default. What do you think?
Since we are discussing templates, maybe you would want to use templates in LibreOffice to reuse certain types of documents.