Ok, the title of the post looks stupid. Why do I need a “How To” just to create an empty document in Nautilus? Well, you have noticed that if you open Context Menu with Right Click, you won’t get a create “Empty Document: option.
Many people seem to be confused about this behavior of Nautilus ..and in my personal opinion is an usability bug, similar to Ctrl+Delete to Trash Away your files.
It is a bug ..or not?
For those who don’t know how the special folder “Templates” work it is a bug. For those who know it is a feature. The majority of people don’t know and this is normal as it is hard to be discovered, so I consider this as a bug.
A typical situation example. I want to create a new file and then rename it to whatever, set an extension and open it which the appropriate application.
Remi G says: (bug #687139)
I use Nautilus 3.6.1 since a couple of days, I like the changes you made in the last development cycle. I only miss one feature : the ability to create a new blank file from the right click context menu.
Here is one example of use case I had before :
Let’s say I want to write a new LaTeX report at “~/Documents/University/Master/CourseX/ProjectY/Report/”. I’ll have to open Latexila, create a new file, select this folder after going through every parent folder and save it… Before I used to create my “Report” folder, a new blank file, rename it with .tex extension and that was it.
This feature is useful when you have a complex folder hierarchy that is painful to go through. You go there once with Nautilus, and you don’t want to do it again with every software you’ll use like Gedit. It’s especially convenient when you have to write source code, makefile or whatever you want at a specific location.
Actually the way to create empty files in Gnome is quite clever. All we need to do is to set some files that act as Templates in our Templates Folder.
If templates is empty we cannot create a new file nowhere. So lets add some files here.
And now we can create not just new files but some predefined templates. Superb :)
The paradox is that we now also have a “Empty Document” option in context menu, which is clearly a bug, but got fixed (some minutes ago) by Cosimo. In my opinion there should be an option for create an Empty Document when Templates is Empty, and remove that when Templates isn’t empty. But anyway!
*PS I was used to delete Templates Folder before I realize what was useful for :)