"New document" in Nautilus?

When I started using Gnome last week I was baffled that 'New Document' did not appear inn Nautilus's right click menu, thus making the addition of a new text document to a directory a bit more time consuming.

After a bit of digging around I found that the solution to this conundrum lies in putting a text document into 'Templates'.

Could a text document be put in 'Templates' by default to eliminate this minor annoyance for new users?

(If Gnome addressed this in v43 please forgive my wasting your time)

There must be a hundred file types you could put in the templates folder. Should we ship every distribution with a hundred empty files, and have a hundred options come up on the context menu when you right-click in the file explorer?

Best to leave it empty I think, and let each person set up template files on their own if they wish--especially with how trivial they are to set up.


Thanks for the reply.

My suggestion isn't to have hundreds of files in templates, it's to give people a clue that it can be done. From the above article:

Little do we suspect at this point that the Gnome Files context menu actually has a hidden option. Why is it hidden? Simplicity? But if I knew it was there I would have searched online how to use it. Since it’s not there, I always thought Gnome Files simply does not allow you to create files from this context menu.

If a single 'new document' entry in Nautilus's right click menu points people in the direction of the templates folder then they can add as many other files as they want to the menu.

That is an interesting theory, although it does seem that in your case (and the author of the linked article), the reverse is true.

Both you and the author searched for this feature and learned how to use it because the option was missing, not because it was there in the first place. The quoted sentiment is backward.

If the option was there by default, you probably would have just figured it was a normal feature and never would have given it another thought--let alone learn how to set it up.



GNOME Shell is a creature owned by Red Hat. They determine the generic defaults. However, every distribution, be it Fedora, Arch, Debian, etc. sets it up a little differently. That even includes file manager's defaults. It's to be expected.

But generally, yeah, GNOME can be a pain until you beat it into submission.


My two cents:

  1. If one opens the Templates folder in Nautilus (the default file manager in Gnome), there is a message at the top that hints about how to use it and even has a link (it will only work if you have installed yelp, what comes with gnome package group)

  2. After a fresh install, there are not many directories in the user home, so it is kinda easy to notice that there is a Templates directory there, and its name should make it easy to have an idea of what it is for

  3. My personal experience is that most problems for Gnome users on Arch/Garuda come from the fact that the complete set of Gnome packages is not installed by default

  4. One of the first things I do after a fresh installation is to install Nemo and make it the default file manager, it does come with an option to create an empty text document, even in Templates folder is empty


That's fair and at least it is GTK. But don't you dislike pulling in the Cinnamon group because of it? I know it's rather small, but that part always bothered me. Personally, I found it easier just to retain Nautilus drop-ins, which IME tend to work the same across comparable distributions.

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Only cinnamon-desktop is installed on Arch, it is a minor package. The biggest issue are the xapp files related to the preview extension, but it is worth the benefits IMO.

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I suppose you could recompile Nemo to exclude unwanted dependencies, but then you'd have to do it again every time there was an update/upgrade.


Thanks for all of the replies.

At the end of the day I like simplicity, but if I have to trawl the internet to resolve how a basic operation is done I'll do it because I don't like being beaten by a problem which potentially has a simple solution.

Creating a new document from Nautilus's right click menu falls into this category - it's a real head-scratcher for a newbie, but it's obvious when you know how it's done.

Unfortunately new users who are trying out Garuda Gnome in a virtual box may not try to resolve this issue, they might just shrug their shoulders and try another distro instead. Methinks a single text document in the distro's templates folder could ultimately result in more installs of Garuda Gnome.

BTW, if I need a new document I use micro, geany, gedit or kate.

I am of the opinion that especially newcomers will hardly get the idea to use a file browser for this, let alone install the distribution in a VM, which we also advise against on our download page.


I wouldn't go quite that far, but I do think it is a good idea. Existing GNOME users tend to be aware of things GNOME-ish, but new users might pull their hair out trying to figure out why something so simple seems so complex (to them).

There are a lot of reasons for multiple DEs & WMs in Linux.


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