One great feature in Windows is the ability to create a new blank text file from the right-click context menu, but this feature doesn’t exist on Mac natively. However, it is possible, though more complex than a simple right-click.
In this post, we look at how to create a new blank text file in any folder on your Mac. While there are a few ways to do so, we cover the major ones.
1. Using an Automator App to Create a Blank Text File in Any Folder
For this first method, we are using the Automator app to create a script, which will help you create a new blank text file in any folder.
1. Launch Automator in your preferred way – either from the Applications folder or Spotlight.
2. Select the “Applications” folder in the panel on the left and click on “New Document” to create a new application.
3. Choose the type of document you’d like to create. In this case, we want an application. Select this, then click the Choose button:
4. From here, you’ll want to drag the action named “Run AppleScript” from the Actions panel on the left and drop it into the workflow panel on the right.
Note that you may need to search for it using the small search bar at the top.
5. You’ll notice an AppleScript editor appear in the workflow panel. Clear out the contents and paste in the following script:
tell application "Finder" to make new file at (the target of the front window) as alias
6. Click on the “File” menu on the top and select “Save … “
7. The next screen will ask you for a name for your app, and where the saved file should live. You can enter anything you like here, but make sure you select Applications for both the “Where” and “File Format” fields.
8. Once you click on save, open the Applications folder from the Finder. To use the new app anywhere, hold the Option + Command keys, and drag the app to the Finder toolbar.
9. From here, head to any folder and create a new blank text file with a single-click of the app.
It will create a new text file with the name “untitled” in the folder you are currently in.
2. Using Automator’s Quick Actions to Create a New Blank Text File
You may also want to use Automator’s Quick Actions to create a new blank text file. This is marginally quicker than the previous approach, although it follows almost the same process.
The benefit is that you can add shortcuts to the Services menu and the Actions menu within the Finder’s toolbar. What’s more, it can help you make light work of repetitive tasks.
The only difference in the process is that you would choose Quick Action instead of Application when first creating your Automator script.
While you could create the whole script here, you may also want to assign the app from the last section to a Quick Action.
Still, regardless of your approach, you can navigate to the “Finder -> Services” menu, within the toolbar, and find your new Quick Action.
3. Using Terminal to Create a New Blank Text File in Any Folder
First, select a folder where you’d like to create your file from within the Finder. Next, navigate to the “Finder -> Services” menu within the toolbar. Here, you’ll see a number of different services. Select the option that says “New Terminal at Folder.” This will open a Terminal window in the current working directory.
When the Terminal window is open, type in the following command and press Enter:
You can replace the placeholder text with your chosen filename. Once you confirm, the file will populate the chosen folder.
4. Use a Third-Party File Manager App to Create a New Blank Text File
Many Mac users see enough flaws in the current Finder system that they supplement the functionality with a third-party app. There are a few on the market, but Path Finder is a great solution.
The good news is that there’s a shortcut to help you create a new blank text file, although it’s hidden within Path Finder’s menus.
To get there, navigate to your desired folder within Path Finder, then open the File menu from the toolbar. You’ll see the option to create a new file.
What’s more, you can use a keyboard shortcut to create the file. Once you press Command + Option + Control + N, this will create the file in the specified folder.
There are possibilities to create a new blank text file on your Mac with a single-click. While there isn’t a native way, you can use native apps to create an Automator script. Depending on which type of script you make, you’ll be able to access it from a number of different finder menus. If you use an app such as Path Finder, you get this functionality in the box.
If you want to use Automator to do more with your Mac, we have an article for you. Will this Automator tip help you be more efficient? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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