18

Is it just me, or is there no simple way to create a new file on Mac OS?

Every time I need to create a text file or something, I have to either touch a file via the console or copy & paste another file and rename the extension and erase the content.

Why isn't there a "New File" option on right click?

Comments
  • 5
    What if you hold down cmd too? Or some other key. I know context changes and it is pretty stupid
  • 3
    @jespersh Nope. Just checked with option, ctrl, option and shift.

    After googling the problem, it seems like that creating a text file via right click on Mac OS just isn't a thing...

    (Seriously Apple? The user can import files from iPad/iPhone via right click but cannot create a blank text file?)
  • 8
    I know it’s stupid, but think about it for a moment. When are you ever going to create a file without putting any content in to it (in which case you would probably use the terminal / ide / text editor)?
  • 2
    @devs i always go

    touch asd.file && micro asd.file
  • 2
    @ganjaman never heard of micro.....
  • 3
    I know that’s an option in windows but I never realized anybody used it. When you want to create a new file why wouldn’t you open the program i.e. text editor start drafting and save? That one seems obvious to me
  • 8
    @devs Need it all the time. When I'm in the right directory with the file manager anyway I just right click, new text file, change the name and eventually extension, open it with whatever tool I need from file manager. No need to fire up a shell in that directory or cd there in an already open shell
  • 1
    @ddephor welp, I always have a terminal open anyways.... I personally find it faster. If my terminal isn’t open, the computer is turned off..... and I prefer using that for git and stuff
  • 0
    @devs its a terminal editor, you can check it out on github
  • 18
    It baffles me there are people here wondering why anyone would even use this option, lol. There is nothing easier than a simple right click and new file to precreate for example a text file right in the folder you currently have opened due to other reasons anyways without having to open up an editor, write content and navigate to that location again to save that file where you actually want it to be. Seriously, that's an easy and simple reason for why (and THAT) people use it.
  • 2
    It's not intended. Just open the app you want to make the file with. Simple as that.

    Why make an empty file? what's the file extension? Plain or binary? Does the app that uses the file recognize the type by it's content?

    All of this is just confusing to consumers. You are an poweruser.

    So just touch it, otherwise you can still make a snippet of code that adds it to the menu.

    EDIT I'm always in the terminal and create new files simply with the command "code ./maybe/relative/myFile.ext"
  • 4
    @devs I also have at least two terminals open any time, usually 3-4. But I don't use them for file management, I use them for git or executing scripts. I don't like to navigate through the filesystem in a shell, that's faster using a decent filemanager (no, not windows explorer, I said decent. Total Commander on Win, Krusader on Linux).

    If I need a shell in a given directory, I navigate there with the filemanager and open a shell there from the filemanager. That's faster and more versatile than cd'ing in a shell.
  • 2
    @ddephor I have literally never done this. Even in the terminal, why touch it if I’m going to open it with vim anyway? It’s actually fewer keystrokes to just launch the editor. Also not every program understands blank files if there’s a header missing. That’s not an assumption you can universally make. Last but not least, some files on Mac are not actually files but directories with two forks, one for data and one for binary. What does it even mean to new a complex file type?
  • 1
    @ddephor that’s fair. Total commander is awesome too, really miss it when using Mac
  • 0
    @Alice so what if I want to create a blank pdf? That means absolutely nothing. The only file type that I can even think of where this makes sense is a text file. And even then I think it’s dumb.the two clicks that it would take people to do that I could have created ten text files with vim.
  • 2
    Apple was hoping that most consumers would just open Notes or Pages (or even TextEdit) to begin writing a file then save it wherever. Creating a new blank plaintext file is pretty dev-like behavior. Does it even appeal to non-devs to do this?
  • 7
    I totally get @FrodoSwaggins' reasoning, but I'm with @Alice on this one. I really hate navigating in open/save dialogs, so navigating in a file manager, creating the blank file and opening it makes much more sense to me -- and generally saves me annoyance/effort.
  • 2
    Would it save hella time for power users to include a New Blank File... Option? Absolutely Yes. Does Apple believe it's worth the effort to include this feature? Apparently not.
  • 0
    @FrodoSwaggins I'm an Emacs user, but I use Emacs in its own window. No need to open Emacs within a shell, I can open any file from the shell or the filemanager in the already open Emacs instance (server-mode).

    And I configured my filemanager to start all main applications with a shortcut, so for most cases I can open the newly created file immediately to do whatever I want to.
  • 1
    @devs Total Commander is such a great tool. Sadly there is no Linux version. There are many similar filemanager, and Krusader is really close, it even has a preconfigured keymapping similar to Total Commander. But still Krusader is not that "fluently" usable as Total Commander.
  • 0
    @ddephor I’m still very confused. I don’t see how I could use this in my workflow. You have to take your hands off the keyboard. ?
  • 0
    you are clicking it wrong
  • 1
    @FrodoSwaggins You can use the keyboard alone if you want to, that depends on the filemanager, a good one can be operated mainly with the keyboard.

    But I'm pragmatic, I use what suites my needs. I like using the keyboard as much as possible, but if I already grabbed the mouse, I right click.

    I just don't like navigating directories in a shell. You have to know the directory structure to navigate fast, or else it's a hassle. On linux it may be awkward with upper/lower case. On windows command prompt it's annyoing that the shell doesn't automatically add a path separator.

    For me a good filemanager is way faster to navigate.
  • 0
    @ddephor don’t you have to know the directory structure to be fast in a file manager as well? Same amount of reading
  • 3
    So much terminal elitism here. As much as I love a terminal like the next linux user, nothing beats a file manager. All them previews and icons and simple mouse movements and click. All that "navigating with terminal is faster" is IMHO just bull. Typing first letters (correct case) and tabs and writing "touch xxx" can't be faster than a few clicks. Unless you're using some old h/w that takes ages to load each directory.
    In any case, opening a file editor just to be able to create a random file is also bull. Typo3 for example needs an empty file called ENABLE_INSTALL_TOOL to unlock some settings. If no phpstorm or any editor is open because I only play with some backend settings.. then what? I might be spoiled by microsoft, but I got used to using it because it just makes sense _sometimes_.
    Anyway, there's an app to add this feature. Costs money of course. Go with linux instead. You can have this, or use terminal or whatever the fk u want. Fo' free.
  • 1
    The Apple UX is aimed at their target market (idiots who can afford to upgrade their hardware every 6 months), not people trying to get work done. One of their design philosophies is that the design is good when there is nothing left to take away. It seems that creating new files easily and conveniently did not make the cut
  • 0
    @FrodoSwaggins In file manager you always see the complete content of a directory, so you can navigate directly (with or without keyboard, that doesn't matter), and most file manager on Linux ignore case on navigating by keyboard. In a Linux shell you have to double tap tab to see the content if you don't know the exact name, and case matters.
  • 0
    @ddephor well have to agree to disagree I guess
  • 1
    @FrodoSwaggins No no, we can carry on forever :-)
  • 0
  • 0
    @010001111 Not for me, there is no need for CLI file managers in a desktop environment, you will need a dedicated window anyway, so why not use one that has a native GUI.

    It's ok for shell only use, like SSH session without X, but then why not use the original, midnight commander.
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