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Aug 19, 2014

Create a Text File in Finder using OS X

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This morning I wanted to create a text file in Finder, but of course, you can’t really do that. Create a folder yes, but not a file. So after a few searches, it seems the most common answer is to write a rather involved AppleScript. That seems a rather imperfect solution to me.

So here is what I think is a much simpler solution.

  1. Create a text file on the desktop to use as a template named newfile.txt. This can be done with a text editor of your choice or from the command line. Here are the steps for the command line.
    1. Open Terminal
    2. cd Desktop
    3. touch newfile.txt

    You now have a empty text file you can use to create new files.

  2. To create a text file in any finder folder do the following:
    1. Hold Alt and drag the newfile.txt template file from the Desktop to the Finder folder you want to add the file to.
    2. Drop the file. A copy is of the blank file is created in the folder. Mission accomplished.

Tip: One thing I find annoying about this method is if you need to change the extension of the file. OS X always issues a warning when you try to do this. but you can turn it off.

  1. Open Finder
  2. Select Finder –> Preferences
  3. Select the Advanced tab
  4. Uncheck Show warning before changing an extension.

That should get rid of the warning.

Well I hope this helps. It seems a much easier way to create text files with the OS X GUI and you don’t have to write a script.

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