Enable ‘New Document’ Context Menu in Ubuntu 17.04 Nautilus

Last updated: April 14, 2017

ubuntu 17.04

The default Nautilus file browser lacks ‘New Document’ option in its context menu (right-click menu) in my fresh installed Ubuntu 17.04 Unity Desktop.

When you right-click on blank area in Nautilus or Ubuntu Desktop, you’ll find there miss the ‘New Document’ option in the pop up menu.

It’s easy to re-enable the option in Nautilus context menu. As it prompts in Templates folder, simply create an empty document in Templates, the file name will be displayed as sub-menu option of ‘New Document’ menu.

While you can’t create a file via the context menu, do it via touch command:

1. Open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or searching for “Terminal” from start menu. When it opens, run command:

touch ~/Templates/Untitled\ Document

This command creates an empty file called ‘Untitled Document‘ in the Templates folder.

Tip: the backslash in the code tells that the space following it is part of the filename since the shell treats whatever comes after a space as a separate argument.

2. Now right-click on your desktop or blank area in Nautilus browser, the pop up context menu will look like:


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to remind me outdated tutorial! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/ubuntuhandbook1

13 responses to Enable ‘New Document’ Context Menu in Ubuntu 17.04 Nautilus

  1. 謝謝
    我自已用Gnome ubuntu時

  2. Thank you very much it is very helpful.

  3. Very good tip, but, is there a way to do it for all users at once? I mean, not to do it inside the home folder?

    By the way, in Spanish the word must be “Plantillas” instead of Templates. I guess that in other languages it will be different as well.

  4. i just upgraded from 16.04 to 17.04, lost my ‘new document’ context menu option, and this method is not working for me, anyone else have a workaround?

  5. this method didn’t quite work for me, items in the Templates folder weren’t showing up in the context menu. something needed to be restored about how the system identifies and uses the Templates folder.

    to fix this, i installed ubuntu tweak like so:

    wget -q -O – http://archive.getdeb.net/getdeb-archive.key | sudo apt-key add –
    sudo sh -c ‘echo “deb http://archive.getdeb.net/ubuntu xenial-getdeb apps” >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/getdeb.list’
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

    and then used this method, namely, delete your Templates folder and then use this method to ‘restore’ the Templates folder, worked for me in 17.04 on a thinkpad t530:


  6. thank you it worked in 17.10 ubuntu

  7. Thank you very much. it worked on 16.04

  8. sri krishna sahoo September 13, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    thank u vry much

  9. Thanks a lot!!!

  10. Using a template to recreate this functionality in 17.10 produces different results to the default behavior on 14.04/16.04. While this does exactly what you say and creates a new document with the name you specify as the template name, on 14.04/16.04 the context menu option was titled ‘Empty Document’ and the created file was titled ‘Untitled Document’, so there was some wizardry going on there beyond a simple template.

    The filename was also editable upon creation, so you would right-click >> New Document >> Empty Document and the ‘Untitled Document’ would appear ready to be renamed.

    While this workaround adds similar functionality, the document name is exactly as per the filename in the templates folder and it is not editable by default, so you then have to right-click the ‘Untitled Document’ and select ‘Rename’ to name it.

    This is because renaming now opens an edit window whereas this was previously handled inline. I can’t see how the new file could appear with an editable name using this method, so that’s probably a lost feature.

    This might not sound like a major issue to most, but it is frustrating if you were previously using this feature a lot as it’s more time consuming.

  11. Thank you very much, it is very helpful.

    Thank you so much…..

  12. Cm its not working ubuntu 17.10.1