Create New Files & Projects In OSX Finder Easily

QuickFiles is a free OSX 10.6 AppleScript service plugin that lets you create new files of any kind in the Finder with a keystroke. Install QuickFiles then place files or folders that you’d like to use as templates into the “QuickFiles Templates” folder. When you run QuickFiles, simply select a template from the list, and it will be copied into your current folder.

QuickFiles also supports multi-select, so you can create two or more files in one operation. Just hold Command or Shift to select multiple templates from the list.

Best of all, everything can be controlled via the keyboard by binding a shortcut to the service (I used Command-Control-N). Hit the keyboard shortcut, type the first letter or two of the template you want, then hit enter to copy it into your current folder. The new file is selected for you, so you can immediately hit Enter to rename it, or Cmd-O to open it for editing.

I originally created QuickFiles because I was jealous of Window’s right-click menu to create new files in Explorer, but I think it’s evolved into something much more powerful and usable.

Here’s a few ways you can use it:

  • create a new blank text document
  • create a new class file, FLA, or xml file from a template file
  • create a copy of a sales letter or contract that you personalize often
  • create a new project folder with all of its sub folders and starting files already in place
  • create an alias to a file or folder that you use regularly
  • copy frequently used code libraries (including package directories) into your project

This version is only compatible with OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard. There is an older version available here, with less features, that supports early versions of OSX.

You can download QuickFiles for OSX 10.6 here. It includes the AppleScript workflow service file, and a ReadMe file that I highly recommend reading for information on installation, use, and setting up a keyboard shortcut (all very simple, not necessarily self-evident if you haven’t installed services before).

I’ve found this plugin very useful for coding, and day to day tasks. Hopefully it’s useful to other people as well.

Grant Skinner

The "g" in gskinner. Also the "skinner".

@gskinner

19 Comments

  1. Nice work, this will come in handy.

  2. Grant, this is definitely a nifty little add-on that will help me get my team to be working off the same base set of templates. Is there any chance that you’ll be sharing some of your templates in the near future?

  3. Juan – If you wanted to take it a step further, it should be pretty easy to modify to use a directory from a shared server for templates. Better yet, point it at a local SVN working directory and share the templates that way.

    Wasn’t planning to share my templates, and I’m not going to have a chance in the next few weeks (my schedule is chock full), but I might try to do so when I get back from the next couple of conferences if people are interested.

  4. -bash: cd: Library/Services: No such file or directory

    should I create this one?

    …looks promising šŸ˜‰

    thanks

  5. You can create the folder, working as it should.

    Romu

  6. thanks !

  7. it’s a shame that mac os doesn’t have this functionality built in, and mac users have to rely on developers like you to get it.

  8. An alternative, and very similar, workflow is available with quicksilver:

    http://www.tuaw.com/2007/03/26/quicksilver-tip-for-switchers-make-new-file/

  9. Yes, cool idea, but quicksilver can do that and so much more.

  10. I actually prefer QuickFiles instead of QuickSilver. QuickSilver is too bloated & isn’t built into the Finder at all.

    But I’m unable to get the Service to showup when right-clicking unless I have a file selected in Finder.

  11. Thanks a lot! Works like magic šŸ™‚

    Are we allowed to modify your code (and possibly redistribute it) or is that a no-go for you?

  12. This little program is a start in the right direction, but I’m still not happy. The main thing, I can’t right click in the folder and copy my template into that folder. This program forces me to navigate to the Finder Menu in order to copy the template. As an ex-Windows user, I’m very adamant in using the right-click menu to create new files. I want to have Quick Files to be a menu item in my right click context menu, just like Windows.

    The good news, this script is the only script that I can find that actually provides any sort of similar ability with OSX 10.6. All the others just don’t work. (I haven’t tried Quicksilver.) Most ways, this script is a simple and clean script that has major potential.

  13. There’s also neu, if users don’t want to go the script route and need something basic:

    http://www.elegantchaos.com/neu

  14. Look at that. It’s not even Friday and I’m spelling my own name wrong. šŸ˜‰

  15. This is awesome. One thing I’d really like to see is categorization. I’d love to be able to sort through a list of file types and folders based on a category or two.

  16. Does not work for me on Mac OSX 10.6.8

  17. Sorry for the previous message. I was looking for the “QuickFiles” menu appearing as a submenu of “Services” when right-clicking in a folder.
    Instead, it appears in the “Services” submenu of the “Finder” menu. Then I added a keyboard shortcut, and it now WORKS!!! Thanks a lot for your work!!

  18. Very nice, works except for keyboard shortcut.

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