I've been a native windows'er up until this year and have finally made the jump to OS X. I've found my workflow (web developer) has increased substantially and I love the general performance and snappiness of my OSX.

However, I very much miss a few features of windows, one of them being how easy it was to create a new text file. Just right-click->new->text file.

I'd really like to add a "New File" option right under "New Folder" in the right click menu, and just have it make a new file in the selected folder or finder window. On top of that, it'd be really killer to have an "open terminal here" option that would open a terminal window already cd'd into the current working directory.

How can I customize the macOS Finder context menu? I want to add the menu items:

  • "New File"
  • "Open Terminal Here"
  • etc.

I've searched a bit for these but haven't found anything of substance; I could set up a hacky hotkey workaround but that's suboptimal, in my experience. So any recommendations are more than welcome!


7 Answers 7


This is a bit old, but nothing is drastically different in 10.8:


This a simple Service for creating new files the currently-open folder in Finder, using AppleScript and Automator.

Start by launching Automator, and in the chooser that appears, select Service. This will open a new Automator window, set up to create a Service. In that window, do the following: Set the Service to receive selected folders in Finder (the two drop-down menus at the top of the work area on the right). This makes it easier to assign a keyboard shortcut to our service, which we'll do at the end.

Drag and drop the 'Run AppleScript' action (in the Utilities Library) into the work area on the right.

Paste in the following AppleScript, then click the Hammer icon (to compile the code):

on run {input, parameters}
  tell application "Finder"
    set currentPath to insertion location as text
    set x to POSIX path of currentPath
  end tell
  return x
end run

Drag and drop the 'Set value of a variable' action from the Utilities Library, and create a new variable called, for example, CurrentFolder. (Do this by clicking on the drop-down menu.)

Drag and drop the New Text File action from the Text library into the work area. Then drag CurrentFolder from the Variable panel at the bottom of the Automator window to the Where entry of the New Text File action. Click the Options button in the action, and click the 'Show this action when the workflow runs' box. This makes it possible to change the name and extension of the new file.

Save the service as 'Create New File,' or whatever you like. Test your new action using the Services menu in Finder, to make sure it works (select a folder, Control-click, and you should see your new Service at the bottom of the contextual menu).

On the Keyboard Shortcuts tab of the Keyboard System Preferences panel, select Services in the left-hand column, and your new service (it should be in the Files and Folders section) in the right-hand panel. Assign a keyboard shortcut to the new Service by double-clicking to the right of the Service's name.

Switch back to Automator and change the leftmost drop-down menu (at the top of the work area) to No Input, then save the Service again.


Terminal provides Services to open a new terminal window or tab with the current directory set to a folder selected in Finder.

You can enable these Services in

System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services

The services are named “New Terminal at Folder” and “New Terminal Tab at Folder”. Once enabled, they will appear in the Services submenu of the application menu (the one whose title is the name of the current application) and in the Services submenu of the contextual menu.


This app (link to website) http://zipzapmac.com/Go2Shell if free on the app store - it opens a terminal window for the current folder

  • 1
    This handy little app still works in 2022 on an M1 Mac using OS X 12.3.1 (Monterey) Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 13:00

I too was searching for a way to customize the right-click menu in Finder. By default you can add Services and Open With... menu items, but those are stuck under a submenu and contain way too many items.

So, I created a Mac application that can customize the main context menu itself.

Service Station:

Mac App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/service-station/id1503136033/

custom image items

Service Station allows you to add custom menu items on a per-filetype basis. So you can set up different apps for when you right-click image files, text files, or the background of the Finder folder itself.

It can also run AppleScript, shell scripts, or Automator Workflows.

I'd really like to add a "New File" option right under "New Folder" in the right click menu, and just have it make a new file in the selected folder or finder window.

This can be scripted via AppleScript and added to a Service Station menu. I will likely add native "New File" functionality in the future for Windows converts :)

On top of that, it'd be really killer to have an "open terminal here" option that would open a terminal window already cd'd into the current working directory.

This is one of the default menu items for Folders. Right-click any folder and select "Terminal" to open a pre-cd'd Terminal window to that directory:

Terminal menu item Finder

Download Service Station on the Mac App Store, or more details at ServiceStation.menu.


Following tool allows you to open terminal from any directory or to create a new file in a directory using the right click menu. The tool also allows you to write simple shell scripts to add more custom options to the right click menu. The tool is free and there is a GitHub link on the tool's page if you want to check the source.

You can get the tool here: https://samiyuru.com/project/macOS-finder-right-click-menu

  • The link is not working any more. Can you upload the binary somewhere else ? Thanks. Commented Jun 18 at 0:14

To create a new file in one click, you want to use AppleScript to extend the Finder, which can be packaged as a droplet (a button inside the Finder toolbar, which is accessible from any Finder window).

After searching the web for more than one hour, I finally found a link which explains you to do just that, here you go:


In a nutshell:

  1. Create an AppleScript file as per the official applescript reference
  2. Package as droplet by placing within a {name}.app folder with relevant metadata as explained in this droplet oriented tutorial

You can use https://github.com/RichardBronosky/AppleScript-droplet as an example skeleton if you struggle (it's opinionated, but very simple).

  • Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 6:10
  • both articles are gone from the web now as of 2022 Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 12:50
  • I Actually think this had the bones of a good answer, so I've proposed an edit, which I think meets the critiques, and updates the links to be relevant; including a link to another person github example for creating a droplet. This was never inaccurate, rude or unhelpful, so I'm a bit upset people downvoted and were not stronger with direction for OP.
    – MrMesees
    Commented Jan 1, 2023 at 10:20

FinderMenu (available via GitHub) has worked perfectly for me to open a new Terminal or text file.

Simple to install as well, working on MacOS Ventura 13.

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