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I recently switched from Ubuntu to Mac, but miss the templates folder. I've googled and surprisingly can't find anyone else asking about this. Is there a way to create an equivalent on Mac?

If you're not familiar with Ubuntu, this isn't the same as just creating a folder, I require being able to right-click in any finder/desktop location and have a Templates selection (like New Folder) drop-down, which offers to place any of your pre-configured templates in that location.

This is useful, for example, for creating readme.md files.

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    What exactly is the result of applying such a template when creating a folder? – nohillside Mar 12 at 18:41
  • I have added further clarification to my question. – user324073 Mar 13 at 9:31
  • @SteveChambers reopened – nohillside Mar 13 at 9:32
  • Please describe the process you want in more detail. How much flexibility do you need for that? One template, three, lots? Lots & different ones at once? If the latter, you'd be better off with a different approach? – LangLangC Mar 14 at 16:50
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This functionality does not exist in macOS. There were a few free utilities to fill the gap, now discontinued. There are a few pay-ware utilities claiming to do this job. As this is quite a simple function I refused to pay anything upfront just for testing whether they do so to satisfaction.

If you want a home-brewed solution you might have to resort to automator.

If you further want this to be activated via right-click you would have to choose a "Service" to program within Automator. This is possible but very inconvenient, though. In browser or list view you will not be able to select "empty space", you have to right-click on an existing file to then have even the "Services"-submenu appear. This will then perform the programmed action, even regardless of the file being clicked. But this is a pointless exercise in an empty folder.

Further, such a service is difficult to find in an overfull and cluttered context-menu, and it allows only one file at a time to be copied. Need two files or more? Then this gets very awkward.


If I understand the wanted process correctly:

  1. create a new folder
  2. perform action to copy a template file from a template repository on disk into that location
    (meaning: "with some flexibility", i.e. it's not always the same set of files to pre-populate such a folder)

Then I propose to use a different approach:

  1. create a ~/Library/Doc-templates folder (path is your choice)
  2. place your template files in that folder
  3. create an Automator application (start with the action setting the path to the current location, then "Ask for Finder items" (set that path to Doc-templates; even allows multiple selections) and copy them to current path.
  4. compile that "Application"
  5. Place this in a convenient location, eg ~/Library/Applications
  6. Cmd-drag this application to the Finder toolbar!

Now you can create a new folder, single left-click into the Finder toolbar, get a file selection dialog to choose any combination of your templates, then get those copied to this folder.

Related
"New Item" in Finder's right-click menu
How to create a service (shown in the context menu on the URL) in Safari?
How to Customize macOS Right-click Menu
Create Context Menu Items in Mac Finder
Applescript Copy file to a new folder
Applescript copy files/folders from a source using a second source

Don't forget: If you develop any such an AppleScript/Automator solution for yourself, then put it somewhere public so that others can benefit from using it as well. And perhaps even improve the code or add capabilities.

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macOS does not have that exact functionality however you can create a folder with various source documents of the type and kind you need.

If you Get Info on any document in macOS there should be a checkbox under the "General" (first) heading that is called Stationary Pad. Checking that will tell macOS to open a copy of that document, by default (usually) named "____ copy" in that type of document's default application.

So a .docx file will open in MS Word. So not the same as Ubuntu but does that give you similar functionality?

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