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Summary:

Windows users have long had the ability to create a new document for any application they have installed from the desktop with a simple right-click. Many switchers probably miss that capability, and I must admit that I never understood the need for it on the Mac […]

Document Palette app

Windows users have long had the ability to create a new document for any application they have installed from the desktop with a simple right-click. Many switchers probably miss that capability, and I must admit that I never understood the need for it on the Mac — until I actually started using it.

Document Palette, a free application from Cold Pizza Software, gives Windows switchers and long-time Mac OS X users searching for yet another way to save time, the ability to create new documents in the Finder with a quick keyboard shortcut.

Creating a new document from the Document Palette bezel

Creating a new document from the Document Palette bezel

Document Palette runs in the background and is invoked by hitting Command + Control + Option + N. Doing so brings up a semi-opaque bezel (much like the built-in Application Switcher) containing document icons from which you can choose to create new documents. By default, a plain text, rich text and HTML file are available, but you can add your own document types simply by dragging a document into the Document Palette application list window.

Adding application documents & shortcuts

Adding application documents & shortcuts

What makes this a really handy app is that all documents created are copies of the original document you drag in the Document Palette app list. This allows you to essentially create a starting template for any type of document.

You can also assign a keyboard shortcut for each specific type of app document which you can use once you invoke the Document Palette bezel window.

This is one of those features I wish Apple had built into OS X, and I’m sure one many Windows switchers are left scratching their head looking for. Document Palette is free, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later — great news for those who haven’t upgraded to Leopard yet!

  1. Howie Isaacks Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    I’ve helped a lot of people make the switch, and they’ve never mentioned this to me. Maybe they weren’t very computer savvy in the first place :)

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    1. It’s a pretty handy feature, if you ask me. And the price is right!

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  2. There’s a way of making a stack on your dock which allows you to drag out new files. Just make up the folder, fill it with templates, go to Get Info, lock it and drag it into your dock to make it a stack.

    Originally from here… http://ignorethecode.net/blog/2009/05/31/creating-new-documents/

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  3. I can right-click and choose “New File…” then name it. I can create any file type I know the extension for. This does not use any template, it just creates a file. But it’s not like creating files on the Mac is hidden or difficult or missing, unless *I’m* missing something (I’ve never used the Windows functionality you mention).

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    1. Ha–I’m a jackhole! That’s Path Finder that lets you create files with a right-click. And Path Finder is nowhere near free. Apologies.

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  4. “What makes this a really handy app is that all documents created are copies of the original document you drag in the Document Palette app list. This allows you to essentially create a starting template for any type of document.”

    Whilst it’s not that publicised, Mac OS has had the starting template functionality for a very, very long time – all the way back to the Classic builds of the OS… It’s the “Stationery Pad” check box on the Finder Info page. If you build a starting template for a document and then set that checkbox, opening that document in an application (or double-clicking it) will automatically create a copy of the document for editing, leaving the original in place. It might not be as clean, but it’s something that was in there long before MS Windows brought their right click “New…” system into the fold…

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    1. True, you can use the “Stationery” option, but then that would require you to have a folder full of files located on the desktop, then open and save the file where you want.

      This app allows you to create the document, without opening or saving it, in any folder you wish at any time.

      I agree this isn’t a huge “problem” of the Mac OS, but Document Palette is a nice “option” for those that find it useful. As you point out, it’s just a “cleaner” way of doing it.

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  5. I see this as a solution looking for a problem.

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  6. I’ve been using this too since I switched to OS X. I missed being able to right click on the desktop and being able to choose “Create new txt file”.

    I don’t want to have to launch Open Office every time need to create a .doc or .rtf. Now I can throw a new txt, rtf, or doc on my desktop with a simple keyboard shortcut, It’s a huge time saver.

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  7. Thanks, this is a great app! I had previously used NuFile, but it was messier to use, unless you set up a dedicated keyboard shortcut for each new file type you wanted. This is much better-

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    1. Actually, it was more complicated than that- I had to use some other utility to allow me to create a keyboard shortcut for contextual menu items. Ha!

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  8. [...] Document Palette: Creating New Documents From the Desktop "What makes this a really handy app is that all documents created are copies of the original document you drag in the Document Palette app list. This allows you to essentially create a starting template for any type of document." (tags: utilities MacOS Leopard templates applications freeware) [...]

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