How to Create a .TXT File With a Mac

By Tara Cantore

The plain text ".txt" file extension is the default file format the Notepad text editor on Windows. It is commonly used to distribute informational files, such as "readme" files and installation instructions. Mac OS X includes the "TextEdit" application as its default text file editor, which uses rich text format (RTF) documents by default. Although TextEdit is capable of saving in a plain text format and is the default application for handling ".txt" documents, you must first create a ".txt" file on your Mac and open it in the application to be able to save in this format.

Step 1

Open Finder, click "Applications" and then "Utilities"; then double-click "Terminal." All commands must be entered in the terminal window that appears.

Step 2

Navigate to the directory on your system where you would like to create the text document; for example. If your user name is "frank" and you are storing the file in a folder called "documents" type: "cd /home/frank/documents" without quotation marks and then press the "Enter" key.

Step 3

Create the new text document using the "touch" command. This command updates the last modified timestamp of a file and creates it if it does not currently exist. Type "touch filename.txt" and replace "filename.txt" with the name of the text file you would like to create. Press "Enter."

Step 4

Open the directory you created the ".txt" document in with TextEdit. Type "open filename.txt" where "filename.txt" is the name of the file you created.

Step 5

Write your changes to the TextEdit window and then save the document. Your changes are automatically saved in plain text format.