Making Files with the Bash terminal, for Newbies with Macs

For those who don’t use the command line:

Try this out and if it isn’t floating your boat, it’s all good to jump ship and probably give it a shot further down the line.


create files with the Bash terminal

Main commands:

Terminal is an app that’s standard to most, if not all, Macs. Go ahead and find it and open it.

terminal file path

Terminal in Mac’s should be in Applications/Utilities/Terminal

If you use Spotlight on your Mac (I highly recommend it) press Command + Space and simply type “Terminal” to get an easy access to your Terminal Application.

terminal from Spotlight

Opening terminal, you start at your Home folder aka directory. If you type ls you’ll see all the folders and files in your directory.

# Note: your terminal won't necessarily just be a "$" symbol
 # but I'll be putting that here for simplicity

$ ls

Applications Downloads Library Pictures VirtualBox VMs flash middle telegraph
Desktop Dropbox Movies Public 
Documents Music Scheme exercism pgadmin.log

Notice how my directory has Desktop as an available directory. You should have a Desktop folder in your Home directory too.

My actual desktop looks like this:

Image of my Desktop with one folder

We are going to move into your Desktop and list it’s contents. For my Desktop, I’ll only have my Temp folder.

$ cd Desktop
~/Desktop $ ls
~/Desktop $

Finally making a file in the desktop simply calls the “touch” command. Lets make a file called “index.html” in our Desktops

~/Desktop $ touch index.html
~/Desktop $

Nothing exciting happened in the Terminal itself, but if you look at the Desktop, you should see your file there. If you have a beloved text editor, you can open that ‘index.html’ file with that editor and make changes since it’s simply a text file.

Desktop with index.html folder

Congratulations! You’ve made a file through Terminal

Using the terminal is something that can be extremely helpful in making development an effective and efficient process. Still, the task of learning the command line is avoided by many techies. I’m assuming this is because it can be overwhelming and unfamiliar. I say start with little bits of it in your life and work from there.


create files with the Bash terminal

Main commands: