Questions too simple, can't find the answers


First time using Atom (or anything like it).
At risk of dumming down this support forum, I have some very very basic questions:

I’ve watched the how to videos and read the Flight Manual, they all assume I know how to get started so they skip the stuff I really need to know.
Can you please explain how to get started? Maybe a little step by step for me to follow.

  1. Do I open a new window?
    -The default window has the Atom folder open, lots of files in it, guessing I shouldn’t add my files and folders to that.

  2. Do I open a new file?
    -I did just this and started coding but the applications were not recognizing what I wrote.

  3. If I open a new folder it will take me to my documents where I don’t have anything to open.

Basically, I just want to start coding and learn as I go, but can’t seem to find the very basic instructions to do so.
I have downloaded the packages I need, will they just work automatically in the application?

Thank you,


A lot of these kind of depend on what you’re trying to do with Atom. It is really flexible to support whatever workflow you want to use. Of course, that doesn’t help much if you don’t have a workflow yet :grinning:

Typically, yes, but one opens when you start Atom. What I do is I organize all of my projects into directories. So I have a ~/Source directory and every directory directly underneath there represents a project. So my workflow to open a project is to go to the terminal and execute:

cd ~/Source/some-project
atom .

The atom . command opens Atom with the project in the current directory.

If you don’t already have a file to open, then yes, I would assume that you open a new one. This works the same way as any other editor on your platform works using Cmd+N on macOS or Ctrl+N on other platforms.

Atom uses the standard dialog for opening files and directories for your platform. You should be able to navigate wherever you want once you have the dialog open. To my knowledge, every platform has a way to create new directories from that dialog as well.

Did you use Atom to install them according to the instructions in Atom Flight Manual here?

If so, then yes, they are installed and are available immediately.


Thank you leedohm :slight_smile:

I followed your advice on making a directory.
Then I figured out that the packages will not recognize a file until it’s saved.

You have been so helpful, thank you,