Kate (text editor)

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Kate in KDE Plasma 5
Kate in KDE Plasma 5
Initial release2001; 19 years ago (2001)
Stable release19.12 (12 December 2019; 44 days ago (2019-12-12)[1]) [±]
Written inC++
Operating system
TypeText editor
LicenseLGPL, GPL

The KDE Advanced Text Editor (Kate) is a text editor developed by the KDE free software community. It has been a part of KDE Software Compilation since version 2.2, which was first released in 2001. Intended for software developers, it features syntax highlighting, code folding, customizable layouts, regular expression support, and extensibility.


Kate has been part of the KDE Software Compilation since release 2.2 in 2001.[6] Because of KParts technology, it is possible to embed Kate as an editing component in other KDE applications. Major KDE applications which use Kate as an editing component include the integrated development environment KDevelop, the web development environment Quanta Plus, and the LaTeX front-end Kile.

Kate has won the advanced text editor comparison in Linux Voice magazine.[7]

As of July  2014 development had started to port Kate, along with Dolphin, Konsole, KDE Telepathy, and Yakuake, to KDE Frameworks 5.[8]


Kate is a programmer's text editor that features syntax highlighting for over 300 file formats with code folding rules.[9] The syntax highlighting is extensible via XML files.[10] It supports UTF-8, UTF-16, ISO-8859-1 and ASCII encoding schemes and can detect a file's character encoding automatically.

Kate can be used as a modal text editor through its vi input mode[11] which emulates a Unix text editor with the same name.

Kate features multiple document interface, window splitting, project editing[12][further explanation needed] and sessions to facilitate editing multiple documents. Using sessions, one can customize Kate for different projects by saving the list of open files, the list of enabled plug-ins and the window configuration.[13]

For searching and replacing text, Kate features incremental search, multi-line search and replace and regular expression support. It can perform search and replace on multiple files.

KDE integration[edit]

Being a KDE application, Kate transparently opens and saves files over all protocols supported by KIO libraries. This includes HTTP, FTP, SSH, SMB and WebDAV, among others.

Kate is built using the KParts framework; it is a graphical shell around the editor component, referred to as katepart.[14] This KParts component is embedded by other KDE programs as well. Kate uses Konsole to get an embedded terminal.


Kate the woodpecker, mascot of Kate editor.

"Kate the woodpecker" is the mascot of Kate editor, designed by Tyson Tan in 2014.[15]. She has design elements of "{ }" on the chest, "\ /" in the feathers, and "*" shaped pupils. Her separating wing feathers are after the tabs of multiple opened documents. Her color scheme is inspired by doxygen source code highlighting.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "19.12 Releases". KDE. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Distribution Packages". Kate-editor.org. KDE. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Distributions Shipping KDE". Kde.org. KDE. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Kate on Windows". kate-editor.org. KDE. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Kate on Mac OS". kate-editor.org. KDE. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  6. ^ "2.1 to 2.2 Changelog". Kde.org. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  7. ^ "Issue 2 is out!". Linuxvoice.com. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  8. ^ "KDE SC 4.14 wird 4er-Reihe abschließen" (in German). Golem.de. 2014-07-10.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Christoph Cullmann (2005-03-24). "Writing a Syntax Highlighting File | Kate | Get an Edge in Editing". Kate-editor.org. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  11. ^ "KDE's Kate text editor gets vi input mode". Arstechnica.com. 2008-10-27. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  12. ^ "Using the Project Plugin in Kate". 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  13. ^ "Using Sessions". Docs.kde.org. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  14. ^ "KatePart | Kate | Get an Edge in Editing". Kate-editor.org. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  15. ^ "Kate's Mascotthe Woodpecker". Kate | Get an Edge in Editing. 2014-10-12. Retrieved 2017-07-20.

External links[edit]