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Initial release2001; 23 years ago (2001)
Stable release
24.05.1[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 13 June 2024
Written inC++, Qt
Operating system
TypeSource code editor
LicenseLGPL, GPL Edit this at Wikidata

The KDE Advanced Text Editor, or Kate, is a source code 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, multiple cursors and selections, regular expression support, and extensibility via plugins. The text editor's mascot is Kate the Cyber Woodpecker.


"Kate the Cyber Woodpecker" is the current mascot of Kate editor, designed by Tyson Tan in 2021[6] and replacing the earlier version designed in 2014.[7]

Kate has been part of the KDE Software Compilation since release 2.2 in 2001.[8] 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.[citation needed]

Kate has won the advanced text editor comparison in Linux Voice magazine.[9]

As of July 2014, development had started to port Kate, along with Dolphin, Konsole, KDE Telepathy, and Yakuake, to KDE Frameworks 5.[10]

In 2022, the KDE text-editor KWrite was modified to use the same code base as Kate with deactivated features.[11]


Kate is a source code editor that features syntax highlighting for over 300 file formats with code folding rules.[12][13] The syntax highlighting is extensible via XML files.[14] It supports UTF-8, UTF-16, ISO-8859-1 and ASCII encoding schemes and can detect a file's character encoding automatically.[citation needed] Kate offers code completion and reference finding for various programming languages through its Language Server Protocol Client plugin. The default configuration supports C, C++, D, Fortran, Go, Latex, Python, Rust, and OCaml.[15]

Kate's main text editor widget is called KatePart, which is reusable under the terms of the LGPL version 2 license.[16] It must not be confused with the KParts, a KDE plugin framework for user interface components that Kate also uses.[17]

Kate can be used as a modal text editor through its vi input mode.[18]

Kate features multiple document interface, window splitting, project editing[19] 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.[20]

Kate includes the KDE terminal emulator Konsole through its Terminal Tool View plugin.[21] Since version 23.04, the terminal is also available on windows.[22]

The "quick open" feature allows searching opened files by name for quick recalling.[23] Line modification indicators highlight lines with unsaved changes and lines added in the current session.[24][25]

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.[citation needed]

As of September 2021, unlike Xed, Kate is equipped with a session manager which allows naming, saving, and restoring sessions, meaning a list of momentarily open file tabs. Saved sessions are stored as key-value-formatted *.katesession files into ~/.local/share/kate/sessions/.

Other features are a clipboard history with up to ten items, the ability to jump to a line number,[26] and source control integration using Git[27][28]

See also


  1. ^ Retrieved 23 June 2024. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Distribution Packages". Kate. KDE. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Distributions Shipping KDE". KDE. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Kate on Windows". KDE. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Kate on Mac OS". KDE. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Let's welcome Kate the Cyber Woodpecker". Kate. 2021-04-28. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  7. ^ "Kate's Mascotthe Woodpecker". Kate | Get an Edge in Editing. 2014-10-12. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  8. ^ "2.1 to 2.2 Changelog". Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  9. ^ "Issue 2 is Out!". Archived from the original on 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  10. ^ "KDE SC 4.14 wird 4er-Reihe abschließen". (in German). 2014-07-10.
  11. ^ Larabel, Michael. "KDE Starts April With Many Fixes, KWrite Internally Using The Same Code As Kate". Phoronix Media. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  12. ^ "kate.git". Archived from the original on 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  13. ^ "data/syntax · master · Frameworks / Syntax Highlighting Engine · GitLab". GitLab. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  14. ^ Cullmann, Christoph (2005-03-24). "Writing a Syntax Highlighting File | Kate | Get an Edge in Editing". Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  15. ^ Cullmann, Christoph (January 2020). "Kate -LSP Client Status". Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  16. ^ "KatePart | Kate | Get an Edge in Editing". Archived from the original on 2014-10-18. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  17. ^ "KParts - KParts". Retrieved 2020-10-30.
  18. ^ "KDE's Kate Text Editor Gets Vi Input Mode". 2008-10-27. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  19. ^ "Using the Project Plugin in Kate". 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
  20. ^ "Using Sessions". Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  21. ^ "Terminal Tool View Plugin". Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  22. ^ "Make Konsole work on Windows (!814) · Merge requests · Utilities / Konsole · GitLab". GitLab. 2023-02-20. Retrieved 2024-01-03.
  23. ^ Cullmann, Christoph (10 January 2021). "Kate Text Editor - Quick Open". Kate. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  24. ^ "Chapter 7. Configure KatePart". Show line modification markers
  25. ^ "Line Modification Indicators".
  26. ^ "The editor holds a clipboard history that contains up to 10 clipboard entries."
  27. ^ Crume, Jacob (16 April 2021). "Kate Editor Set to Become KDE's Answer to Microsoft's Visual Studio Code". It's FOSS News. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  28. ^ "Using Kate's Git Features". February 2023.

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