Chapter 2. The Fundamentals

Table of Contents

Starting Kate
From the Menu
From the Command Line
Drag and Drop
Working with Kate
Quick Start
Working With the Kate MDI
The Editor area
The Documents List
The Built in Terminal Emulator
Using Sessions
Restoring old style Kate behavior
Getting Help
With Kate
With Your Text Files
Articles on Kate

If you have ever used a text editor, you will have no problem using Kate. In the next two sections, Starting Kate and in Working with Kate, we'll show you everything you need to get up and running quickly.

Starting Kate

You can start Kate from the K menu or from the command line.

From the Menu

Open the KDE program menu by clicking on the big K icon on the toolbar at the bottom left of your screen. This will raise a menu. Move your cursor up the menu to the ApplicationsUtilitiesAdvanced Text Editor Kate menu item.

From the Command Line

You can start Kate by typing its name on the command line. If you give it a file name, as in the example below, it will open or create that file.

%kate myfile.txt

If you have an active connection, and permission, you can take advantage of KDE's network transparency to open files on the internet.


Command Line Options

Kate accepts following command line options:

kate --help

This lists the most basic options available at the command line.

kate --help-qt

This lists the options available for changing the way Kate interacts with Qt™.

kate --help-kde

This lists the options available for changing the way Kate interacts with KDE.

kate -s --start name

Starts kate with the session name. The session is created if it does not exist already. If a Kate instance running the specified session exists, the specified files are loaded in that instance. When used with the --use option, an instance running this session will be used as well.

kate -u --use URL

Causes Kate to use an existing instance if there is one. This is now the default behavior, but this option remains for compatibility.

kate -p --pid PID

Only reuses an instance with the specified PID (Process ID). Used with the --use option.

kate -e --encoding encoding URL

Uses the specified encoding for the document.

kate -l --line line URL

Navigates to the specified line after opening the document.

kate -c --column column URL

Navigates to the specified column after opening the document.

kate -i --stdin

Reads the document content from STDIN. This is similar to the common option - used in many command line programs, and allows you to pipe command output into Kate.

kate --startanon

Start Kate with a new anonymous session, implies -n.

kate -n --new

Force start of a new Kate instance (is ignored if start is used and another Kate instance already has the given session opened), forced if no parameters and no URLs are given at all.

kate -b --block

If using an already running Kate instance, block until it exits, if URLs given to open.

You can use Kate with this option as editor for typing in commit messages for version control systems like Git or Subversion. These systems expect to block the editor till you have entered your message, because they then open the temporary file, which would be empty if kate immediately returned to the caller.

This option is also needed with KIO (KDE Input/Output), if you open a remote file (which has been downloaded to a temporary) and should be reuploaded, after you saved it.

kate --tempfile

Since Kate 2.5.1 this standard KDE option is supported. When used, the specified files are treated as temporary files and deleted (if they are local files and you have sufficient permissions) when closed, unless they are modified since they were opened.

kate --help-all

This lists all of the command line options.

kate --author

Lists Kate's authors in the terminal window.

kate -v --version

Lists version information for Qt™, KDE, and Kate.

kate --license

Shows license information.

Drag and Drop

Kate uses the KDE Drag and Drop protocol. Files may be dragged and dropped onto Kate from the Desktop, the filemanager Dolphin or some remote ftp site opened in one of Dolphin's windows.