Working with the Selection

There are two basic ways of selecting text in Kate: using the mouse, and using the keyboard.

To select using the mouse, hold down the left mouse button while dragging the mouse cursor from where the selection should start, to the desired end point. The text gets selected as you drag.

Double-clicking a word will select that word.

Triple-clicking in a line will select the entire line.

If Shift is held down while clicking, text will be selected:


When selecting text by dragging the mouse, the selected text is copied to the clipboard, and can be pasted by clicking the middle mouse button in the editor, or in any other application to which you want to paste the text.

To select using the keyboard, hold down the Shift key while using the navigation keys (Arrow keys, Page Up, Page Down, Home and End, possibly in combination with Ctrl to extend the move of the text cursor).

See also the section Navigating in the Text in this Chapter.

To Copy the current selection, use the EditCopy menu item or the keyboard shortcut (defaults to Ctrl+C).

To Deselect the current selection, use the EditDeselect menu item, or the keyboard shortcut (default is Ctrl+Shift+A), or click with the left mouse button in the editor.

Using Block Selection  

When Block Selection is enabled, you can make vertical selections in the text, meaning selecting limited columns from multiple lines. This is handy for working with tab separated lines for example.

Block Selection can be toggled using the EditBlock Selection Mode menu item. The default keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+Shift+B.

Using Overwrite Selection

If Overwrite Selection is enabled, typing or pasting text into the selection will cause the selected text to be replaced. If not enabled, new text will be added at the position of the text cursor.

Overwrite Selection is enabled by default.

To change the setting for this option, use the Cursor & Selection page of the Configuration Dialog.

Using Persistent Selection

When Persistent selection is enabled, typing characters or moving the cursor will not cause the Selection to become deselected. This means that you can move the cursor away from the selection and type text.

Persistent Selection is disabled by default.

Persistent Selection can be enabled in the Cursor & Selection page of the Configuration Dialog.


If Persistent Selection and Overwrite Selection are both enabled, typing or pasting text when the text cursor is inside the selection will cause it to be replaced and deselected.