Working With the Kate MDI


Window, View, Document, Frame, Editor... What are they all in the terminology of Kate, and how do you get the most out of it? This chapter will explain all of that, and even more.

The Main Window

The Kate Main Window is a standard KDE application window, with the addition of side bars containing tool views. It has a menubar with all the common menus, and some more, and a toolbar providing access to commonly used commands.

The most important part of the window is the editing area, by default displaying a single text editor component, in which you can work with your documents.

The docking capabilities of the window is used for the tool windows of any plugin enabled in the settings dialog.

Tool views can be positioned in any sidebar, to move a tool right click its sidebar button and select from the right mouse button menu

A tool view can be marked as persistent in the right mouse button menu for its sidebar button. The sidebar can contain more tools at one time so that when a tool is persistent other tools can be shown simultaneously.

If a plugin has configuration options you can use the first item in the context menu to open the corresponding page in Kate's settings dialog.

The Editor area

Kate is capable of having more than one document open at the same time, and also of splitting the editing area into any number of frames, similar to how for example Konqueror or the popular emacs text editor works. This way you can view several documents at the same time, or more instances of the same document, handy for example if your document contains definitions in the top that you want to see often for reference. Or you could view a program source header in one frame, while editing the implementation file in another.

When a document is available in more than one editor, changes made in one editor will immediately be reflected in the others as well. This includes changing the text as well as selecting text. Search operations or cursor movement is only reflected in the current editor.

It is currently not possible to have more instances of the same document open in the sense that one instance will be edited while the other will not.

When splitting an editor into two frames, it is divided into two equally sized frames, both displaying the current document of that editor. The new frame will be at the bottom (in the case of a horizontal split) or at the right (for a vertical split). The new frame gets the focus, which is visualized by the blinking cursor bar in the focused frame.