April 24, 2019

Getting Started With Kate, the Friendly yet Powerful Text Editor - page 2

Getting Started With Kate

  • February 9, 2009
  • By Juliet Kemp

The Navigation sidebar, contains two tabs: a documents list (showing which documents you have open in the current session) and a filesystem browser. Choose whether or not these windows are open (rather than just having the tabs showing) in the Windows menu. You can also access other tool views, and customize tools, from this menu – I'll look at that in Part 2.

The 'Documents' tab shows a list of files that are currently open in the editor, with the current file highlighted in pink, and a little disk icon by a file's name if you haven't saved it since the last change. This matches the little disk icon that shows up in the status bar at the bottom of each file in the same circumstances. The status bar for each file also shows the insert mode (insert or overwrite), cursor position by line and column, and filename.


Sessions support is a really useful feature which enables you to save an instance of Kate with its own window setup and collection of open documents, via the Sessions->Save As menu. So next time you want to work on the same project, go to Sessions->Quick Open, choose your saved sessions, and all your files will be opened for you as you left them. Even better, if you start Kate from the command-line with kate -s mysession, it'll start up with mysession open.

You can also use anonymous sessions (the default) if you don't want to both with session-saving. To avoid seeing the session chooser every time you start Kate up, tick the "always use this choice" button at the bottom of the session list the next time you start Kate.

Multiple windows with split mode

Access the split mode either from the Windows menu, or by right-clicking on the status bar. This allows you to show multiple documents on the same page, viewed simultaneously, rather than just having multiple documents open at the same time and accessed via the Documents tab (Figure 3).

Windows can be split either vertically or horizontally, as many times as you like. This enables you to compare files easily, or to refer to one file whilst editing another. Initially the split will have the current file in both views, but if you put the cursor in a window and hit Ctrl-O, you can open a new file in that window. Close the view/window altogether by right-clicking on the status bar of that window.

In the Part 2: customising Kate, and the command-line style interface.

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