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Kate is the advanced text editor that is included with Trinity. The name is an acronym which stands for Kate is an Advanced Text Editor1.


Somewhere in the history of computing, there was a point where computers were no more than glorified typewriters (that's how Big Blue earned the "Big", in the end :-)

Anyways, more seriously, editing texts is one of the tasks computers are most often bound to accomplish. Programmers find important to enhance their usual editors in ways which simplify the coding work. Sometimes the amount of enhancements brought us sacred monsters like Emacs :-).


Respecting one of its own initial goals (provide most useful tools with the basic installation), Trinity provides Kate, an advanced text editor which many programmers and users alike will (hopefully) find very useful for coding thanks to the following features:

  • support for languages like: C, C++, Objective-C, IDL, Java, Modula2, Ada, Bash, Perl, Python, HTML, LaTeX and many more!
  • colored syntax highlighting (and completely customizable)
  • folding -- I don't mean line wrapping, although Kate / Kwrite have that, I mean folding like what Microsoft calls "collapsible outlining" (at least in older versions of Word) -- the ability to collapse (hide) portions of text to allow things like easier navigation and easier writing in a more hierarchical fashion
  • smart indenting
  • very advanced text selection mechanisms: persistent selection, multiple selections, block selections
  • complete customization of keybindings
  • text bookmarking
  • support for all possible end-line styles: DOS, MacOS, Unix
  • infinite undo/redo and a handy browser of undo/redo actions.

Trinity continues maintaining the KDE 3.x version of Kate.

Of course, Kate can be very well used as an ordinary editor. If we can call it ordinary :-). To this respect, Kate provides:

  • a "Normal" syntax colorisation style
  • spell checking (with support for multiple language dictionaries, if installed)
  • list of recently edited files

Kate uses the editor component Kate Part which is also used in TDevelop, the Integrated Development Environment of Trinity.

Thanks to the marvels of Object Oriented Programming principles that Trinity uses extensively by the means of the C++ language, Kate is programmed in quite a modular manner. Thus, adding a colored syntax highlighting for a new language isn't a complicated endeavour.


  • ^ In KDE it stands for KDE's Advanced Text Editor.