Kile's Main Features

QuickStart Wizard

The QuickStart wizard built into Kile is a useful feature to quickly start creating documents in Kile. Choosing the wizard from the menubar gives you several choices for the creation of your document. You can also specify some options related to the document right away.

Class options:

  • Document Class: choose the type of document you want to create: article, book, letter, report, scrartcl, scrreprt, scrbook, prosper, beamer or other custom-defined.

  • Typeface Size: tell Kile what point size (pt) you want to use.

  • Paper Size: choose the size or style of sheets.

  • Encoding: In general it is a good idea to use your systems standard encoding. Modern systems now move more and more to UTF-8 as the standard encoding. If you can, use utf8x (which is indeed the correct spelling for LATEX documents).

  • Other options: this allows you to set further options such as printing, draft, and others.


This lists some of the most common additional packages used in LATEX. Select the checkbox to include it.

Document Properties

  • Author: put your name here.

  • Title: add the document title here.

  • Date: specify the date.

Predefined Templates

The predefined templates in Kile are:

  • Empty document: real freaks start from scratch!

  • Article: sets the article format, for a document short enough not to be broken down to chapters.

  • Report: sets the report format, for a middle-sized document, with for example page numbering on the page's outer edge.

  • Book: sets the book format, a full-fledged flavor, so powerful that it is used to write many university textbooks.

  • Letter: sets the letter format, that can automatically do those nasty indentations that nobody really remembers.

  • Beamer,HA-Prosper: create nice presentations in PDF with a superior look and all LATEX power.

  • Scrartcl,Scrbook,Scrreprt,Scrlttr2: the KOMA-Script document classes, especially adapted to german typography. Use them whenever you write german texts.

New users need not to worry, this list is just a brief description of features, and more attention will be paid to complete these tasks in detail later in Chapter 3, Quickstart.

Syntax Highlighting

Kile is similar to programs that deal with source code and editing, and will automatically highlight commands, options and items that are used (and abused). Kile makes it possible to spot easily problem areas: for example, if you see major areas of text turned green, it is likely that you forgot closing a math environment somewhere; you would have noticed anyway by how crappy the output file would have looked, but highlighting really saves you time and frustration.

Auto-Completion of Environments

The auto-completion of environments means that, when you begin a new environment by typing \begin{environment}, Kile will automatically insert a matching \end{environment} command, with a line in between them for your text. You can of course deactivate it if you want in Settings->Configure Kile...->LaTeX+Environments.

Jump to Structure Element

All documents are normally structured in a hierarchy of some type. LATEX allows you to break up documents into the following hierarchy (part being highest in the hierarchy, and subparagraph being lowest):

  • \part

  • \chapter

  • \section

  • \subsection

  • \subsubsection

  • \paragraph

  • \subparagraph

When viewing a document in the Structure view, you can jump between elements by clicking on the element you would like to view.

Inverse Search

When creating your own LATEX files, inverse search can be very helpful. Once you have created a DVI file (DeVice Independent File), you can click the middle- mouse button in the DVI viewer and Kile will jump to the corresponding line in the LATEX source code.

A DVI is a type of file containing a description of a formatted document, along with other information including character font, and is besides PDF the usual output of TEX or LATEX. A number of utilities exist to view, convert and print DVI files on various systems and devices.

Forward Search

When using inverse search, the selection of items in the DVI file is associated with the editor, so when you click on the DVI file, the main window jumps to the corresponding section of LATEX code in the editor. Forward search is the exact opposite of this. Forward search will allow you to click on a specific section of text in the LATEX code, and jump to the associated position in the DVI viewer window.