This week in KDE: Some cool new features

New Features

KDE Connect now supports the quick reply feature of Plasma’s notifications, allowing you to reply to a text message from within the notification itself! (Nicolas Fella, KDE Connect 21.08)

Kate now has an optional panel that displays all the TODO items in a project (Waqar Ahmed, Kate 21.08)

In the Audio Volume applet’s “Applications” tab, hovering over the name of an app that’s currently playing audio now displays which device it’s outputting to (Kai Uwe Broulik, Plasma 5.22)

Bugfixes & Performance Improvements

Partition Manager now correctly reports the S.M.A.R.T status for all disks (Yaroslav Sidlovsky, Partition Manager 21.04)

KCalc’s “Constants” buttons now have legible text when using a dark color scheme (Frederik Schwarzer, KCalc 21.08)

When using Okular on a multi-monitor system that supports and uses different scale factors for each screen, Okular now draws its window and content according to the scale factor of whichever screen it’s currently located on, rather than the highest one from among all connected screens (Oliver Sander, Okular 21.08)

Pasting saved Klipper text into GTK apps in the Plasma Wayland session now works (Fabio Bas, Plasma 5.21.4)

When applying a Global Theme to a new user, applet positions no longer get messed up when logging in as that user the second time (Marco Martin, Plasma 5.21.4)

Assigning a color to a sensor in the new Plasma System Monitor app no longer incorrectly applies it to every one (David Redondo, Plasma 5.21.4)

Scrolling on the desktop to switch between virtual desktops now respects the “Navigation wraps around” setting that you can set in the System Settings Virtual Desktops page (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.22)

System Settings’ “Highlight changed settings” feature no longer gets confused by localized text in the Locations page (Méven Car, Plasma 5.22)

After setting a fractional scale factor (e.g. 125%) in the Plasma Wayland session, XWayland windows now respond properly to mouse input immediately, rather than requiring that the system be restarted first (Weng Xuetian, Plasma 5.22)

When uninstalling an item from a “Get New [thing]” window, the UI no longer sometimes claims that the uninstallation process is hanging forever even when it actually succeeded (Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Frameworks 5.81)

User Interface Improvements

It’s now possible to select the text of the filename in Dolphin’s information panel, so that it can be copied to the clipboard (me: Nate Graham, Dolphin 21.04)

When you open a document in Okular that was already open, Okular now switches to that document by default (the behavior is configurable) instead of opening it again in a new instance (me: Nate Graham, Okular 21.04)

Gwenview’s status bar now always lives at the bottom of the window (Noah Davis, Gwenview 21.08)

The wallpaper dialog’s “Positioning” Combobox is now the same width as all the other ones so all you OCD people can stop twitching uncomfortably now 🙂 (Filip Fila, Plasma 5.21.3)

When opening the Window Rules page from the titlebar context menu, it now opens in System Settings rather than in a strange custom dialog, which fixes various bugs including text not being copyable (Ismael Asensio, Plasma 5.22)

Improved the animation effect for the blue line that shows you which System Tray item is active (Konrad Materka, Plasma 5.22)

Discover’s screenshot pop-up now has a visible close button so you don’t have to figure out that you click on the darkened background area to close it (Justin Zobel, Plasma 5.22)

How You Can Help

Have a look at to discover ways to be part of a project that really matters. Each contributor makes a huge difference in KDE; you are not a number or a cog in a machine! You don’t have to already be a programmer, either. I wasn’t when I got started. Try it, you’ll like it! We don’t bite!

Finally, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the KDE e.V. foundation.

15 thoughts on “This week in KDE: Some cool new features

  1. Always a pleasure reading these blogs.

    I am happy I finally switched over to KDE a few day’s ago.

    First, Steam’s Proton made it possible to fully switch over, then Cinnamon DE was the right DE at the time for me to transition, but I always wanted more out of my DE and with KDE I got it all.

    KDE is such a coherent and good looking DE. You can make it whatever you want and it always looks visually good, and this blog just confirms again that they are paying attention to all the details.

    But some good changes in this blog, I did not even noticed some stuff like the notification blue line or that wallpaper button that was smaller, and I usually am also pretty OCD about that stuff.


  2. Wow, aside from your own improvements, each of the 17 others was done by a different person. How do you manage to orchestrate all this?


    1. It mostly orchestrates itself! Close coordination is generally only required for major projects that touch all layers of the stack.


  3. Thank you, Nate, for providing that amazing and informative blog!
    Have you got an idea if there are any plans for adding rgb subpixel antialiasing to Okular?
    In some very old discussions about that, it looks there was some success, but now it is grayscale only.


    1. You’re welcome!

      Okular already supports RGB sub-pixel anti-aliasing for its UI, but I guess you’re asking about document content. It would probably need to be added to poppler itself (the PDF rendering library that Okular uses), not so much in Okular.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, it’s still the same set of options:

      1. Use the Wayland session where all scaling stuff works

      2. Set `PLASMA_USE_QT_SCALING=` on X11 and accept a different set of bugs, including mixed DPI setups being horribly broken


  4. This might be a long shot but I thought I would ask anyways. Do you think there will be any plans to have the icons in the system tray movable? Like you can manually move to different positions in the tray, and they stay in that position? There are some icons that just don’t look right next to certain icons, depending on the theme I’m using.


    1. Not to my knowledge, though it’s more technically feasible now than it was before. We did a bunch of work to make the icon positions always fixed rather than semi-random, which means we have a path forward to making the positioning be user-adjustable, should that be deemed desirable. 🙂


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