Easily Format JSON using KDE Kate (easy technique)

For a long time I’ve wanted to format confidential JSON to easily inspect it without pasting it online sites. I’m not keen on installing huge tools for such a simple action but as a Debian stable user, finding KDE documentation that works for me isn’t always simple, so this method is very low complexity.

I had tried copying scripts and custom commands but for some reason that hasn’t worked for my version of KDE so I present a alternative method that works.


  • Install the lightweight command line jq program
  • Enable the Text Filter app that already ships with Kate in Debian

First, check you have the plugin available and enable it if you don’t

Enable the Text Filter plugin

Paste your json payload into Kate and select it all and then go Tools > Text Filter

Remember to use SELECT ALL

Enter the command jq ‘.’ into the dialogue and press enter. Voila it’s formatted it.

The result

Phillip Taylor