KDE for scientific work

Introducing Cirkuit

Hello Planet!

in this post I would like to introduce another project I have been working on lately: Cirkuit. It was born as a KDE interface to Circuit macros (hence the name), a great set of macros that can be used to produce high-quality diagrams typically (but not limited) for inclusion in a TeX/LaTeX document. The main purpose of Cirkuit was then to provide a “live preview” of Circuit macros code and to export the result in various formats (PDF, EPS, SVG, PNG, JPEG).

However, since I used also other graphical tools to produce graphics for my publications/presentations, I wanted to add support for other “backends” in addition to Circuit macros. At the moment, there are two additional working backends: TikZ/PGF and Gnuplot. So, it is now possible to write TikZ and Gnuplot code and get a preview of the result. The interface in based on the Kate part and so it also supports syntax highlighting. Here are a couple of screenshots:

Notice the use of LaTeX in both the examples to nicely format the legends/symbols.

Cirkuit just moved to (thanks to the sysadmin team). If you are interested in it and want to check out/contribute code, visit the project page.


16 responses to “Introducing Cirkuit

  1. JeanLuc December 11, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    great tool 😉
    something i will definitely use as an kde-fan and an electronics student

  2. Orestes Mas December 11, 2010 at 7:55 pm


    I discovered cirkuit recently and I find it a *very* useful and interesting application (at least for me). Probably I’ll use it to draw my circuit diagrams from now on (I currently use xcircuit), so thank you very much,

    Although at this moment I don’t know if I’ll use cirkuit to preview gnuplot or tikz graphs, i’d like to explore this facility, but here there’s some lack of examples to help starting.

    Can you provide these exemples in the code, please?

    Thanks (again).

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  4. uniq December 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Nice! TikZ and Gnuplot are sometimes not very handy especially when the deadline is near and a simple point & click tool is so much faster. Thanks a lot.

  5. Hans December 12, 2010 at 12:20 am

    That looks very interesting. Nice that you use a KDockWidget for the Live Preview, especially for us multi-monitor users. 🙂

    This might not be feasible to implement, but it doesn’t hurt to ask – would it be possible to export it to a .tex file for inclusion in LaTeX documents? I tried to export such plots from Matlab from my Bachelor thesis but never got it to work. Here are some examples:

    (Sidenote: I just found out about TikZ/PGF after googling for the sites above, and switching back to this tab I see that it’s already supported in Cirkuit!)

  6. ofirk December 12, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Very nice. I think it is a great thing for electronics students.

    I am eager to see it stable and kicking in Ubuntu’s repo!

  7. gondsman December 12, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I used this program for my thesis (I’m an electronic engineer) and people were STUNNED by the results, great work! I even wrote it in a small chapter of the thesis itself! Thanks for the awesome work!

  8. Pedro Almeida December 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Hello, Matteo!

    First of all, let me congratulate you for the excellent work going on! Cirkuit is, indeed, bridging the gap in the set of tools one should use to create some amazing publishing work! And in style!

    Now, some wishes =) :
    – Snippet/Template collection – GHNS integration, TeXamples-like!
    – KDevelop-like auto-completion popup, with hints and such!
    – Building in Windows/Mac would be a bonus (but not essential, far from that)!

    Keep up the great work! If you happen to be around Lisbon some time, the beer is on me!

    Best wishes from Portugal,

  9. g December 12, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    There exists a similar tool named ktikz (tikz only, but using some tricks it can be used for pstricks too, see documentation of ktikz). It is available as both a Qt-only and a KDE-app (and also for windows). The app stores the tikz-code in .pgf or .tikz files which can be directly included in the tex-file. There is also support for templates. The KDE-version has a kpart which opens .pgf or .tikz files in Konqueror and shows the live preview only. You can export to EPS, PDF and PNG.

  10. rrandolph August 19, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    I’m new to Linux, KDE, and CirKuit. Please excuse my ignorance.
    I followed the following install instructions from the following link.

    I tried some examples which did not work. I noticed the following when I started CirKuit…
    rrandolph@RRANDOLPCHDW7:~$ cirkuit
    QInotifyFileSystemWatcherEngine::addPaths: inotify_add_watch failed: No such file or directory
    QFileSystemWatcher: failed to add paths: /home/rrandolph/.config/ibus/bus
    cirkuit(1963)/kdeui (kdelibs): Attempt to use QAction “show_live_preview” with KXMLGUIFactory!
    cirkuit(1963)/kdeui (kdelibs): Attempt to use QAction “show_log_view” with KXMLGUIFactory!

    Any ideas what is wrong?
    Any plans for a packaged (*.deb) offering, or inclusion in KPackageKit (KDE) ?

  11. A1 June 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Hey – Is there a way to install this on Windows 7?

    • sciencekde June 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      At this time, Windows is not supported. However I could support anyone who is interested in making Cirkuit work in Windows. You would need at least recent Qt and KDE libraries installed. In addition to that, you will need win32 binaries for m4, dpic and pdflatex.

  12. B2 November 19, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    I for one would like to install this on Windows 8, I heard that there is a way to port KDE apps to Windows. ScienceKDE would you be able to help me out here?

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