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Skim (SCIM for KDE)

skim is an input method platform based upon scim-lib under *NIX systems (including GNU/Linux and FreeBSD) optimized for KDE. It provides a GUI panel (named scim-panel-kde), a KConfig config module and setup dialogs for itself and the libscim. It also has its own plugin system which supports on-demand loadable actions.


  • KDE compliant:
    • Default settings are retrieved from KDE and the GUI honors the KDE/Qt global styles, including but not limited to the apperances colors of widgets and icons;
    • GUI language is determined by the KDE global setting, rather than LANG (or similar) environment variable, so no matter what your locale is, you can select preferrable user interface language. What's more, skim ships with a bunk of translations, currently including: (Simplified/Traditional) Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Korean;
  • Fully KDE integration: if you close your KDE when skim is still running, next time you login KDE, skim will get loaded automatically; After installation of skim, you can start it from "KDE Menu->Utilitis->skim";
  • Fully customizable: a setup GUI is shipped with skim, in which you can modify all settings not only about skim but also SCIM and most the settings will take efforts immediately without the hassle of restart;
  • Based on modular concept: nearly everything you see are in seperate plugins, so you can configure which one you want. Not specified plugins would not get loaded at all to save your memery; some temporary functions such as configuration dialogs will be loaded on-demand, and will be unloaded automatically when they are no longer needed;
  • Object Oriented: like any other KDE/Qt application skim is written in C++.

The following features are introduced in skim 1.3.0:

  • Transparent Window support: the Input Window and Main Window can be set a opacity other than 100% with the help of Composite (comes with xorg >= 6.8.0). A configure dialog is shipped with skim, so you can change it easily. In addition, this feature works with both kompmgr (the composite manager shipped in KDE) and xcompmgr (xorg's composite manager).
  • Main Window Dockable into Panel (kicker): do you ever hope to dock the main toolbar into the panel, just as what you can do under M$ Windows XP? Here you go. And you can click a button to toggle between Docking mode and Standalone mode on the fly. (now only kicker is supported.)
  • Different Direction support in Main Window: The layout of the buttons in the Main Window now is not fixed to y"from left to right" mode, you can choose one from the other 3 possibilities: "from right to left", "from top to bottom" and "from bottom to top".


Please consult the table below to make sure that you have all the necessary libraries installed to compile/use skim (Only stable branches are listed here).


Required Libraries




KDE (kdelibs)


>= 1.3.3

>= 3.2.0

>= 3.2.0


>= 1.1.3


>= 0.99.9

NOTICE: After installing skim, you should also install at least an IMEngine (refer to a input method), such as scim-chinese (currently contains the Pinyin IMEngine for Simplified Chinese), scim-tables (contains table-based input methods, such as Wubi, Erbi for Simplified Chinese), scim-hangul (a popular Korean input method), scim-uim (contains a lot of Janpanese IMEngines) or scim-m17n (contains more than 30 input methods for various languages).

skim News

News and announcement of skim development.

skim Download

Most up-to-date skim packages are available here.