Cirkuit is a KDE4 application to generate publication-ready figures. It was born as a KDE frontend for the Circuit macros by Dwight Aplevich, but it now supports different backends. Cirkuit builds a live preview of the source code and can export the resulting images in several formats (EPS, PDF, PNG, SVG, ...).

Circuit Macros is a set of macros for drawing high-quality line diagrams to include in TeX, LaTeX, or similar documents. Check this page by Alan Robert Clark to see some nice examples.

In addition to Circuit Macros, the TikZ and Gnuplot backends are currently supported. Some examples generated with TikZ can be found here. The CircuiTikz extension, which allows to draw electrical networks, is also supported (but it has to be installed separately).


To run this application you need to have the following applications installed:

  • latex (with PSTricks, TikZ and preview packages)
  • dpic
  • m4
  • gs
  • dvips
  • pdf2svg
On Debian-based systems (e.g. Ubuntu/Kubuntu) type the following command to install the required apps:

sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-base texlive-latex-recommended texlive-pstricks texlive-base-bin texlive-extra-utils preview-latex-style m4 ghostscript pdf2svg

At the moment, there is no package for dpic, so you will need to compile from source, or select gpic as the default pic interpreter in Cirkuit settings. To build Cirkuit you need CMake and the KDE4 and Qt4 dev packages. To install them on Debian-based systems, type

sudo apt-get install cmake kdelibs5-dev libqt4-dev libpoppler-qt4-dev

To build the application, follow the usual KDE4/CMake procedure:
tar xzvf cirkuit-x.y.z.tar.gz
cd cirkuit-x.y.z
mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=`kde4-config --prefix`
sudo make install

Compatible with KDE SC prior to 4.7
Improved notifications
Minor bugfixes
More informative messages
Fixed wrong reassignment of Save and Save as actions
Fixed bug in upload dialog
Include translations in the release
Fixed a crash that could occur on startup
Bugfixes by Laurent Montel (mainly memory leaks)
Other bugfixes
New backend system (heavily inspired by Cantor)
New template system with GHNS (Get Hot New Stuff) support
Added Get Hot New Stuff support
Configurable keyboard shortcuts and toolbars
Much improved preview widget with variable zoom levels
Manuals and examples of each backend can be accessed in the main interface
Improved multi-threading -> Cirkuit generates the previews faster
Improved parsing of log files and error handling
Increased usage of K* instead of Q* classes for a better
Improved integration with the KDE environment
Redesigned configuration dialog
Other bug fixes / improvements
Switch from QProcess to KProcess
Download of remote data the KDE way with KIO
Fixed a bug when opening the Circuit Macros manual and examples
Added support for
Added possiblity to export to TeX source
Can export to GIF
Fixed a bug that caused wrong syntax highlighting detection in Kate
Correct escaping of mathematical expressions in Gnuplot
Fixed a bug that prevented the user to overwrite an exported file even when the user has confirmed that he wants to overwrite it
Fixed compilation issues
Improved localization
Various minor bugfixes
A lot of new features, pointing out just the most important ones
Multi-thread support
Full Gnuplot support (Lua terminal needed)
Support for different pic interpreters
Support for custom document templates
Improved handling of mime types
Improved error handling
Added more options in the settings
Fixed failed configuration of Circuit Macros
Experimental support for Gnuplot epslatex terminal
Fixed bug in generation of TikZ previews
Should be compatible with KDE 4.2
Improved text editor, now based on the Kate part
Support for syntax highlighting
Preview generated directly from PDF with LibPoppler
Reworked preview generation
Improved handling of error messages
Added TikZ support
Added CircuiTikz support
Faster preview generation
Export to SVG
Line number visualization
Fixed cutting of figures when exporting to EPS/PDF
Fixed CMakeLists.txt
Various bug fixes
Fixed a bug which prevented the generation of the preview
Improved auto-configuration of the macros
Initial version
  • Dwight Aplevitch for creating the Circuit Macros
  • Alan Robert Clark for the useful Bash script to generate previews from the code
  • Nuno Pinheiro for the icon