Using the JetBrains plugin for Python

In this article, you'll learn how to access all the features the JetBrains plugin has to offer for Python.

For Python developers, the JetBrains plugin works for both PyCharm and IntelliJ. From here on, we will assume that you are using PyCharm.


The only prerequisites are that you have PyCharm installed, the Kite Engine running, and the PyCharm plugin installed. If you don't have the PyCharm plugin installed, you can learn how to do so here.

Note: If you installed the PyCharm plugin while PyCharm was already running, you'll need to restart PyCharm for the plugin to activate.

Checking the Status of Kite

If Kite is installed properly, you should see a small Kite logo at the bottom right corner of the PyCharm window. Clicking this icon opens a menu that will tell you the current status of Kite.

There are a handful of possible states Kite can be in, as described in the following table:

Icon Message Description
Kite is not installed The Kite Engine is not installed.
Kite Engine is not running The Kite Engine is not running.
Kite Engine is indexing your code The Kite Engine is analyzing your code to be able to serve you results.
Kite is ready and working Kite is ready to go — start coding!
No icon No message This typically means that you are coding in an unsaved file or a filetype not yet supported by Kite.
Note: If you're running Kite for the first time, it may take several minutes for Kite to finish syncing and indexing your codebase.

The menu that appears when clicking the icon will also allow you to access your settings.

Writing code and accessing features

In the following sections, the $ character indicates the position of your editor's text cursor.


To start, open a Python file in a whitelisted directory. Make sure that this file has been saved with a .py extension. Now type the following code:

import j$

A list of suggested completions should automatically appear.

Kite can provide completions for Python keywords, name expressions or attribute expressions. The example above illustrates a name expression completion. An example of an attribute completion would be:

import json

In the case of name and attribute completions, Kite will also provide the type of value represented by the completion e.g. module or function.

Function signatures

Continuing with the example code above, complete the function call to by typing the opening parentheses.

import json

Kite should show you information about how to call json.dumps.

The top half of the UI shows the arguments that the function accepts. Arguments with default values will also have their default values shown. You may also click on the **kw link to show the arguments that are found in the keyword arguments dictionary.

As you type, Kite will stay in-sync with your cursor and highlight which argument you are currently focused on.

The “How others used this” section in the bottom half of the UI shows you common ways other programmers use the function json.dumps. Kite learns these calling patterns by analyzing all the open source code available on GitHub and then ranks them from most popular to least popular. If you are calling a function that you have defined locally, Kite will extract patterns from your codebase directly instead of GitHub.

Kite Pro completions

If you have upgraded to Kite Pro, Kite may suggest completions that can complete multiple words at once. For example, Kite can provide snippets for calling functions. When a snippet is selected, you will be able to cycle through the arguments with the tab key and make the necessary changes.

Kite can also suggest completions for generic code structure, such as control structures and variable assignments, to name a few.

You can learn more about Kite Pro here.

Viewing documentation

Kite can also quickly retrieve documentation for the code you are working with. You can do so by positioning your cursor over an identifier and selecting the Kite: Docs at Cursor action from the action navigator.

When triggered, the documentation shows up in the Copilot.


Kite comes with several actions that you can run.

Command Description
Kite: Open Copilot Open the Copilot
Kite: Docs at Cursor Show documentation of the symbol underneath your cursor in the Copilot
Kite: Status Show the current status of Kite in the status panel
Kite: Editor Plugin Settings Open the settings for the Kite Jetbrains plugin
Kite: General Settings Open the settings for the Kite Engine
Kite: Python Tutorial Open the Kite Python tutorial file
Kite: JavaScript Tutorial Open the Kite JavaScript tutorial file
Kite: Help Open Kite's help website in the browser