Protege-OWL 3 FAQ

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Protege-OWL 3.x Frequently Asked Questions

This is the FAQ for the 3.x series of the Protege-OWL editor. We provide the following alternative FAQ pages for other Protege versions and Protege-related topics:

How do I install Protege-OWL?

If you are new user, we ask that you register before downloading Protege:

Once you've registered, navigate to the download page on the Protege website to launch the platform-independent installer program:

Where do I ask questions and report bugs?

Please post comments, questions, and bug reports on the protege-owl mailing list. You must be subscribed to the list to post messages. See instructions for subscribing: If you have trouble subscribing and/or posting to the list, send a message to the list owners.

Where can I look at a list known bugs and feature requests?

Go to the Protege Bugzilla Main Page and click "Search existing bug reports". On the Advanced Search tab, choose Protege as the Product, choose Protege-OWL as the Component, specify a version number, and click the Search button.

How do I load an OWL file?

  • In Protege versions 3.2.1 and later, choose File | Open..., specify the location of your OWL file in the "Open Project" dialog, and click OK.
  • In Protege 3.1.1, choose File | New Project... to bring up the "Create New Project" wizard. Check the "Create from Existing Sources" checkbox, choose "OWL Files (.owl or .rdf)" from the list of project types, and click Next. Specify the location of your OWL file in the "OWL file name or URL" field, and click Finish.

Why can't I load my OWL or RDF file?

If Protege fails to load a given OWL or RDF file, please try the following:

  • Run it through the University of Manchester's OWL Validator to make sure your file is well formed.
  • Run it through the OWL Syntax patcher and try reloading the result.
  • If your file still does not load, post a question to the protege-owl mailing list with a link to your ontology file.

How do I work with multiple files and the import mechanism?

Please refer to our guide on managing imports.

Why does my Protege OWL/RDF file look strange?

Many people examine the OWL files produced by Protege and remark that they look strange and irregular. In particular, they find the files difficult to parse back with an XML parser. It is important to note that Protege uses the Jena parser library to save files, and thus we have little impact on the details of the output. This also means that however complex or irregular the OWL files look, you can always use Jena to parse the file for use in your Java application. The reason why the files may look strange is that Jena does some optimizations to shorten the files, e.g. to remove duplicate links and to streamline parsing. You could try alternative output formats such as N3 or RDF/XML (without abbrev) and see whether you prefer them to the RDF/XML abbrev.

How do I execute a reasoner?

Please refer to our guide on using reasoners.