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Protege Desktop Features

This page contains a short overview of the main features in Protege Desktop, versions 4, 5 and higher.

See Also: Protege Desktop User Documentation

GUI Framework

  • Configurable (persistent) layout of components
  • Creation, import, and export of user configured tabs
  • Multiple alternative views of the same ontology
  • Tear-off and cloning of components
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Drag and drop support
  • Lazy loading components/plug-ins for improved speed and memory usage


  • OWL API for OWL 2.0 provides efficient in-memory model
  • Plug-in framework is OSGi compliant Equinox (easily extensible)
  • Generic application framework is separated from OWL Editor Kit


  • Intelligent use of local/global repositories to handle import dependencies
  • Loading of multiple ontologies into a single workspace
  • Switching between ontologies dynamically
  • UI hints for showing in which ontology statements are made
  • Refactoring: merging ontologies and removal of redundant imports
  • Refactoring: moving axioms between ontologies


  • History
  • Global/local find
  • Global usage
  • Hyperlinking in editors

Refactoring Tools

  • Renaming (including multiple entities)
  • Handling disjoints/different
  • Quick defined class creation
  • Various transforms on restrictions (including covering)
  • Conversion of IDs to labels
  • Moving axioms between ontologies

Reasoning Support

  • Inferred axioms show up in most standard views
  • DL Query tab for testing arbitrary class expressions
  • Direct interface to FaCT++ reasoner
  • Direct interface to Pellet reasoner
  • Reasoners are plug-ins

OWL Editing

  • Consistent rendering of ontology entities, using URI fragments or annotation values
  • OWL description parsing (also supports names in annotations)
  • Built-in change support allowing compound changes and undo
  • Autocompletion and expression history
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Auto creation of IDs/labels for new entities
  • SWRL rules editing


  • Highly pluggable architecture with support for lots of different types of plugin including views, menu actions, reasoners, preferences, several manager hooks and more
  • Auto-update for notification of new plugins and new versions
  • Many plugins available including reasoners, matrices, scripting, clouds, existential tree, text mining, explanation, ontology processing, lint test framework, natural language generation and more