Pr4 UG ui Views

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comment   Editing   Glossary   Outline

User Interface
Main Window
Menu Bar
Tab Bar

Protege 4 provides dozens of views, which are collected into tabs for particular editing tasks. A view allows the user to display (and frequently, edit) some part of the ontology. Basically, views are where all the real work gets done.

Each view defines its own User Interface (UI), but most views use the same set of UI elements. So, views tend to look and act in a predictable manner.

Header Bar

The background color of a view's header bar depends, in general, on the category (eg, Class, Individual) in which the View resides. This provides the user with a visual reminder of the general topic being displayed.

 Data property 
 Object property 

Note: Header bars for views in floated and split Frames use a gray background color.

The left-hand end of the header bar contains the name of the View, followed (in general) by the name of the item being viewed. For example:

Object properties: compatibleWith

The right-hand end of the header bar contains a set of four icons, described below in the Frame section.

Display Area

The display area uses a variety of "widgets", including action buttons, check boxes, disclosure triangles, and selectable entries.

Action Buttons

Action buttons are used to make changes to specific parts of the display area. Common action buttons include "Add", "Annotations", and "Edit".

An action button appears as a circular gray icon, containing a white symbol (eg, "+", "@"). Hover the mouse over the icon to see the button's name.

Check Boxes

Check boxes are used when some number of Boolean values need to be specified. For example, the "Object Property Characteristics" View uses check boxes such as "Functional" and "Irreflexive".

Check boxes alternate between the checked and unchecked state. Click on a box to toggle its state.

Disclosure Triangles

Disclosure triangles provide control of visibility in hierarchical lists. Clicking on a right-pointing triangle will cause it to point down and reveal the items it contains. Clicking on a down-pointing triangle will cause it to point to the right and hide the items it contains.

Selectable Entries

Many entries in the display area are selectable. The selected entry becomes the target for some edit buttons (see below) in the current view. It may also become the topic of other views in the tab.

Selectable entries can be recognized by the blue background color. When another selectable entry is clicked, the selection moves to it from the previous one.

Edit Buttons

Some views have one or more edit buttons, located just below the header bar. These are typically used to add, remove, or modify items in the display area.


Each view occupies a rectangular "frame". This is typically located in the Main Window under the Tab Bar. However, frames are extremely malleable, as discussed below.


Frames may be stretched (or shrunk) in two ways. If the Main Window is stretched, all frames within it will be stretched proportionately. Individual frames can also be stretched in the horizontal or vertical dimension. Neighboring frames are resized appropriately.

To stretch an individual frame:

  • Move the cursor to the space between two frames.
  • Wait for the cursor to change shape.
  • Press and hold the mouse button.
  • Drag the mouse as desired.
  • Release the mouse button.


A frame may be "split", yielding two half-sized frames. Click the "Split horizontally" or "Split vertically" icon at the right end of the frame's (colored) header bar.

The result of a split may be split again, yielding as many frames as desired. To remove an unwanted frame, click the "Close" icon.


Clicking a frame's "Float" icon causes the frame to be duplicated and turned into a separate window. This can be dragged to a desired location and stretched (or shrunk) as desired.

Floated frames differ from normal frames in two respects:

  • They cannot be split.
  • They remain visible through tab changes.