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Protege Menu Actions and Keyboard Shortcuts

This page contains a summary of Protege 4, 5 and newer menu items and keyboard shortcuts.

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All mnemonics are displayed next to the appropriate menu items.

On a mac, the Command key is used in place of the Ctrl key.


Shift-Ctrl-N New... Create a new ontology into the current or new workspace
Ctrl-O Open... Open an ontology (and its imports) from a file into the current or new workspace
Open recent Open a recently worked on ontology into the current or new workspace
Shift-Ctrl-O Open from URI... Open an ontology from the web into the current or new workspace
Ctrl-S Save... Save any changed open ontologies
Shift-Ctrl-S Save as... Save the currently active ontology as a new ontology
Shift-Ctrl-G Gather Ontologies... Saves all open ontologies into a single folder (useful for ontologies that have been opened from the web or from other libraries)
Export inferred axioms as ontology... After classification, save the inferred hierarchy as an ontology. The current ontology source files are unaffected, and the save status of any open ontologies is preserved.
Ctrl-L Ontology Libraries... Manage locations for commonly used shared ontologies to reside
Loaded ontology sources... Show a summary of the loaded ontologies showing their physical locations and allowing several actions such as reload, close, navigate to source
Ctrl-, Preferences... Configure behaviour for Protege Mac users: preferences are found in the Protege menu
Check for plugins... Use auto-update to find new plugins or updates to existing plugins (from build 112)
Ctrl-W Close Close the active workspace and return to the welcome window.


Ctrl-Z Undo
Shift-Ctrl-Z Redo
Ctrl-X Cut
Ctrl-C Copy
Ctrl-V Paste
Ctrl-Backspace Delete... Delete the last selected element in the focused view. If this is an entity in one of the class/property trees or individual list then it removes every statement that references this entity. If this is an assertion in a description view then it removes that assertion from the ontology.
Ctrl-F Find in view Perform a name search in the currently active view (the one that currently has focus - often the last used)
Ctrl-N Create New Create a new entity of a type dependant on the active view
Ctrl-\ Create Child Create a subclass/subproperty of the current selection in the active view
Ctrl-/ Create Sibling Create a subclass/subproperty of the parents of the current selection in the active view (in effect, on the same level as the current selection)
Shift-Ctrl-C Duplicate selected class Create a copy of the selected class including all asserted superclass and equivalent class axioms (not including annotations)
Ctrl-P Convert to primitive class Move all equivalent classes for the currently selected class to superclasses (and split an intersection into separate superclass axioms)
Ctrl-D Convert to defined class Move all superclasses for the currently selected class into a new equivalent class (by building an intersection of the superclasses)
Add covering axiom Add an equivalent class to the currently selected class containing a union of its subclasses
Make all individuals distinct... Create an allDifferent axiom containing all of the individuals in the ontology
Ctrl-J Make primitive siblings disjoint Create an allDisjoint axiom containing the currently selected class and all of its siblings
Shift-Ctrl-P Prefixes... Manage renderings of namespaces


The Active ontology is the ontology currently ticked in this menu and also visible in the navigation bar at the top of the workspace. By convention all additions to the model are made in the active ontology.

The Active ontologies is a set of ontologies including the active ontology. These are the ontologies whose contents are visible in the interface. The ontologies in this set is determined by which strategy is currently selected in this menu.

Render by Name (rdf:id) Display entities in the ontology using their rdf:id.
Render by label (rdfs:label) Display entities in the ontology using the rdfs:lable annotation property associated with the entity.
Render by annotation property Display entities in the ontology using some annotation property other than rdfs:label.
Custom Rendering Display entities in the ontology using a more complicated rendering mechanism than given by the options above.
Show only the active ontology Show only the active ontology itself, regardless of imports
Show all loaded ontologies Show all of the ontologies currently loaded in the workspace
Show the imports closure of the active ontology Show all of the ontologies imported directly or indirectly by the active ontology
A list of the loaded ontologies Select the active ontology from the list presented here


Ctrl-R Start reasoner Initializes the reasoner in a way that is appropriate for the tasks required by Protege.
Synchronize reasoner Bring the reasoner up to date with the latest changes.
Configure... Configure the reasoner specific preferences.
Fact++ Select a C++ reasoner developed at The University of Manchester
None Select the default reasoner that does not perform any inference
Hermit 1.3.3 Select a Java reasoner developed at the University of Oxford


Additional tools will depend on which plugins you have installed (eg Export OWLDoc...). The default tools are shown below.

Create class hierarchy... Enter a tab indented list of classes that will be added to the ontology
Usage Display a view showing global usage of the currently selected entity


Ctrl-U Change entity URI... Previously Rename.... Globally change the URI for the selected entity (not the label of the entity)
Change multiple entity URIs... Previously Rename entities.... Globally change the URIs for entities by search and replace (does not change the labels of the entities)
Change ontology URI..." Change the URI for the active ontology (note, this does not change the URIs of any entities)
Convert entity URIs to labels Changes the fragment of every entity URI into an auto ID and places the original fragment text in a label (using the current New Entities preferences)
Convert property assertion on class/individual puns to annotations Converts any property assertions with a subject which is a pun to an annotation on the class which is punned
Split subclass axioms Splits subclass axioms in the active ontologies into more fine grained axioms. For example, A subClassOf (B and C) would be split into A subClassOf B, and A subClassOf C
Amalgamate subclass axioms Merges subclass axioms that have a common left hand side. For example, A subClassOf B, A subClassOf C would be merged into a single subclass axiom, A subClassOf (B and C)
Copy/move/delete axioms... Previously Extract/move axioms. Select axioms using several different methods. These axioms can then be deleted or moved/copied to an existing or new ontology.
Merge ontologies... Merge one or more ontologies into an existing or new ontology


Tabs Allows you to select which tabs are visible in the user interface.
Views All interface components in a tab are Ontology Views. The views are categorised for ease of navigation. The contents of this menu depend on which plugins you have installed. Selecting a view will allow you to add it to the currently selected tab. You can configure any of your tabs by adding and deleting new views. For details of how to configure tabs please see notes on configuring the interface.
Create new tab... Create a new empty tab for you to configure
Delete custom tabs... Allows you to remove custom tabs from the menu and workspace (from build 105)
Export current tab... Share your layout with other users
Import tab... Load layouts that other users have provided
Save current layout Force the current layout to be saved (Will happen on a normal shutdown of Protege)
Reset selected tab to default Factory reset for the current tab layout
Ctrl-= Increase font size
Ctrl-- Decrease font size
Look & Feel


About Version and build numbers for the core system and all installed plugins (please supply these in bug reports - Hint-hint)

Mac users: this feature is in the Protege menu

Protege Documentation Open these pages in your browser
Protege-OWL Plugins Opens the Protege compatible plugins page in your browser (also see auto update)

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