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A java tool to convert any rdf-ontology to owl2-ontology
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Ontology Converter v1.0

A simple command-line utility to convert any RDF graph to OWL2-DL ontology.

This is a kind of ONT-API extension with intentionally straightforward realisation. Can work both with single ontology file source and with directory containing dependent or independent sources. The utility automatically transforms the source RDF Graph to the OWL2 DL syntax according to the internal rules and command-line options. For example, if there is no owl:Ontology section inside rdf-graph, which is required by OWL, an anonymous ontology header will be generated. This is a tool, not a library, and, therefore, it is available only in the form of code and prebuilt jar (see /releases).

Usage: java -jar ont-converter.jar [-f] [-h] -i <path> [-if <format>] -o <path> -of <format> [-p <0|1|2>] [-r] [-s] [-v] [-w]


  • -f,--force Ignore any exceptions while loading/saving and processing imports
  • -h,--help Print usage.
  • -i,--input The file path or not-empty directory to load ontology/ontologies. See --input-format for list of supported syntaxes. - Required.
  • -if,--input-format The input format. If not specified the program will choose the most suitable one to load ontology from a file. Must be one of the following: TURTLE, RDF_XML, RDF_JSON, JSON_LD, NTRIPLES, NQUADS, TRIG, TRIX, RDF_THRIFT, OWL_XML, MANCHESTER_SYNTAX, FUNCTIONAL_SYNTAX, BINARY_RDF, RDFA, OBO, KRSS - Optional.
  • -o,--output The file or directory path to store result ontology/ontologies. If the --input is a file then this parameter must also be a file. See --output-format for list of supported syntaxes. - Required.
  • -of,--output-format The format of output ontology/ontologies. Must be one of the following: TURTLE, RDF_XML, RDF_JSON, JSON_LD, NTRIPLES, NQUADS, TRIG, TRIX, RDF_THRIFT, OWL_XML, MANCHESTER_SYNTAX, FUNCTIONAL_SYNTAX, OBO, KRSS2, DL, DL_HTML, LATEX - Required.
  • -p,--punnings <0|1|2> The punning mode. Could be used in conjunction with --refine option. Must be one of the following: 0 - Lax mode. Default. Allow any punnings, i.e. ontology is allowed to contain multiple entity declarations 1 - Middle mode. Two forbidden intersections: Datatype <-> Class & NamedObjectProperty <-> DatatypeProperty 2 - Strict mode: All punnings are forbidden, i.e. Datatype <-> Class and rdf:Property intersections (any pairs of NamedObjectProperty, DatatypeProperty, AnnotationProperty). - Optional.
  • -r,--refine Refine output: if specified the resulting ontologies will consist only of the OWL2-DL components (annotations and axioms), otherwise there could be some rdf-stuff (in case the output format is provided by jena) - Optional.
  • -s,--spin Use spin transformation to replace rdf:List based spin-constructs (e.g sp:Select) with their text-literal representation to produce compact axioms list. - Optional.
  • -v,--verbose To print progress messages to console.
  • -w,--web Allow web/ftp diving to retrieve dependent ontologies from imports (owl:imports), otherwise the specified directory (see --input) will be used as the only source.

Example (RDF/XML -> Manchester Syntax):

$ java -jar ont-converter.jar -i /tmp/pizza.owl.xml -if 1 -o /tmp/pizza.omn -of 12 -v


  • -i /tmp/pizza.owl.xml - the path to existing source file, required. In the example above it is pizza.owl.
  • -if 1 - the explicit input format (could be also -if rdf, -if rdf/xml or -if rdf_xml), optional.
  • -o /tmp/pizza.omn - the path to target file, required.
  • -of 12 - the output format (could be also -of omn, -of manchestersyntax, -of manchester_syntax), required.
  • -v - to print progress info to console, optional.

Full list of supported formats:

Name Provider Read / Write Aliases (case insensitive)
TURTLE Apache Jena yes / yes 0, turtle, ttl
RDF_XML Apache Jena yes / yes 1, rdf_xml, rdf/xml, rdf
RDF_JSON Apache Jena yes / yes 2, rdf_json, rdf/json, rj
JSON_LD Apache Jena yes / yes 3, json_ld, json-ld, jsonld
NTRIPLES Apache Jena yes / yes 4, ntriples, n-triples, nt
NQUADS Apache Jena yes / yes 5, nquads, n-quads, nq
TRIG Apache Jena yes / yes 6, trig
TRIX Apache Jena yes / yes 7, trix
RDF_THRIFT Apache Jena yes / yes 8, rdf_thrift, rdf-thrift, trdf
CSV Apache Jena yes / no 9, csv
OWL_XML OWL-API yes / yes 11, owl_xml, owl/xml, owl
MANCHESTER_SYNTAX OWL-API yes / yes 12, manchester_syntax, manchestersyntax, omn
FUNCTIONAL_SYNTAX OWL-API yes / yes 13, functional_syntax, functionalsyntax, fss
BINARY_RDF OWL-API yes / yes 14, binary_rdf, binaryrdf, brf
RDFA OWL-API yes / no 15, rdfa, xhtml
OBO OWL-API yes / yes 16, obo
KRSS2 OWL-API yes / yes 18, krss2
DL OWL-API yes / yes 19, dl
DL_HTML OWL-API no / yes 20, dl_html, dl/html, html
LATEX OWL-API no / yes 21, latex, tex


  • java1.8
  • maven to build (mvn package)


In case of any issue (for example the program hangs), please report it into the /ont-converter/issues page, but only if you really sure that the problem is in the program, not in the underlying API. Otherwise please refer to the /ont-api/issues page.


ONT-API (version 1.4.0-SNAPSHOT)

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