Frequently Asked Questions

What is Grafo?
Grafo is a tool for visually designing knowledge graphs. It is built from the ground up for online, collaborative, real-time editing.
Who is Grafo for?

Quite frankly, Grafo is for everybody. In our industry experience we’ve worked with scientists, business analysts, academics, engineers, and students. We discovered a common need for a simple, intuitive, and collaborative visual KG design tool with all of the trappings expected of a modern webapp. We want Grafo to be a unifying force for any user designing graphs -- it doesn’t matter if you come from the Semantic Web or the Property Graph world. We want the experience to be open; we want to work with everybody.

Knowledge graphs are no longer a niche interest. Big industry players now use knowledge graphs in some of their most visible products. While they didn’t coin the phrase knowledge graph, Google popularized it with their Knowledge Graph knowledge base. Microsoft also uses knowledge graphs. The need for a modern, visual KG editor is as great as it has ever been.

Why should I use Grafo instead of [insert your least disliked ontology editor here]?

Many academic and commercial ontology editors exist. You may be using one of them right now. If so,

  • you may or may not have had trouble getting started with the tool due to its complexity;
  • you may or may not have trouble training others on the tool due to its complexity;
  • visual editing may or may not be a first-class citizen in your tool;
  • you may or may not have had difficulty working on ontologies with others and resorted to passing files back-and-forth;
  • you may or may not have experienced difficulty versioning and keeping track of files.

Our hope is that Grafo provides a robust toolset while remaining simple and intuitive. Grafo also has several features that (to the best of our knowledge) all existing tools lack: visual design with version history and worldwide collaborative real-time editing.

What is the relationship between Grafo and WebVOWL?
Grafo has no formal relationship with WebVOWL. However, in line with our goal of unifying the ecosystem around common standards, Grafo has reused the existing WebVOWL standard rather than reinventing the wheel. While there is no shared source code, the diagraming functionality looks familiar because we referenced the excellent work published here.
What types of knowledge graphs (i.e., ontologies) can Grafo express?
In Grafo, you can express Concepts (classes), Relationships between Concepts (object properties), Attributes associated to Concepts (data properties) and Specializations (subclasses).
Do you support OWL QL?
Short answer: not yet. Longer answer: we are depending on your feedback to determine which features would most benefit the majority of users. Please reach out to us at to let us know what is most important to you.
Why doesn't Grafo have a full-featured free or lower-priced "Education" tier?

Grafo offers a Free/Student tier with basic functionality. It is available to everyone and will never go away.

We’d love to be able to offer the full-featured Grafo for free to everyone too. Everybody loves free stuff! Unfortunately, free stuff is often not commercially viable & must be supported by outside sources, such as advertisements or grants. Developers and servers cost money. In order for semantic technologies to reach larger adoption, they must be proven to be commercially viable. We believe that we provide a service worth the cost of less than two lattes a month. If it’s not, we’re doing something wrong.

Think of it as a positive feedback loop: by contributing a small amount every month, you are contributing to the growth of the entire industry. Increased commercial interest drives opportunity all the way back through the technical resources, to startups and research. More research and more startups then create more industry opportunity, and so on.

Which file formats can be imported into Grafo (OWL, TTL, etc.)?
Grafo supports importing OWL (RDF/XML) and Turtle file formats. At this time only classes, subclasses, data properties, and object properties are imported.
Which file formats can be exported from Grafo (OWL, TTL, etc.)?
Grafo currently supports export of classes, subclasses, data properties, and object properties to OWL (RDF/XML) and Turtle file formats. Document history and other Grafo-specific metadata, such as comments, are not exported (yet).
What comes next? And why don’t you support my favorite feature yet???
We have many possible features on the roadmap in the months ahead. Among them are git integration, more OWL support, and better property graph support. But we need you! We need help from the community to let us know which features would be the most beneficial for the most number of users. Please email us at to let us know why your feature is the one that should be included next!
I have a comment/question/suggestion. How can I reach you?
We are actively looking for feedback. Please send us an email at

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