Special page "Browse"

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The property browsing page, which can be found at "Special:Browse" is a special page allowing to see at one glance all properties and their values of a single entity. The browse page can display both the outgoing properties - those that are stated on the page, and the incoming properties - those that link to that page. This allows to browse through the web of data that is created between the entities inside the wiki by clicking on the browsing icon browsing icon in case the properties has the datatype "Page"Holds names of wiki pages, and displays them as a link. In all other cases the search icon search icon will be shown, which points to special page special page "SearchByProperty"Allows to search the wiki by properties or property value combinations. For the browsing to work a specific page has always to be selected.

Until Semantic MediaWiki 2.1.0Released on 19 January 2015 and compatible with MW 1.19.0 - 1.24.x. it was not possible to link to pages containing a hyphen, e.g. [[Special:Browse/20140912-SomeName]].


Image collection Click on the images to enlarge for better view and browsing!

When accessing special page "Browse" directly without specifying a page to be browsed a input field is shown which allows to search for a page. This search provides page suggestions with autocompletion to improve the selection.

Once a page to be browsed is selected the browse interface has two main parts (when incoming properties are shown) that usually form an "S" the so called "semantic S". The upper part of the interface shows all properties of that page and the values for these properties. The lower part shows properties that are used to link to the given page, with pages that instantiate that property. The two parts are separated by grey bars. The properties on the upper part may be called "outgoing properties", and the properties on the lower part "incoming properties", or "properties that link here".


Starting with Semantic MediaWiki 3.0.0Released on 11 October 2018 and compatible with MW 1.27.0 - 1.31.x. the configuration parameters mentioned below were consolidated and merged into configuration parameter $smwgBrowseFeaturesSets the behaviour of the features provided by several browsing interfaces1 and will be removed with Semantic MediaWiki 3.1.0Released on 23 September 2019 and compatible with MW 1.31.0 - 1.33.x..

There are several configuration parameters that can be set in order to control the appearance of the page:

You can change their setting in your "LocalSettings.php" file after including Semantic MediaWiki.

Display all[edit]

If configuration parameter $smwgBrowseShowAllSets whether the browse view for incoming links on special page special page "Browse" should show the incoming links is set to "true", then the browse page always shows the incoming properties, and always shows all of them. It also shows more of the incoming values. This takes more resources than the standard setting, but allows to get a quicker overview, and is reasonable for small and middle-sized wikis without "semantic hubs", i.e. pages that are linked to in many different properties from many pages (examples for such hubs are locations and times in Wikipedia).

Otherwise, the user has to actively click on "show properties that link here" in order to see the incoming properties, and then has to browse through them, if there should be many different properties.

Inverse display[edit]

If configuration parameter $smwgBrowseShowInverseSets whether the browse view for incoming links on special page special page "Browse" should show the incoming links inverse to the reverse view is set to "true", then the sometimes confusing S like view is abandoned and instead a form like view is shown. The upper part of the interface (the outgoing properties) are not displayed differently, but the lower part (the incoming properties) is by displaying it just as the upper part. Instead of using the property label in the property field, the system tries to create an inverse property label that will be displayed. (Note that the name of the property can be modified by a wiki sysop by changing the message MediaWiki:Smw_inverse_label_property)

The inverse property label is either set explicitly (by using the Property:Inverse property label which has to be of datatype "Text"Holds text of arbitrary length) or it is created by applying the system message MediaWiki:Smw_inverse_label_default to the actual property label.

Example: the default English value for smw_inverse_label_default is "$1 of", which means that a property like "capital" will be labeled as "capital of". So, if for example, we have stated that "Germany capital Berlin", we will see on the Browse page of "Berlin" a property called "capital of" with the value "Germany".

Property groups[edit]

To improve the display of properties on this special page the property group feature was introduced with Semantic MediaWiki Semantic MediaWiki 3.0.0Released on 11 October 2018 and compatible with MW 1.27.0 - 1.31.x.2 by which properties that belong to a classified category are displayed as a group allowing users to quickly distinguish properties of similar characteristics from one another. See the help page on property groups for further information on this.


  1. ^  Semantic MediaWiki: GitHub pull request gh:smw:2799
  2. ^  Semantic MediaWiki: GitHub pull request gh:smw:2874