AbiWord is a free and open source software word processor. It was originally started by SourceGear Corporation as the first part of a proposed AbiSuite. Development stopped when SourceGear changed their focus to Internet appliances. AbiWord was adopted by some open source developers and AbiWord continued to be developed. The name "AbiWord" (pronounced "Abby Word") is derived from the root of the Spanish word "abierto", meaning "open". It runs on Linux, Microsoft Windows, ReactOS, Solaris, AmigaOS 4.0 (through its Cygnix X11 engine), and other operating systems. However, the Mac OS X port has been stuck in version 2.4 since 2005, although the current version does run non-natively on Mac OS X through X11.app. AbiWord is part of GNOME Office, a collection of office applications with some degree of integration.
AbiWord supports both basic word processing features such as lists, indents and character formats, and more sophisticated features including tables, styles, page headers and footers, footnotes, templates, multiple views, page columns, spell checking, and grammar checking. Starting with version 2.8.0, AbiWord includes a collaboration plugin that allows integration with AbiCollab.net, a Web-based service that permits multiple users to work on the same document in real time, in full synchronization. The Presentation view of AbiWord, which permits easy display of presentations created in AbiWord on "screen-sized" pages, is another feature not often found in word processors.
AbiWord generally works similarly to classic versions (pre-Office 2007) of Microsoft Word, as direct ease of migration was a high priority early goal. While many interface similarities remain, cloning the Word interface is not a top priority. The interface is intended to follow user interface guidelines for each respective platform.
AbiWord is packaged with several import and export filters for formats including HTML, Microsoft Word (.doc), Office Open XML (.docx), OpenDocument Text (.odt), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and text documents (.txt). LaTeX is supported for export only. Plug-in filters are available to deal with many other formats, notably WordPerfect documents. The native file format, .abw, uses XML, so as to mitigate vendor lock-in concerns with respect to interoperability and digital archiving.
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