AbiWord is a free word processing software that has similarities to how Microsoft Word works. You can work with other people on one document. It is integrated with AbiCollab.net service for your online document storage, document sharing with others and for conversion of your file to other formats. The latest development release is 2.9.2, while the latest stable release is 2.8.6.
It has an MSDI [multiple single document interface]. What makes it different from other word processors is that it aims to work on multiple platforms. This feature is combined with internationalization, the program’s capability to work in multiple languages. It currently operates on Windows 95 and later versions, on most UNIX platforms, QNX Neutrino 6,2 and Mac OS X. Support for BeOS has been discontinued.
Sections are groups of paragraphs in AbiWord. The header, footer and body text are sections of a document. You insert section breaks to split a body text into more sections. You can change the format of a section. Section properties include page numbers, page margins and number of columns. When you change the format of a section, all the paragraphs in that section will follow the layout of that format. You can save and load files in different formats. The program’s importers load the files, while the exporters save them. Exporters and importers are mostly plug-ins. You will be the one to choose which ones you want to install, that is depending on which you want to use.
AbiWord is the program’s native file format, while AbiWord Template is the native format of its templates. You create templates to set initial content and styles that you use often. You can use the Microsoft Word option if you want to read files formatted in Microsoft Word, but the application cannot export Word documents. You have to use RTF [rich text format] to send files to people who use Word. Use the HTML 4.0 or XHTML 1.0 to create documents that you want to publish on the Web so they can be recognized by Web browsers. RTF is the format that contains all formatting information about your file, and can be read by almost any word processor. You use this format to send file to those who are not using AbiWord. Use RTF for old apps to send to older versions of RTF although these could be very old. Use the normal RTF to send to new versions.
Text/Encoded Text is the safest format to use especially if you are unsure of the format that the reader or recipient can recognize. This format contains no formatting. It is just plain text so any computer can read this format. Text is ASCII text that does not support characters not found in normal English punctuation and alphabet. Encoded Text recognizes characters and accents from other systems of writing. GZipped AbiWord is the native compressed format of AbiWord. You can use any program that supports gzip to decompress this format into ordinary AbiWord file. This format is ideal if you will send large files on the Internet or to save on disk space. It is advisable that you still have a backup of the original or ordinary files because if a a part of the gzipped format is damaged, you won’t be able to recover the other contents. It is easier to recover an AbiWord file in ordinary format.
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If you have additional information about which types of files AbiWord can process, please do get in touch - we would love hearing from you.
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