AbiWord (/ˈæbiwɜːrd/) is a free and open-source software word processor. It was originally written in C++ and since version 3 it is based on GTK+ 3. The name "AbiWord" is derived from the root of the Spanish word "abierto", meaning "open".[3]

AbiWord running on Ubuntu
Initial releaseDecember 1, 1998 (1998-12-01)
Stable release3.0.4 (Linux) / 2.8.6 (Windows) (27 November 2019 (2019-11-27)) [±][1]
Preview releasenone (Linux), 2.9.4 (Windows) [±]
Written inC++
Operating systemCross-platform
Available inMultilingual[2]
TypeWord processor
LicenseGNU General Public License 2

AbiWord was originally started by SourceGear Corporation as the first part of a proposed AbiSuite but was adopted by open source developers after SourceGear changed its business focus and ceased development. It now runs on Linux, ReactOS, Solaris, AmigaOS 4.0 (through its Cygnix X11 engine), MeeGo (on the Nokia N9 smartphone), Maemo (on the Nokia N810) QNX and other operating systems. Development of a version for Microsoft Windows has ended due to lack of maintainers (the latest released versions are 2.8.6 and 2.9.4 beta [4]).

The macOS port has remained on version 2.4 since 2005,[5] although the current version does run non-natively on macOS through XQuartz.

AbiWord is part of the AbiSource project which develops a number of office-related technologies.[6]


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.[7] 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 no longer a top priority. The interface is intended to follow user interface guidelines for each respective platform.

File formats

AbiWord comes with several import and export filters providing a partial support for such formats as HTML, Microsoft Word (.doc), Office Open XML (.docx),[8][9] 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.

Grammar checking

The AbiWord project includes a US English-only grammar checking plugin using Link Grammar. AbiWord had grammar checking before any other open source word processor, although a grammar checker was later added to OpenOffice.org.[7] Link Grammar is both a theory of syntax and an open source parser which is now developed by the AbiWord project.

See also


  1. "AbiWord". AbiSource. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  2. List of AbiWord translations (both complete and incomplete)
  3. Project Mascot Abi the Ant. Page explains "Abi" is pronounced just like "Abby".
  4. https://www.abisource.com/downloads/abiword/2.9.4/Windows/
  5. Francis James Franklin (2005-09-11), fjf's (Cocoa) AbiWord for Mac (MacOSX), archived from the original on 5 June 2010, retrieved 2010-05-22
  6. "AbiSource Projects". AbiSource. 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  7. "AbiWord beats OpenOffice to a Grammar Checker". Slashdot. 2005-10-15. Retrieved 2007-11-23. The recently released AbiWord-2.4...is the first Free Word Processor to offer an integrated Grammar Checker
  8. "AbiWord v2.6.0 Released". www.abisource.com. Archived from the original on 1 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  9. "AbiWord v2.6.5 Changelog". www.abisource.com. Archived from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
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