Introduction to AbiWord

The AbiWord project began as a desire to create a stable, feature-savvy word processor unbound by a single platform or proprietary file formats. Today AbiWord compiles as a native application on a wide collection of computers and can handle an equally impressive number of file formats. In addition, AbiWord's feature set includes most everything one would expect in a modern word processor. A short list of features includes:

  1. A familiar interface
  2. Word file import and export
  3. Unlimited undo and redo capacity
  4. Solid HTML export
  5. Images
  6. Spelling support, with optional underlining
  7. Bullets and Lists
  8. Styles

But probably the most lasting difference between AbiWord and most word processors is the format of it's files. A document saved with AbiWord is written in plainly readable text, making it possible to use any text editor to view AbiWord documents. This means that users are free from depending on a single program to supply them with the tools to interpret their own information. No matter how AbiWord is used, users can be sure that their important data is well kept. And because of the Open Source nature of the AbiWord project, the longevity of documents is ensured by the presence of AbiWord's source code, it's active development, and constant improvement.

Lastly, AbiWord is completely free and multi-platform. It functions as a native application for Linux, Windows, BeOS, QNX, and GNOME.

The Open Source Concept

AbiWord is developed as an Open Source project. That means the lines of code that comprise AbiWord are freely available and redistributable. Unlike proprietary software, code that is written and often kept secret by a select few, Open Source projects like AbiWord give away the code and the software is thus subjected to thorough peer review by programmers all over the world.

In general, most users do not benefit directly by the availability of the source code. Instead, the greatest benefits of Open Source to the end user include: an open environment where anyone can suggest changes, stability, permanence (Open Source projects do not disappear like proprietary applications do when companies fold), fast-paced improvements, and zero cost.

Please feel free to visit to learn more about the benefits inherent in relying on Open Source software.

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