The AbiWord thread

Any AbiWord users here other than Soyabeaner? I wanted to give AbiWord a shot since it’s very small, but despite that the website claims AibWord can open documents (.odt), that didn’t work out for me.

General AbiWords comments?


I use it time to time for smaller documents I need to write up for school (anything less than 5 pages). It works, and works well from what I can see and for my uses. For the more major projects, even though is a beast, I still use it. I find that at least for the bigger things with the more complex formatting handles it better I think. I also find OpenOffice has better support for .doc (which according to ABI isn’t truly .doc?) than AbiWord does which unfortunately is what my professors use so it is what I must use.

Other than that though I really like it. I have had some success with open document format, but limited.

Basically, OpenOffice for long, drawn out, complicated things and Abi for my shorter tasks.

Saving as .doc

can currently save in an MS Word compatible “.doc” format. This is done by saving as Rich Text Format (.rtf) but with a .doc extension. The file extension does not mean that the file is a binary Microsoft Word document and .doc may contain RTF, HTML or plain text. This is a feature — Microsoft themselves have used .doc to exploit a mis-feature of MS-Word.

Some developers and even a few users have suggested that this is dishonest and cheating. In fact this cheating is something Microsoft themselves have done in their own software! (Example: MS Wordpad on Windows 98 claims to save as Microsoft Word 6.0 (.doc) but if you look at the files in a text editor you can see that it is in fact Rich Text Format). There are no plans to support binary MS Word export. See Bug 2565


Your way of working make sense; OOo for larger tasks and AW for smaller ones. Since I find the .doc handling far from perfect in OOo, I don’t often share those documents with people I know use MS Word. To put it easy; I think it’s difficult to worked on a shared document with OOo, when the other guy(s) uses Word. I don’t know how well AW works here. I’m mostly interested in AW because it’s so small, but if I switched to it, I wouldn’t be able to open my old .odt documents as it seems. Besides I need a replacement for OOo Impress (the PowerPoint part of OOo for those who don’t know).


LA if you’re interested in its being lightweight, and it won’t do for complicated jobs anyway, why not stick with Windows WordPad for this?

Since I find the .doc handling far from perfect in OOo, I don't often share those documents with people I know use MS Word. To put it easy; I think it's difficult to worked on a shared document with OOo, when the other guy(s) uses Word.

It really is! I usually write them in openoffice, save them with .doc, and if I need to do some touch ups use the school libraries MS Word to touch it up. It takes a little extra time but it’s worth it most times. I just find openoffice easier to work with.

Will AbiWord support the Open Document?

Yes. There’s currently decent import support for OpenDocument. We also recommend Rich Text format as the best way to share documents with other Word Processing software.

Doesn’t this mean that you will be able to them LA? You can import .odt docs according to this (I think). Unless I read it wrong.

I don’t even have WordPad left. ;D So for all kinds of jobs except the most simple notes (which I use Notepad for), I’ll go with OOo Writer.

I was curious to see if AW could replace OOo. I’m not interested in having both, since OOo probably can do all that AW can.

I won’t even try to use OOo/.doc combined with Word/.doc since I’m a perfectionist when it comes to formatting and writing tasks (though I struggle to tone down the perfectionism).

Seems like you read it right, I guess it should mean that AbiWord can import .odt. Maybe I was to fast throwing out AbiWord, but opening a standard .odt didn’t work. Also, I couldn’t find any import option in the File menu.


I don’t think ABI can replace, not even for the simple tasks. I tried to open up the smallest odt document and it resulted in horrible formatting, to say the least. It can open them though, just with a less than satisfactory outcome.

Still AW should be able to do some formatting, like using headings and corresponding TOC etc.? With those basic functions, plus ability to make lists, tables and insert images, it appears that AW would be good enough for a large and advanced document. Well, I don’t know about the “large” thing, how would AW treat a 200 page document?

I have a feeling that AW is good enough for me in every aspect, it’s just that I’ve locked myself to the .odt format and OOo actually works great - except for the fact that it’s very slow. I read somewhere that it has gone more slow for every version, they have focused on adding functions rather than improving speed. Sounds like OOo need to do a Firefox 2 => 3.



That’s the key word. It’s basic. WordPad is worse because it doesn’t open certain picture files. That was the main reason why I sticked with it. I PM’d you another Word clone type to avoid off-topicness.

It’s a good tool if you want more then Notepad & for small documents.

I find it useful. :-TU