Like most Open Source projects, AbiWord started as a cathedral, but has become more like a bazaar. AbiWord is part of a larger project known as AbiSource, which was started by the SourceGear Corporation. The goal of the project was the development of a cross-platform, Open Source office suite beginning with AbiWord, the project's word processor.
AbiWord is unique among word processors in its drive to become a fully cross-platform word processor. Our source code is carefully written so that AbiWord will run on virtually any operating system with a minimum of time spent on porting. This combined with our support for internationalization (the ability to run AbiWord in many languages) gives AbiWord a massive potential user-base.
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, plus numerous ground-breaking and advanced features allowing it to compete with many proprietary word processors successfully.
A short list of features includes:
- A familiar interface
- Outstanding file import and export, with support for MS Word, WordPerfect, and more
- Unlimited undo and redo Capacity
- Solid (X)HTML export, with CSS styles support
- Spelling support, with optional underlining
- Bullets and Lists
- Table of Contents generation and customization through the Stylist
- Complete, intuitive revisions-tracking support
- Nested tables support, nearly unmatched in the field
- Mail merge
- Bidirectional text support
Command-line and server use modes for document processing capabilities
One of the most lasting differences Between AbiWord and most word processors is the default file format. Unlike documents saved normally in many competing word-processors, document saved with AbiWord is written in plainly readable text with XML markup, making it possible to use any text editor to view AbiWord documents. With this style of data storage, you can feel assured that your precious data is safe and readable, even without using the original AbiWord program that created it. Users are even free to create their own program to parse the AbiWord markup and Extract data from it. No matter how AbiWord is used, users can be sure that their important data is well kept.