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AbiWord is a Free Word Processor for Windows, Linux, and Mac

Sometimes you need a word processing application but not an entire office suite. Today we take a look at AbiWord which is a free word processor for all three major OS platforms.

Using AbiWord

During installation make sure to associate it with doc and RTF files if you want to be able to open up Word documents from others. From here you can also scroll down in the components window and select from several language dictionaries.

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The layout is similar to other word processing apps and is easy to use.

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You can set up extra toolbars for easier editing and document creation.

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AbiWord is multi-platform and here is an example of it running in Ubuntu Linux.

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A cool thing about AbiWord is there are several plugins available to increase its functionality. Get the Importer / Exporter plugin pack to Install Microsoft Office Open XML which allows you to open up DOCX files.

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In the Tools plugin pack you can add several features to help in document creation and research.

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If you want to create documents quickly turn to the included templates.

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For example this is what the employee directory template looks like.

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Conclusion

AbiWord is a good solution if you need a word processing program, but don’t need an entire suite. It is light on system resources and with the plugins, has plenty of options for creating quality documents. It will save to several different types of document formats as well, which makes interchanging with MS Word or Open Office easy. It is also available in a portable version which is perfect for netbooks.

Download AbiWord for Windows, Mac, or Linux

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/21/09

Comments (8)

  1. Xander

    Only thing I don’t like about AbiWord is that, unlike the much larger OpenOffice, it lacks an Always-Save-As-MSWord option that most people seem to want.

    If I sent someone a “ABZ” file, they’d freak. So I rarely recommend it to customers for that reason alone.

  2. Andrew FirstFound

    If this comes with a plugin that lets me keep my dictionary set to English (UK) without trying to convince me humour should be spelt without u’s, I’ll never use any WP ever again.

    I shall definitely be checking this one out.

  3. Ortzinator

    Last time I used AbiWord was for an online school assignment. I ended up failing the assignment because the formatting was utterly destroyed when I saved as a Word document.

  4. Ryan Dozier

    I never heard of AbitWord before, but it looks like WordPad just a little bit more invovled..But stil l Open Source Apps are always fun to have if you don’t want to spend any money.

  5. Elizabeth Allen

    Do you know of any program that will print labels such as Word does???

  6. calebstein

    “Today we take a look at AbiWord which is a free word processor for all three major OS platforms.” AbiWord also runs on BSD, so it should say “four major OS platforms.”

    Also, I love AbiWord because I love GNOME applications even though I like KDE more than GNOME.

  7. Patty

    That’s way more clever than I was ecxpteing. Thanks!

  8. Rane

    Is there going to be a version for Windows 7, 64 bit?
    This word processor looks great..

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