Abiword is Awesome

April 21, 2009

Abiword has just become my new favorite word processor.  It’s always been nice for being so quick and low on resources (installing Abiword requires 26.3 MB in Ubuntu 9.04 compared to 186 MB for OpenOffice.org Writer), but the 2.6 release of Abiword has added two new features which have pushed it over the top for me.

First, Abiword now has .odt (OpenDocument Text) support, so making the switch from OpenOffice.org is a lot less painful.  This is a feature I’ve also been waiting for in KOffice 2 which has finally released it’s first Release Candidate.

My favorite new feature is the Abiword Collaboration Plugin, which adds Google Docs like collaboration functionality to Abiword.  So now I can collaborate on a document without the requirement of using an online service like Google to host our work.  Abiword supports direct connections over TCP, or you can connect over Jabber.  It’s very easy to set up.  After establishing the connection, one person checks the “Share” checkbox in their Abiword, publishing the document to the “Shared Documents” of the other collaborators, enabling them to open and edit the same document.  Everyone gets their own color coded cursor, just like in Google Docs.  The Abiword developers are also working on an online service called AbiCollab.net, which is currently in beta.  This will be an additional ttransport layer for Abiword collaboration, which adds the ability to view the changes a colleague has made to a document before it has been saved to disk.

While it’s true that Abiword doesn’t have all the features of MS Word or OpenOffice.org Writer, it does have all the features I have ever wanted in a word processor, and the small footprint works out really well for my new Dell Mini 9.  For an interesting interview with the developers of Abiword, including more on the Collaboration Plugin and ODT support, and more on AbiCollab.net, check out this article from Red Hat Magazine.  And if you didn’t know, Abiword is Free Software and it can be downloaded at no cost here.

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4 Responses to “Abiword is Awesome”

  1. truzicic Says:

    Yes, I agree, AbiWord is great word processor. IMHO, because of simplicity and lees resource usage, far better than OO.org Writer… For average user it’s better choice than oo or ms word. The only minus I find in it is that it uses GTK+ toolkit, QT4 is feature :D… But, thank God that we have KOffice 2 lol


  2. [...] Abiword is Awesome While it’s true that Abiword doesn’t have all the features of MS Word or OpenOffice.org Writer, it does have all the features I have ever wanted in a word processor, and the small footprint works out really well for my new Dell Mini 9. For an interesting interview with the developers of Abiword, including more on the Collaboration Plugin and ODT support, and more on AbiCollab.net, check out this article from Red Hat Magazine. And if you didn’t know, Abiword is Free Software and it can be downloaded at no cost here. [...]


  3. [...] the other via phone what to delete or rearrange. I immediately thought, If only they were using AbiWord’s document-sharing plugin, they could collaborate in realtimeusing Telepathy integration! If The West Wing and Star Trek [...]


  4. [...] while back, I wrote about how Abiword was my favorite word processor, due to it’s simplicity and low system requirements and some killer features other word [...]


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