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Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Sep 15, 2014

AbiWord is an open-source word processing program that gives you the freedom to create and share documents, as well as open documents created in other programs. No matter what type of word processor you're used to, you'll feel right at home with this intuitive program.

Pros

Accessible interface: The layout is quite similar to most other word processing programs, so it doesn't take long to figure out where everything is. All font options, editing tools, etc are nicely arrayed across the top of the main document screen, and they include all of the typical items you'd expect.

Editing and file format options: This app comes with a nice set of editing tools, including showing markup, highlighting, and more. You'll also have the option of saving your new or edited document in a variety of formats, including Word, HTML, Rich Text, Text, Encoded Text, Outlook Express Mail, Open Document, Open Office Writer, and Open Office XML.

Cons

Scrolling issues: To scroll through documents, you have to use the arrow keys or the buttons on the scroll bar on the side of the screen. Scrolling with the mouse wheel or mousepad didn't work, which isn't a huge problem, but may be inconvenient for some users.

Incomplete documentation: Due to the open-source nature of this program, there is no one complete resource to consult if you run into trouble while using it. You can join a mailing list that functions somewhat like a forum, so you can ask questions and get feedback from other users, but there is no quick Help option.

Bottom Line

AbiWord is a straightforward and convenient word processing program. It provides a viable alternative to paid programs like Word, and it still provides just about all of the functionality you're used to no matter what you've used before. The program is completely free, and while it can take a little time to get help if you run into trouble, the familiarity of the interface makes this less of an issue.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 2.8.6

Version 2.8.6 has fixed a bad regression that was introduced in previous version.

General

Release June 13, 2010
Date Added June 13, 2010
Version 2.8.6

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista
Additional Requirements None

Popularity

Total Downloads 680,489
Downloads Last Week 65
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Developer's Description

AbiWord is a lean yet full-featured word processor. It features a familiar-looking interface, basic character formatting, paragraph alignment, a spell checker, interactive rulers and tabs, styles, unlimited undo/redo, find and replace, and image support. It can also import Microsoft Word 97 and RTF (Rich Text Format) documents, as well as support headers/footers, superscript/subscript, widow/orphan control and newspaper-style columns. Many plug-ins are available.