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.
SourceGear released the source code to AbiWord and a developer community quickly formed around the project. SourceGear has since then stopped working on the project.
The developer community has since then continued to make improvements and increase the quality of AbiWord. Version 1.0 was released in April 2002, followed by Version 2.0 in September 2003, 2.2 in December 2004 and 2.4 in September 2005.
What Makes AbiWord Different?
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.
Currently we run on most UNIX systems, Windows 95 and later, QNX Neutrino 6.2. We also have a MacOS X native port available. There used to be a BeOS port, but that version has been unmaintained for too long and support for it has been discontinued.
AbiWord is rapidly becoming a state of the art Word Processor, with lots of features useful for your daily work, personal needs, or for just some good old typing fun. This tour gives you a quick look into some of AbiWord's highlights.
Enjoy your favorite Word Processor on the operating system you like to use - be it Windows, Linux, QNX, FreeBSD or Solaris.
AbiWord has been designed to integrate perfectly with the operating system it runs on. It will take advantage of the functionality provided by the system, such as image loading or printing capabilities.
What use is a Word Processor when you can't share your documents with your friends? AbiWord is able to read and write all industry standard document types, such as OpenOffice.org documents, Microsoft Word documents, WordPerfect documents, Rich Text Format documents, HTML web pages and many more.
Advanced Document Layout
Give your document that professional, scientific or fun-to-read look using AbiWord's advanced document layout options. Use tables, bullets, lists, images, footnotes, endnotes and styles to enhance the way your document looks.
Since not everyone in the world speaks the same language, AbiWord comes in many different languages. AbiWord is available in most common and many not-so-common languages.
Make sure your document contains none of those nasty spelling errors by using AbiWord's built-in spelling checker. Dictionaries exist for over 30 languages.
AbiWord supports right-to-left, left-to-right, and mixed-mode text. This means that in addition to supporting European languages, AbiWord supports languages like Hebrew and Arabic as well.
Do you also hate writing tens of thousands form letters by hand? With AbiWord's Mail Merge capabilities, you can let AbiWord automate that job for you. Special fields inserted into a template document can automatically be replaced with data coming from a variety of sources, such as Relational Databases, Comma Separated Text files or Tabbed Text files.
To facilitate the use of AbiWord in a server environment, a powerful command line interface to AbiWord is available. This allows you to generate form letters, print documents or convert documents to any file format AbiWord supports - all from the command line!
Extensible Plugin Architecture
The main AbiWord program is very small and requires very little resources to run. This allows AbiWord to be used on systems that are not considered "State of the Art" anymore, which comes all too quickly in the IT world.
Our plugin system was designed to give AbiWord all the functionality you might expect from a modern Word Processor. A variety of plugins can be used to extend AbiWord's functionality, ranging from Document Importers to a Thesaurus, Image Importers and a Text Summarizer.
License = GNU General Public License.
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