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Worth mentioning that abiword uses xml as a file format? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:18, 30 March 2011 (UTC)


I'm surprised not to see more mention of BeOS in the history section, which appears to start with the Linux port and the opensourcing of the code.

I was using BeOS in the late 90s, on Intel, and unless I very much misremember, at that time Abiword was only developed on and targetted at BeOS. It was only later when that business was clearly failing that they ported to Linux, and started looking at targeting appliances, and when even that failed the source was opened. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:40, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

There is simply no way it was every only developed on Beos, you must be thinking of Gobe Productive Suite or something else. Abiword from the beginning was cross platform and the Sourcegear developers were aware enough of the market to always have Windows as a target platform. As it stands BeOS is a platform that only had a small market share and the Abiword port was behind the other platforms (far as I remember even QNX was better maintained) and the BeOS version was long ago declared dead and no longer to be maintained. BeOS just isn't all that notable in the history of abiword, it is just another platform they used to support. -- Horkana (talk) 00:31, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Article cleanup[edit]

I merged the salient bits of information from the languages section and the version history into a Features section. The grammar checking screenshot is gone, that sort of thing belongs on a project page. Also gone is a link to a Slashdot news article about Abiword beating OpenOffice to a grammar checker. All said, I think I made it more WP:NPOV. --Chris Pickett 03:43, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I think it is cleaner after your edits. The languages it supports are numerous enough that it isn't worth mentioning. I think the version history could potentially be useful & would propose a table, as in I think that the grammar checking is quite relevant & warrants more than a mere bullet point, though. Was AbiWord the first F/OSS word processor with a grammar checker? --Karnesky 03:49, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I think version history isn't really relevant, even on the OpenOffice site. Can you imagine if every wikipedia page about a piece of software tried to summarize the version history for that software? I guess you could copy and paste the open office version table here, but I think a link to the project version history would be better for those interested (it will be more accurate). As for grammar checking, that screenshot was kind of weak (no offense to anybody---I mean, it has some silly sentences and words underlined in green), what I do think might be useful though is a grammar checking column in the bottom comparison of word processors table. That it was the first to have grammar checking... well, I don't know if that's important or not; either it has it or it doesn't. If OpenOffice doesn't have it, it will show up as a red square in the table, or you could mention the lack of grammar checking on the OO.o page, and say that Abiword does have it. Well, just my thoughts. Cheers, Chris Pickett 04:03, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I believe that some amount of notable history is "encyclopedic." I don't feel strongly on version history--just throwing it out there that MS Office, WordPerfect, and OO.o all have history in their articles. Talk of history is good. If more software articles had them, this would read less like a SourceForge dump. If more history was included in the text, I'd be happier. I agree that the screenshot of a grammar checker isn't really needed, but I think that the date it was addded would be notable. --Karnesky 04:33, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Ok, fair enough, so why not add a copy of the table from one of the other pages? The old version history that was here can be seen in the pages log. --Chris Pickett 04:44, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
We cannot have an article on each piece of software which ever existed. Please state why Abiword deserves an article, and how it stands out from real word processors like OpenOffice Writer or Microsoft Word. Also WP:NOTABILITY, WP:NOTADVERTISING (talk) 17:08, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
You're right we can't have an article about every peice of Software that ever existed, thankfully no one has ever proposed such a thing. I think it is clear from the article why it is notable. Its the default word processor for several Linux based distributions. People use abiword and if they want some general information about it they will come to wikipedia, we should not disappoint them. I use abiword and was interested in general info about it. Thankfully this article exists. Check out the external links and references, Frankly I don't understand the nature of your query, though it is likely that you are referring to a much early version of the article which was perhaps not very encyclopedic. I have read the notability guidelines and am removing the questionable notability banner. Do a google search for abiword if you still have doubts. Metal.lunchbox (talk) 00:50, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I think one of the other reasons it is notable - which is not clear from the article - is that it supports collaboration - making it possibly unique. It would be good if someone could add something about this to the article - I don't know enough about how it works in practice.Iamsorandom (talk) 21:09, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Mac OS X Display issues[edit]

This message is written as a form of reply to the revert performed by Karnesky of my comment that "this version shows severe graphical corruption" on the basis that "(revert: isolated problems aren't encyclopedic & these reports are further for 2.4.1, rather than 2.4.2 and don't present a coherent depiction of "screen corruption.)".

I consider that Karnesky's comment raises three issues. The first is that the problems are isolated. The second is that the issues raised relate only to an older version of the software. The third is that the comment "severe graphical corruption" does not present a coherent depiction of the problem.

First, concerning the question about whether the problems are isolated. Apple computers are a closed platform and so variation in drivers and hardware is much smaller than in the UNIX/Windows worlds. This massively decreases the probability that any problems seen are isolated. As to the degree they have been reported, I refer to the two URLs I posted in the comment to my edit.

At MacUpdate, of the 5 comments about version 2.4.1, 3 mention font display issues. That represents 60%.

At Version Tracker, 3 out of 4 comments left about version 2.4.1 talk about font display issues. That represents 75%.

Although not a comprehensive survey, that has to make it a presumption that the issues are not isolated unless better evidence can be found.

Second, concerning the question of an older version of the software, Karnesky is acting under a serious misaprehension. Whether version 2.4.1 is "out" or not, the latest Mac version is 2.4.1. Check out the official download site - - which only offers OS X links to the files and My comment therefore does represent a fact relating to the software as it exists today.

Finally, concerning the level of information required for an encyclopedic article, my original comment was flawed. To remedy this, unless this conversation results in a clear consensus that this information is not relevant to the article I shall write a new section of text on the various OS X display problems with screenshots such as:

Note particular the second and third lines of text.

ThomasHarte 21:29, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree that a new section for criticism would be more appropriate than the inline edit that was previously made. I don't know whether screenshots are really needed in that section--most other programs which have critical statements don't have this & wikipedia isn't bugzilla (nor should it include comments on every bug in every program).
  • 6 comments (many of which were anonymously made) does not justify a note. However, versiontracker has 102 comments & MacUpdate has 66. If you want to defend your opinion that this is a common and significant issue, it would be appropriate to review all of the comments you haven't on those pages & see if they describe the same problems of "font display," which is both more precise & more accurate than "screen corruption." I also think abiword's bugzilla and possibly forums would be appropriate sources. In particular, see this bug[1].
  • Re. versions, if it is fair to describe the bug in this article, we should attempt to specify version numbers for the bug, as it appears some intermediate versions don't suffer this problem.
I still think the bug doesn't warrant a mention any more than any other software bug. If others do, that's fine & it sounds like it will be added in a more appropriate context. --Karnesky 22:32, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

The current version available is 2.4.4. Since I am not a Mac user, I only hope that the bugs have been fixed by now.
@ThomasHarte: Please remember that major releases of software are bound to have some bugs, even if the first patched version (such as 2.4.1) has been released. The first patched version probably fixes the most hurting bugs (crashes, hangs, etc.), so minor bugs and possible regressions are fixed later.
-Mardus 23:15, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with the continuing removal of the section regarding Abiword's uselessness on Mac OS X. The version removed on July 4 was well-researched, containing three references all pointing to sites where the vast consensus of comments was that Abiword is not usable on the Mac platform in its current version. Since the first sentence of the article claims that it runs on Mac OS X, I think this information is highly relevant. How is this information either not non-notable or poorly verified? -- 20:48, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
To put things in perspective, VersionTracker lists MS Word X 11.2.3 rating as a lowly 2.2 (AbiWord is a comparatively healthy 3.7), yet the Word article lacks criticism of performance on OS X. This helps frame a few points:
  • WP is not bugzilla. I don't know that this bug really warrants a mention.
  • These sources are worse than those that have been on this comments page and in the article in the past--the bugzilla link is good, but:
  • The whole comments feeds for versiontracker and macupdate are not good sources, as they contain many comments which aren't at all relevant to font rendering & MANY positive reviews
  • "virtually unusable" is not NPOV and is inaccurate, as there are people who use AbiWord on OS X.
--Karnesky 21:50, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
"AbiWord is virtually unusable for Mac OSX in any of 2.4.x releases." "As many others have pointed out, the current text rendering problems render AbiWord useless for actual word processing on the mac." "I'm amazed it's still being offered in the shape it's in. Totally erratic, illogical font behavior, uncontrollable. It's a joke." "The type-setting makes AbiWord completely unusable for me." "What a disappointment. In its current state, AbiWord is unusable as even a simple text editor." --- Five random quotes from VersionTracker ( and ( If this bug "doesn't warrant a mention," I don't know what does, and if "there are people who use AbiWord on OS X," I haven't found them. With all due respect to Karnesky, I feel it is inaccurate and misleading for this article to keep saying that AbiWord is a functioning Mac word processor. I would also argue that being a Mac user who has actually tried to use the program, and done a lot of research on this, I'm in a better position that him/her to adjudicate, but... he/she's got the Wikipedia cred, so I rest my case. 00:46, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Or if you'd like a more authoritative source, check out the official AbiWord home page, where they say "Note to Mac OSX users: please aware that the font rendering is still a work-in-progress." How is it accurate to call a word processor where "font rendering is a work-in-progress" a functioning program? 00:55, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
While I appreciate the passion you have shown for this opinion, I would suggest that you read WP:SOAPBOX. Your edits have been very biased and focused on this single topic. I question the "randomness" of your selection of user reviews and would add that I have used Abiword on the Mac & know of others who use it regularly. This anecdotal evidence & yours is not encyclopedic & constitutes WP:OR. I think you are capable of writing a short and NPOV sentence or two about this without resorting to quoting non-notable reviews or acting as if there was no Mac support at all. --Karnesky 03:38, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
"How is it accurate to call a word processor where "font rendering is a work-in-progress" a functioning program?" A Word Processor does not necessarily need to have the same level of typesetting as Desktop Publishing software. A note stating the font rendering is a work in progress seems a lot fairer than entirely removing any claims of supporting Mac OS. Horkana

Languages section[edit]

Having a section showing all the languages AbiWord is translated into seems a bit much. Should it be removed, or simplified? bruce89 12:18, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

It seem unnecesssary to me but I am a native English speaker. Do write-ups of other programs include such a list? Referencing a list of supported the abiword website might be better. Horkana

Grammar checker[edit]

This isn't a notable event, it's lame one-up-manship. If Abi had been the first word processor to have a grammar checker then yes, this would be lead-worthy. As-is, it looks like a petty slap on OpenOffice. It's fine in the article body. Chris Cunningham 09:42, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Please add it where you think it would be appropriate. I personally think it is fine in the intro. It had grammar checking before KOffice too & was probably the first F/OSS word processor that had it. Multiple independent news sources lauded AbiWord for beating OO.o Writer to the punch. I think it is fine to report that fact. If you don't re-add it to where you see fit, can I revert you? It seems better to have it in the intro than not at all. --Karnesky 15:40, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
There's already a link to the same reference as was used in the lead in the Features section; I take it you mean that you want the "first free software grammar checker" note added back? Cool, feel free to add that to the article body (which needs expanded anyway). What isn't suitable is having a specific comparison to OOo in the lead over a random feature. Chris Cunningham 16:05, 7 October 2007 (UTC)


I'm not sure whether adoption would be the right term for that section. In addition, there should also be a mention of Microsoft Windows. I'll remove Adoption for now. -- Astroview120mm 02:49, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand you. Adoption tells which Linux distributions ship AbiWord as it's default Word Processor. Why should there be a mention of Windows? I've never heard that AbiWord comes with it...? Kristjans 22:44, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

File sizes[edit]

I'm trying to open up a .ashx document that was written in AbiWord with Microsoft Word and notepad and it just comes up blank. The file size is 5 kb, is this the usual size for blank .abw files?Ask D.N.A.- Peter Napkin (talk) 21:43, 13 February 2008 (UTC)


It still has some bugs. The British version of the dictionary is installed in the folder above the dictionary folder, and needs to be moved to get it to work. Someone else reported that the spelling checker did not recognise apostrophied words when in "smart quote" mode. (talk) 13:13, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

So what? It's not a bugzilla. (talk) 17:03, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

The name "AbiWord" (pronounced "Abby Word") is derived from the root of the Spanish word "abierto", meaning "open".[edit]

Presently, the article states that the name "AbiWord" is pronounced "Abby Word." While this may seem intuitive to English speakers familiar with the name "Abby," it is actually pronounced ab-bee and in Spanish "A-B." The original referenced web page more carefully says, "it is just like Abby." I am going to revise this sentence to reflect the subtle difference between how a word is pronounced and words that are pronounced similairly. --Tumacama (talk) 14:49, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Abiword's releases...[edit]

I visited both websites (.com, and .org, haven't checked if it points to the same ip) and they don't show any stable 3.0.0 release like shown on the wiki page. Even the development release hasn't reached 3.0 yet.

But then again the website doesn't seem to have been updated for a long time, so maybe there's another source for the latest release ?

Edit : the website has just been changed to And still without releases conforming to what's on the wiki page...— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:45, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

The problem is that the project has nobody who is willing / able to create a binary for Windows as you can read in the dev-mailing list.
Regards, mabdul 10:58, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

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