Freeware word processor with many great features
AbiWord is an alternative word processing tool that is comparable to Microsoft Word or OpenOffice, and it provides an exceptional option for those who can't afford the premium price of Word.
There is no doubt that Microsoft Word is the standard in word processing for the industry, but free competitors like AbiWord give that software a run for its money. It has the ability to open, read, and write all the standard document formats, including those from open-source apps like OpenOffice and those from Microsoft Word. WordPerfect documents are also supported, as are HTML web pages and Rich Text documents.
The main appeal of AbiWord is that it is a simple and free word processor. It lacks much of the editing power found in Word, but that translates to a smaller application and less system resources required to use the app at full capacity. Even standard text-editing apps take up only slightly fewer resources than AbiWord. Because of this, AbiWord is ideal for use on machines that are older or slower than top-of-the-line examples. Of course, any system without a word processor can benefit from this app.
Another great feature of AbiWord is that it can be expanded and customized with a number of different plugins. These plugins are able to give the app more editing power than it has in its standard form. They might include format converters, thesauruses, document importing tools, image importing tools, a format manager, or even a spell-check tool. The simple nature of AbiWord is what makes it unique, so the addition of too many plugins might detract from the simplicity and intuitive nature of the software.
Simple documents are the specialty of AbiWord since it thrives on basic text editing. It is an impressive system considering it is entirely free, and the addition of the plugins makes the software that much more versatile. Since the previous versions of AbiWord, this version has improved OpenDocument filters, a fixed connection issue with collaborating on a document, and increased support for the MS Write filter.
One of the more annoying aspects of AbiWord is that it does include support for a spell-checker, but it does not come included with the basic software. Users must download and install the plugin to access spell-check utility, but it is well-worth the download and the time it takes to install. The addition of the spell-checker essentially brings the software on par with Microsoft Word, at least in terms of raw writing power. AbiWord still lacks the advanced tools that separate Word into the professional category, and there are only so many plugins for AbiWord users.
Despite the shortcomings of the word processor, AbiWord is still an incredible option for a free word processor without all the bells and whistles that will be never be used in Microsoft Word.Pros
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