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AbiWord Portable
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AbiWord Portable FAQ

Check our Frequently Asked Questions to get a quick answer to the most common inquiries.

The FAQ page features selected solutions for users' reference by the PenZoft technical support
team.

After installing AbiWord, all files I had created with wordpad have been changed to AbiWord files
and now open with AbiWord even though they are still .doc files.

How can I make AbiWord save my files in MS Word (*.doc) format by default?


What's the point of AbiWord? Why should I bother? How does it compare with MS Word,
OpenOffice.org, etc?


How do I create a PDF document from AbiWord?

How can I start AbiWord with a given font and fontsize?

Does AbiWord have any support for footnotes and/or endnotes?

Why is my text overwritten as I type?

 
After installing AbiWord, all files I had created with Wordpad have been changed
to AbiWord files and now open with AbiWord even though they are still .doc files.


What has happened is that the program associated with the .doc extension has been changed
from Wordpad (or Word) to AbiWord in the Windows registry (IIUC). This commonly happens
during the installation of AbiWord because there is an option selected by default to do this.
 
How can I make AbiWord save my files in MS Word (*.doc) format by default?

This works on Windows XP, Windows 2000, and any other WinNT descendant (like server 2003,
etc.) You should be able to specify any extension you want, if you want something other than
AbiWord (*.HTML, *.rtf, etc.)

To change what format AbiWord saves in, you should:

  1. Exit AbiWord
  2. Open the folder C:\Documents and Settings\ Your User Name \AbiSuite
  3. Open then file PROFILE in Notepad. If you use AbiWord, it will save over your changes. That's why you have to exit AbiWord before saving changes.
  4. Towards the bottom, there is a section like this

    <Scheme name="_custom_" ZoomPercentage="116" />

    You need to add a line 'DefaultSaveFormat=".doc"'above the />.

    It should now look like this:

    <Scheme name="_custom_" ZoomPercentage="116" DefaultSaveFormat=".doc" />

  5. Save the file, and exit Notepad.
  6. Startup AbiWord , and you should be set!

MacOS X

This hint should also work on MacOS X 10.4 and AbiWord 2.2.10.

Abiword.Profile can be found in the library folder of your user account: ~/library/Application
Support/Abisuite/

The variation 'DefaultSaveFormat=".rtf"' is possible.

What's the point of AbiWord? Why should I bother? How does it compare with
MS Word, OpenOffice.org, etc?

AbiWord may be the best word processor on Linux. In addition, it is a cross platform word
processor, so it can be used as a Linux advocacy tool -- get Windows users started on AbiWord
on Windows (if necessary), then as you try to move them to Linux they won't have to change
word processors.

AbiWord is evolving to become closer to a Word workalike but Word doesn't run on Linux (except
in a Windows emulation environment like Wine), therefore a word processor like AbiWord is
needed in Linux.

OpenOffice.org and Star Office by Sun Microsystems are alternatives that also work on both
Windows and Linux, but they are too large and over-complicated for some people's tastes.
 
How do I create PDF document from AbiWord?

Windows
On Windows, the easiest way to create a PDF is to use a PDF printer driver. These programs
create a virtual printer that can be selected while printing, allowing you to create PDFs from any
program that has print functionality. Some of the more common printer drivers are:

PDFCreator , a free (licensed under the GNU GPL) printer driver that allows you to create PDFs,
postscript files, and images (e.g. PNG and TIFF, among others).

Adobe Acrobat PDF Writer and Adobe Acrobat Distiller, two printer drivers that come with Adobe
products and may already be installed on your computer.

Unix

There are quite a number of options for producing PDF output on Unix systems, some of which
allow saving of hyperlink information:

Gnome-print, a Gnome library that's utilized in Gnome-enabled builds of AbiWord (i.e. built with
enable-gnome) and offers a direct option to create PDFs from the print dialog. Note: AbiWord
versions >= 2.3.0 require Gnome-print by default.

ps2pdf will convert PostScript into PDF.

PDFLaTeX , a program that allows conversion from LaTeX to PDF, the former of which can be
produced using AbiWord's LaTeX exporter. Note: this method saves hyperlink data, but may
cause other dataloss due to the incompleteness of the LaTeX exporter.

Mac

MacOS X offers native support for PDF creation.

Choose Save As from the print dialog.

 
How can I start AbiWord with a given font and fontsize?

Modify the normal template (normal.awt) or create your own customized template, generally as
follows:

Open a new AbiWord window
Choose Format -> Style from the menu, adjust the Normal style to the default font and size
you'd prefer
Repeat for other styles if desired
Choose File --> Save as from the menu, save the file as a template (normal.awt or
<name>.awt of your own choosing--choose this in the lower right of the Save as window)
in the default template directory--/usr/share/AbiSuite-2.2/templates in Linux, C:\Program
Files\AbiSuite2\templates in Windows (adjust the AbiSuite version number if appropriate).
On Linux, an alternate location for your personal templates is ~/AbiSuite-2.2/templates.

To use the new template (if named other than normal.awt):

Open a new file by clicking File -> "New using Template"
Click on "Create a new document from a template", and
Select the template you modified.

Unless specified otherwise, all new files opened are based on the normal template, so if you
modify it, you can just open a new file and get the styles you've set. (If you modify the normal
template, you should probably save a copy of the original before modifying it.)

You can experiment further from here. You can create templates with different names for
different types of documents (letters (letter.awt), reports (report.awt), ...). You can create
templates from existing documents (by, for example, deleting all but the styles--or leave
"boilerplate" text in the template).

 
Does AbiWord have any support for footnotes and/or endnotes?

Yes, in versions 2.0 and later. The 1.0.x release series does not have footnote/endnote support.
To insert a footnote or endnote, open the 'Insert' menu and click 'Footnote' or 'Endnote'
accordingly. To change the style of your footnotes and endnotes, open the 'Format' menu and
click 'Footnotes and Endnotes'. You can change id schemes (numerals, letters, etc), parenthetical
notation, numbering schemes, and so forth.
 
Why is my text overwritten as I type?

Users will sometimes experience an issue where AbiWord seems to be deleting existing text while
entering new text. This is usually caused by accidentally switching to Overwrite mode. Hitting the
"Insert" key toggles between Insert and Overwrite mode. The indicators "INS" or "OVR" will
appear in the AbiWord status bar to let you know which mode you are in. In more recent versions
of Abiword the cursor will also change colour to Red as this helps make it even clearer that
something has changed.

In insert mode, new text is inserted at the cursor.

In overwrite mode, new text begins overwriting any existing text, punctuation, spaces, etc. to
the immediate right of the cursor.


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