Advertise on MozillaQuest Magazine Index of all Linux for Microsoft Windows Users articles MozillaQuest MQ Logo
MozillaQuest the on-line computer magazine
May 10, 2002

RisingNet

EPIX Internet Services
MozillaQuest Magazine Front Page button

Internet & Web browsers button

custom Netscape & Mozilla themes & skins button

Digital Photography

Graphics

IRC - Internet Relay Chat - Chat button

Linux buttonLinux for Windows Users

Mozilla button

Multimedia

Netscape button
network articles

tutorial - help - how to button

Web Page Design

Web Tools

Windows button
..
..


AbiWord 1.0.1 Quick Look

(MS Word Clone for Linux, MS Windows, & Other Platforms)

Mike Angelo -- 10 May 2002 (C)


Doe the phrase, you can download the source code, catch your attention? It's not too often that you can download the source code (program code) in addition to downloading the binary (executable) files. That is because AbiWord is open source software (OSS).

Open source software is a neat concept that has been around for at least forty years. Although, forty years ago it was not called open source software -- but that is another story. With open source software, the actual programming code for software is made available to the public at no charge. Moreover, anyone may modify or customize the code.

AbiWord 1.0.1 now is available for downloading. You can download the source code or you can download binary builds -- your choice. AbiSource, publisher of AbiWord, currently supplies binaries for the BeOS, Linux, QNX, UNIX, and Windows operating systems (OSs). (Links in the Resources section below.)

AbiWord is a very nice, lightweight, Microsoft Word clone. It looks and feels very much as MS Word looks and feels. You can use AbiWord for word-processing. AbiWord also is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get, pronounced wizzy-wig) HTML authoring program

The recent release of AbiWord 1.0 pulled this product out of the pre-1.0 version beta stages. However, it did not take the AbiWord developers long to move right to work adding more features and improvements to AbiWord.

With the release of version 1.0.1, AbiWord moves on to post-1.0 AbiWord development. Nevertheless, AbiWord 1.0.1 is quite usable for limited, regular duty. However, we occasionally have encountered a situation in which a document file written by AbiWord gets clobbered. Therefore, we suggest as a precaution that you make periodic backup copies of a document you are editing or creating with AbiWord.

One very noticeable difference between AbiWord and MS Word is table support. MS Word has very good table support. AbiWord does not.

Currently you can create tables in AbiWord only through employing a very clumsy process of creating table boundaries and cells by setting tab stops and adding lines to delineate cell and table borders. The good news is that the AbiWord developers plan to add table support to AbiWord in version 1.2.

Figure 1a, 1b, and 1c below are screen shots of AbiWord, Microsoft Word, and SOT Office running on Microsoft Windows 98 SE. Please notice how similar are the AbiWord, MS Word, and SOT Office desktops. Although if you take a close look you will notice differences too -- for example the widgets (icons for saving files, printing documents, undoing, and so forth).

Figure 1a. The AbiWord desktop running in MS Windows 98 SE
Figure 1b. The Microsoft Word desktop running in MS Windows 98 SE
Figure 1c. The SOT Office 2002 Writer desktop running in MS Windows 98 SE

If you are a Microsoft Windows user that has not tried AbiWord for Windows, download it and give it a test drive for yourself.

If you are a Linux user you likely already have AbiWord ready-to-install, installed, or included in your Linux distribution CD packages. If you have not tried AbiWord for Linux, give it a test drive. Even though you might have AbiWord with your Linux distribution you might want to upgrade that AbiWord version to the current AbiWord 1.0.1 version.

SOT Office 2002 is another newly released MS Office clone. It is built on the OpenOffice code-base. The SOT Office 2002 word-processing module has more features, including better table support, than does AbiWord. However, SOT Office has a much heavier footprint than does AbiWord -- but you are getting a word-processor plus spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing modules with SOT Office. AbiWord is pretty much a word-processing and WYSISYG HTML editor.

The AbiWord 1.0.1. MS Windows download file size is only about 3-MB compared to about 42-MB for SOT Office. Linux-wise, the AbiWord 1.0.1 binary runs about 3-MB (Red Hat 7.2 RPM file) compared to about 70-MB for the SOT Office 2002 Red Hat 7 RPM file. Add another 2-MB for the AbiWord font package Red Hat 7.2 RPM file.

Figure 2. Top entry is SOT Office 2002 Writer memory footprint. MS Word is 2nd entry. AbiWord 1.0.1 is next to bottom.
Figure 2, right, shows the MS Windows memory footprints for AbiWord, MS Word, and SOT Office 2002 all displaying the same document. Please notice that AbiWord takes only about 5-MB of MS Windows memory whereas SOT Office takes about 37-MB and MS Office takes about 18-MB.

We made the memory comparisons using the MS Windows versions of AbiWord and SOT Office because there is no Linux version of MS Office to compare them in Linux. The memory comparisons were made using the System Information module of Norton 2000 (Norton SI).

Incidentally, StarOffice 6.0 also is built on top the OpenOffice code-base. Thus, in a manner of speaking, SOT Office 2002 and StarOffice 6.0 are close cousins. So, if you would like a free copy of StarOffice 6.0, try SOT Office 2002.

For more about AbiWord, please see our article AbiWord - A Free, Decent, MS Word Clone for Linux, MS Windows, & Other Platforms.

Resources


AbiWord

AbiSource

Download AbiWord

Summary of Features

AbiWord Feature matrix (detailed features list and development status table)

AbiWord User Interface matrix (detailed features list and development status table by OS and/or desktop)

AbiSource FAQ

AbiWord Roadmap

AbiWord Personal

AbiWord Developer Info


Related Articles


AbiWord - A Free, Decent, MS Word Clone for the Linux, MS Windows, & Other Platforms

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users

Free Software for Your New Christmas Computer -- Or Any Computer for That Matter

Linux Gifts for Christmas, Holiday, and All Occasions


Products Discussed

AbiWord

AbiSource

Download AbiWord

Summary of Features

AbiWord Feature matrix (detailed features list and development status table)

AbiWord User Interface matrix (detailed features list and development status table by OS and/or desktop)

AbiSource FAQ

AbiWord Roadmap

AbiWord Personal

Related Products

Microsoft Word

SOT Office 2002

Sun StarOffice


Copyright 2000-2002 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved

Recent Articles

Linux Gifts for Christmas, Holiday, and All Occasions

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.7 Browser-Suite Released

Getting Started with Wireless Network Technology - Part II: Connecting a Wireless Laptop or Notebook PC to a Wired PC Network

A New Mug for Bugzilla - Version 2.16 on Its Way

Netscape 6.2.1 Browser-Suite Released

Belkin SCSI to USB Adapter for Mac & Windows - Add SCSI to Laptop, Notebook, & Desktop Computers

Getting Started with Wireless Network Technology Part I: A Simple Wireless Computer Connection for Home, Office, or School

Getting Started with Wireless Network Technology Part I: A Simple Wireless Computer Connection for Home, Office, or School

Mozilla Milestone 0.9.6 Browser-Suite Released

Netscape Communicator 4.79 Browser-Suite Released

Mozilla Roadmap Update - Mozilla 1.0 Set Back to April 2002

Netscape 6.2 Browser Source Code (Mozilla 0.9.4.1) Released

Mandrake Linux 8.1 Boxed CDs Available Now

SuSE Linux 7.3 Ships In North America

Red Hat Linux 7.2 Distribution Released

AOL 7.0: Good News for AOL Users & Microsoft - Bad News for Netscape & Mozilla

Mozilla Organization Opposes W3C (RAND) Patent Policy Proposal

Mozilla 0.9.5 Branched -- Buggier Than Ever

Patch Maker -- Mozilla Hacking & Patching Made Easy

SuSE Linux 7.3 Set for October 22 Release

Mandrake Linux 8.1 Released for Downloading

Belkin 4-Port USB Switch for Linux, Mac, & Windows

World Trade Center & Pentagon Aircraft-Bombings - Terrorism ? The Third World War - 11 September Massacre

Laptop & Notebook Docking -- Peripheral Device Sharing

Milestone 0.9.4 Delayed - Turbo Mode & Bugs Slow Mozilla Development to Snail´s Pace - Turbo/Quick-Launch Examined -- Is Mozilla Really Open Source?

Milestone 0.9.4 Delayed - Turbo Mode & Bugs Slow Mozilla Development to Snail´s Pace - Turbo/Quick-Launch Examined -- Is Mozilla Really Open Source?

Netscape Lays-Off Mozilla's Chief Lizard Wrangler, Mitchell Baker, & Others?

SuSE Linux Free for US High Schools

Mozilla Roadmap Update - Mozilla 1.0 Release Set Back to 2002 - Mozilla 0.9.4 Set for 7 September Release

Red Hat E-Commerce Suite - Open Source Software Plus Commercial Tools, Services, & Support

KDE 2.2 Released - Binaries and Source Code Available for Downloading

Caldera OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 - review

Caldera OpenLinux 3.1 - Open UNIX 8

Mozilla 0.9.2 Branches on Schedule, but with Many Bugs

Is Netscape Losing the Browser Wars? Part II: Why Are Major Linux Distributions Rejecting Netscape 6?

Is Netscape losing browser war

Red Hat Linux drops Netscape browser

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users #5: Simple Number Crunching, Word Processing, & Photo Viewing with the Windows-Like Desktop for Linux

AbiWord - A Free, Decent, MS Word Clone for the Linux, MS Windows, & Other Platforms

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: #4-- Getting Started Using the Windows-Like Desktop for Linux

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: #3 -- Making an MS Windows-Like Desktop for Red Hat Linux

Composer: The Netscape & Mozilla Graphical HTML Editor & Word Processor

Mozilla Milestone 0.8 Browser-Suite RPM Builds Released

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: #2 -Getting Started with The Linux MS Windows-Like Desktop

Triple-Boot Caldera OpenLinux, Red Hat Linux, & MS Windows for Best of Three Worlds

Linux for Microsoft Windows Users: Introduction & Overview

Meet Bugzilla -- Mozilla's Secretary of Bug-Busting & Feature Requests Lizard

Computer Connections at Home, Office, & School

Some Basics for Computing & Networking Novices

dual-boot Linux & windows for best of both operating system worlds

New Browser War Heats Up -- But It's Netscape vs. Netscape

MozillaQuest the Series -- Building Your Own Mozilla-Based Web Browser:Branding your Lizard

How to Download,, Install, & Configure Netscape 6.0 Safely

MozillaQuest the Series -- Building Your Own Mozilla-Based Web Browser:Skinning the Lizard

MozillaQuest Magic: Enabling Changes Made to Mozilla-Based Browsers & Applications Chrome -- A Tutorial

Mozilla's ChatZilla, The Lizard Speaks:- IRC