I like my tools to be efficient. Part of efficiency is opening quickly, not sucking up all of my systems' resources, and saving in various formats. When considering office needs one of the first tools that pops into my mind is word processing. Naturally the masses will first turn to either MS Office or OpenOffice. But there is another alternative that can do the job faster, easier, and without hogging up your system resources. That alternative? Abiword. In this article you will learn how to install and and run Abiword.
Abiword is considered part of the GNOME Office Suite, but does not require GNOME to be running to use. Abiword is also available for Microsoft Windows. Abiword is available for most distributions and can be installed by both traditional routes. The first, and easiest method, is to open up your Add/Remove Software application (such as Ubuntus' Synaptic), do a search for Abiword. What should appear is a list of possible matches. The following are the packages you need to install.
Select those and click Apply to begin the installation.
Once installed you will find the Abiword entry in your desktops' Office sub-menu. If you are using a desktop such as Enlightenment you may have to click Ctrl-Left Mouse Button (to make the Maintenance menu entry appear) and click Regenerate Menus to make Abiword appear. Once the menus have regenerated Abiword should be found in the Other menu in the Office sub-menu entry.
When Abiword opens what you will find is an efficient, well thought-out word processor that has everything you need to create solid, professional documents. You will also find some nice additions that make your writing even easier. One such tool is the Wikipedia entry tool. With a word highlighted you click the Wiki Encyclopedia entry and it will open the Opera browser on the Wiki entry of the highlighted word. There is also a Collaborate tool that allows users to collaborate on documents through Jabber. Of course Cisco purchased Jabber so who knows if collaboration with Abiword is going to be possible. The good news is you can do collaboration with a direct TCP connection (we'll go into this in my next article.)
I have used Abiword and in the past have thought it had a ways to go before it was production ready. Well, that time has come. Abiword is certainly worthy of being your word processor of choice.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.