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abiword - Man Page

flexible cross-platform word processor


abiword [Options] [FILENAME...]


AbiWord is a full-featured, efficient word processing application suitable for a wide range of word processing tasks, and extensible with a variety of plugins. It integrates with enchant(1) to provide spell-checking.


-g WxH[+X+Y], --geometry=WxH[+X+Y]

Specifies window geometry at startup.

-E PLUGIN, --plugin=PLUGIN

Execute the specified plugin instead of the main application.


Import the given file as if it had extension EXT, overriding automatic file type detection.

-u PROFILE, --userprofile=PROFILE

Use PROFILE to read and store settings instead of the default XDG_CONFIG_HOME/abiword/profile.

-t DEST, --to=DEST

Convert the given file to another format, writing the result to DEST. The format of DEST is determined by its extension.
See also --to=FORMAT and --to-name.


Convert the given files(s) to the given format. Unless explicitly specified with --to-name, the original filename will be used (with a different extension, if necessary). See also Examples.

The more popular values for FORMAT include:
abwAbiword XML format (zabw for gzip, bzabw for bzip2 compression)
dbkDocBook XML
docMicrosoft Word binary format
docxOffice Open XML (newer Microsoft Word versions)
htmlHypertext Markup Language
odtOpenDocument Text
pdfPortable Document Format
rtfRich Text Format
sxwOpenOffice.org Writer 1.0
txtPlain text

Only useful in conjunction with --to=FORMAT. Specifies where the converted document shall be written to.


Set level of verbosity [0-2], 2 giving the most detailed output.

-h,  --help

Display a short help message and exit.


Report the version of AbiWord.

Environment Variables


Defines the user's home directory.


Defines the base directory relative to which user specific configuration  files should be stored. (See the XDG Base Directory Specification for details.)



The default user profile file. (If XDG_CONFIG_HOME is either not set or  empty, a default equal to HOME/.config will be used.)


To convert the document example.abw to RTF: abiword --to=rtf example.abw The resulting file will be named example.rtf.

To print a document: abiword --to=ps --to-name=fd://1 FILENAME | lp

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to the Bugzilla bug tracking system at <http://bugzilla.abisource.com>.

See Also



AbiWord was started in 1998 by AbiSource Inc., a company founded by SourceGear corporation. The initial plan was to build a free office suite named AbiSuite, encompassing word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications. As they didn't have a usable product when their venture capital was up, the code already developed (namely AbiWord) was made open source.  AbiWord development was subsequently taken over by volunteers and is driven by the community to date.


2012-04-26 AbiWord 2.9