Mythical beast Abiword

Mythical beast Abiword

I am a simple man. Well, if you define simple as someone who acts as a servant to two young men, occasionally his wife and has the ability to belch well watching football, then I am pretty simple. Anyway, I am a simple man with simple tastes. Not being imbued with complex potentials and the need to analyse every trivial detail before moving my chess pieces, I tend to know immediately what I like and act quickly.

What do I like? Well, for example, a few years ago I wrote a paper for a conference and used Freemind to map some figures out. Since then I use this above-excellent free software tool for every conceivable organizational chore possible. Every time I have an idea for a new magazine article or need to organize my todo lists, zap, click and expand. Another tool that I use daily is grep. Finding information in large log files is a pain. Sure, I can use some log-analyzing tool, but for flexibility, there is nothing like a good old grep party. Another handy utility is tail; by running tail -f I can see naughty events happen real time as they are dumped into some text file or another. Such relative power for so little effort gives me the feeling of control and personalization over my system. As we move into the central timeslot of the 3D desktop era, I wonder if we are going to lose that feeling.

As the famous mythical beast: half man, half writer, half developer (and obviously not a mathematician), I try to surround myself with tools that make my life easier. One of those tools is a grammar checker. I notice that when I send emails out or when I’m busy with three things at once that my written prose can at times help make my flowers grow. Placing a grammar checker in the way forces me to spend the prerequisite seconds to change monkey talk into understandable flow. I noticed this week while putting content onto a WIKI like system that the quality of my writing was poor. Next week I will go back and try better. Well, my point is that I noticed for the first time that Abiword has a grammar checker. I don’t have this functionality working on my desktop yet, but when this happens, you can expect me to filter any of my WIKI entries through this word processor. My hat is off to the developers. Thank you for giving me one less reason to use Windows.



Terry Hancock's picture

We've had really bad luck with AbiWord. I don't know what the problem is, but it doesn't print correctly (cuts off the last couple of pages most of the time). It has font problems and the printed output never matches the preview. Images screw everything up. Occasionally it hangs or crashes unexpectedly.

I'd assume it was just an early version, but upgrades don't seem to have solved anything.

Alan Berg's picture
Submitted by Alan Berg on

I have had no problems with Abiword yet. As you have said it sounds like bad luck.

Author information

Alan Berg's picture


Alan Berg Bsc. MSc. PGCE, has been a lead developer at the Central Computer Services at the University of Amsterdam since 1998. In his spare time, he writes articles, book reviews and has authored three books. He has a degree, two masters and a teaching qualification. In previous incarnations, he was a technical writer, an Internet/Linux course writer, and a science teacher. He likes to get his hands dirty with the building and gluing of systems. He remains agile by playing computer games with his sons who (sadly) consistently beat him physically, mentally and morally at least twice in any given day.

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