Introduction to AbiWord

The AbiWord package contains a word processing application. This is useful for writing reports, letters and other formatted documents.

Package Information

AbiWord Dependencies


FriBidi-0.10.8 and libgnomeprintui-2.18.0


libgnomeui-2.18.1 (for GNOME-2 support), gucharmap-1.10.0, Enchant (uses Aspell-0.60.5), wv (with libwmf installed first), and Valgrind

Optional for Plugins

libgsf-1.14.7 (to build the OpenDocument/OpenOffice plugin), Poppler-0.5.4 (for the pdf plugin, requires installing with unsupported xpdf headers), librsvg-2.16.1, Nautilus-2.18.3 (for GNOME-2 support), GOffice-0.6.1 (you must use a version of GOffice <0.3.0), Link Grammar, Aiksaurus, libgnomedb version <1.3.0* (requires libgda version <1.3.0), libwmf, GtkMathView (requires Gnome DOM Bindings which requires gdome2), libwpd, OTS, and Psiconv

* The libgda/libgnomedb stack required for AbiWord database access may conflict with the versions used by the Gnumeric-1.8.2 database plugin. Though the libraries themselves pose no conflict, the executables and support files will overwrite one another. Note that the current (version 3.0.x) stack does not pose a conflict with any of the previous versions (but does not support AbiWord or Gnumeric database access. AbiWord requires versions <1.3.0 (1.2.2 is known to work).

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/abiword

Installation of AbiWord

Install AbiWord by running the following commands:

cd abi &&
./configure --prefix=/usr &&
make &&

cd ../abiword-plugins &&
sed -i 's/dictionary_file)/reinterpret_cast<const unsigned char *>(&)/' \
        tools/ots/xp/AbiOts.cpp &&

./configure --prefix=/usr --without-inter7eps &&
make &&

cd ..

If you wish to create the API documentation, Doxygen-1.5.2 must be installed and issue the following commands:

pushd abi &&
doxygen &&

This package's test suite requires Valgrind. Though the end message will indicate the tests failed, there will actually be many tests that run to a successful completion. Run the tests by issuing the following commands:

pushd abi &&
make check &&

Now, as the root user:

cd abi &&
make install &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/abiword-2.4.6 &&
install -v -m644    docs/*.* \
                    /usr/share/doc/abiword-2.4.6 &&

cd ../abiword-plugins &&
make install &&

cd ..

AbiWord is now installed and must be used to build the Help files. Issue the following commands as an unprivileged user:

pushd abiword-docs &&
./make-html.sh &&
cd ..

Then as the root user, install the help files:

install -v -m644 man/abiword.1 /usr/share/man/man1 &&
install -v -m644 Manual/en/Abiword_Manual.abw \
                 /usr/share/doc/abiword-2.4.6 &&
cp -v -Rf help   /usr/share/AbiSuite-2.4/AbiWord &&
find             /usr/share/AbiSuite-2.4/AbiWord/help \
                 -type d -exec chmod -v 755 {} \;

If you have a GNOME installation, issue the following commands as the root user to install the AbiWord Bonobo component description file:

install -v -m644 abidistfiles/GNOME_AbiWord_Control_2_4.server \
        $(pkg-config --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0)/lib/bonobo/servers &&

if [ $(pkg-config --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0) != "/usr" ]; then
    rmdir -v /usr/lib/{bonobo/servers,bonobo}

If you built the API documentation, install it by issuing the following commands as the root user:

install -v -m755 -d  /usr/share/doc/abiword-2.4.6/api &&

for FILENAME in $(ls abi/docs/dox/html); do
    install -v -m644 abi/docs/dox/html/${FILENAME} \

Command Explanations

--without-inter7eps: Some of the headers from the EPS package are not compatible with GCC-4.1.2. This parameter prevents linking to the package and incurring a build failure.

sed -i '...' tools/ots/xp/AbiOts.cpp : This command is used to fix an incompatibility with GCC and the libots package.

if [ ... != "/usr" ]; then ...;fi: This command is used to remove unneeded directories if the GNOME installation is in any prefix other than /usr.

Configuring AbiWord

Config File


Configuration Information

Choose the right template for your language and locale from the list produced by the following command:

ls /usr/share/AbiSuite-2.4/templates

Create the folder ~/.AbiSuite/templates then copy the normal.awt you want into it:

install -v -m750 -d ~/.AbiSuite/templates &&
install -v -m640    /usr/share/AbiSuite-2.4/templates/normal.awt-<lang> \

Change <lang> in the above command to fit the name of the file you want.

If you have desktop-file-utils-0.13 installed, you should run the update-desktop-database command to update the mimeminfo cache and allow the Help system to work.


Installed Programs: abiword, AbiWord-2.4, ttfadmin.sh, and ttftool
Installed Libraries: Numerous plugin library support modules
Installed Directories: /usr/lib/AbiWord-2.4 and /usr/share/AbiSuite-2.4

Short Descriptions


is a symbolic link to the main AbiWord-2.4 executable.


is the word-processing program executable.


generates support files required by AbiWord for each TrueType font in a given directory.


is a utility for processing TrueType fonts.

Last updated on 2008-05-09 08:00:42 -0500