AbiWord SDK

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AbiWord can be compiled to create a stand alone library, headers and package configuration file. This page shows you how to do this.


Version 2.6

For AbiWord version 2.6 first configure and build the main AbiWord tree like this:

 ./configure --prefix=/Path/To/Install --enable-libabiword
 make install

Then in the abiword-plugins directory do:

 ./configure --prefix=/Path/To/Install --enable-libabiword --with-abiword=/Path/To/AbiWordSource --disable-all 
 --enable-plugin1 --enable-plugin2
 make install

Where --enable-plugin1, --enable-plugin2 etc should specify the names of the plugins you want to build. It is very important that you put --enable-libabiword in the configure line when you build the plugins otherwise they won't load with AbiWidget. Of course you build as many or as few of the plugins as you want.

My (Martin Sevior) favourite set of plugins is built with the configure line:

 ./configure --with-abiword=../abiword-2.6 --prefix=/home/msevior/abidir  --enable-libabiword --disable-all 
 --enable-abicollab --with-abicollab-service-backend  --enable-abimathview --enable-abicommand --enable-loadbindings 
 --enable-presentation --enable-OpenDocument
 make install

This will build

  • /Path/To/Install/bin/abiword-2.6
  • /Path/To/Install/include/abiword-2.6/libabiword.h
  • /Path/To/Install/lib/pkgconfig/abiword-2.6.pc
  • /Path/To/Install/lib/libabiword-2.6.so


For svn TRUNK, the plugins have been merged into the main AbiWord tree and only one configure and compile statement is needed to build libabiword and the plugins you want. To build libabiword on SVN do:

 ./configure --prefix=/Path/To/Install --enable-dynamic --enable-plugins="plugin1 plugin2"
 make install

Of course you can add as many plugins as you want on the configure line. My favourite set of plugins is built with:

 ./configure  --enable-dynamic --prefix=/home/msevior/abidir --enable-plugins="collab mathview command loadbindings presentation latex" 
 make install

The odt filters are built by default for SVN trunk so do not need to be specified.

This will create the following files:

  • /Path/To/Install/bin/abiword-2.7
  • /Path/To/Install/include/abiword-2.7/libabiword.h
  • /Path/To/Install/lib/pkgconfig/abiword-2.7.pc
  • /Path/To/Install/lib/libabiword-2.7.so

The most easily accessible way to use this library is to use the GtkWidget, AbiWidget.

In addition there are a large variety of Gtk signals emitted by the widget that reflect the current document and the location of the insertion caret within the document. You can hook up callback's to these signals to implement useful features (like buttons that reflect the current state of the document at the caret).

Simple Example program

The following example assumes that you set your PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable to discover abiword-2.7.pc. The code below also shows some of the signals emitted by the widget as the user navigates through the document. You can use these signals to determine the state of the document at the current insertion point.

A complete listing of all the methods and signals currently implemented will be made eventually. In the meantime look at the abiwidget.h header file available here.

The Makefile

test-widget: test-widget.c
		  gcc -o test-widget `pkg-config --cflags --libs abiword-2.7` test-widget.c

		  rm -f test-widget *~

The Example code, test-widget.c

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <libabiword.h>
#include <abiwidget.h>

static void boolean_signal (AbiWidget * widget,
									 gboolean value,
									 gpointer user_data)
    g_print ("Boolean signal %s: %d\n", (char *)user_data, value);

static void string_signal (AbiWidget * widget,
									const char * value,
									gpointer user_data)
    g_print ("String signal %s: %s\n", (char *)user_data, value);

static void double_signal (AbiWidget * widget,
									double value,
									gpointer user_data)
    g_print ("Double signal %s: %f\n", (char *)user_data, value);

int main(int argc, char ** argv)
    GtkWidget * window;
    GtkWidget * abi;

    gtk_init (&argc, &argv);

    window = gtk_window_new (GTK_WINDOW_TOPLEVEL);

    /* Initialize libabiword */
    libabiword_init(argc, (char **)argv);

    /* Construct our widget! */
    abi = abi_widget_new ();
    gtk_container_add (GTK_CONTAINER (window), abi);
    gtk_widget_show_all (window);

    g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (abi), "bold", G_CALLBACK (boolean_signal), (void*)"bold");
    g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (abi), "italic", G_CALLBACK (boolean_signal), (void*)"italic");
    g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (abi), "underline", G_CALLBACK (boolean_signal), (void*)"underline");
    g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (abi), "can-undo", G_CALLBACK (boolean_signal), (void*)"can-undo");
    g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (abi), "can-redo", G_CALLBACK (boolean_signal), (void*)"can-redo");
    g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (abi), "font-size", G_CALLBACK (double_signal), (void*)"font-size");
    g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (abi), "font-family", G_CALLBACK (string_signal), (void*)"font-family");

    g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (window), "destroy", G_CALLBACK (gtk_main_quit), NULL);
    g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (window), "delete_event", G_CALLBACK (gtk_main_quit), NULL);

    if (argv[1])
        abi_widget_load_file (ABI_WIDGET (abi), argv[1], "");

    gtk_main ();

    /* Close libabiword */
    libabiword_shutdown ();
    return 0;

Python Bindings

There are also an extensive and well maintained set of python bindings to AbiWidget. These are used to by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Write program. You can find information about our Python bindings in our PyAbiWord section.

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