FAQ: AbiWords File Format
How are the AbiWord (.abw) files structured?
-- Main.PaulBeAsd - 18 Oct 2002
Without going into details here is the essential information about the Abiword file format:
- Abiword (.abw) documents are XML—thus, you can view the document in a plain text editor and see the structure—see aside, below
- Abiword (.zabw or .abw.gz) documents are Gzip Compressed XML.
- the DTD is referenced inside every document, although the DTD is apparently very much out-of-date
_Aside: Its not terribly hard—several months ago I was "watching" (lurking on the mailing list) as the developers did some things with styles, headings, and lists, and I was able to get the gist of what was going on by browsing an .abw file in a text editor as I edited the file in AbiWord. (After every save in AbiWord, I reloaded the file in the editor.)_