File format

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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  • the DTD is referenced inside every document, although the DTD is apparently very much out-of-date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.)_

For more information about the AbiWord format, see AbiWord_DocumentFormat.html AbiWord_DocumentFormat.html on adproject. To translate an AbiWord file to Text, see FaqAbiWordNativeFormatToText.


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