View and edit Word documents in a pinch

I don’t doubt that AbiWord is an excellent free word processor in its own right, but it saved my sanity earlier when I was stuck using a crashy version of Word. The Windows version is a 5MB download (20MB installed) and there’s also a portable version available. It’s able to open, edit and save Microsoft Word, XHTML, Rich Text Format and plain text files as well as its native ABW/AWT format, and while I’m sure it lacks many of Microsoft Word’s advanced features, it’s lean and mean and has handled all the documents I’ve thrown at it. Plus you can’t argue with the price…

AbiWord is also available for Linux and Mac OS, and being truly free software, the source code is of course also offered for download.

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