Open file formats and AbiWord 2.2.2 for OS X

As an author, I own licenses for Microsoft Office for Windows and the Mac. Still, I try to avoid the use of Word as much as I can because of the horrible Microsoft closed file formats. Frankly, I can not understand how large companies and governments can justify the use of closed source proprietary file formats.

When I primarily used SuSE Linux for my desktop, as long as I had a truetype font server set up correctly, I was very happy using OpenOffice.org. (Strangely, OOo runs really well on Windows - go figure.)

Now that I have almost completely converted my business over to using Macs with OS X, I have found myself grudgingly using Word for the Mac (which is quite good). OOo under X11 on the Mac is usable, but far from perfect. I think that the people working on the NeoOfficeJ project (OOo running natively on OS X using Aqua) are doing a great job (I donated money at their site today - in my own interest to encourage people whose work I use!) and I find NeoOfficeJ to be very usable and getting better. In the future, NeoOfficeJ is likely to be my standard writing tool.

I gave AbiWord another look tonight - they have a minor version release since my last look. I liked what I saw:
  • AbiWord file format is clear and easy to parse XML
  • Light weight - loads in a few seconds even on my old iBook
  • Handles imported graphics well - I just save OmniGraffle drawings as TIFF first
  • Seems to generate tables of contents well (but no index building features - needed for very long documents)
I intend to give AbiWord a fair trial. If I do have to occasionally keep using Word for a while on my Macs, at least OOo has a great batch feature: searches nested directories for Word documents and generates OOo XML document files. In a few minutes in batch mode I can generate OOo XML format files for all of the Word documents on my system.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DBPedia Natural Language Interface Using Huggingface Transformer

Custom built SBCL and using spaCy and TensorFlow in Common Lisp

I have a new job helping to build a Knowledge Graph at Olive AI