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AbiWord cannot open .abw file. The error message received is :

It appears to be an invalid document.

Please let me know how to confirm if the Abiword program is installed?

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3 Answers 3

Your problem probably is not caused by missing AbiWord. Of course you can check, whether it is installed or not, but if it is, your problem is in the .abw file.

It is a known issue that AbiWord sometimes makes mistakes during saving files, i.e. when they are completed from pieces from some other formats (a table pasted from doc or xls file, ...).

You can investigate the problem by renaming the .abw file into .xml (or better make a copy), then try to open it in Firefox or your favorite web browser. It should tell you where is the problem - in my case something like: Parse error: Incomplete tag: Expected </cell> at line 1845, column 15 in file /home/rafael/Docs/file.xml. You can open the XML in some text editor which supports syntax highlighting or in some XML editor and try to fix the error. When there's missing some closing tag like in my example, it's enough to add it there...

I have solved the problem with this by adding the closing tags for cell and table and renaming the file back to .abw after. AbiWord then complains about the validity of the file no more...

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thanks for the xml trick.It helped me recovering one of the important invalid file. – Ashildr Aug 20 '14 at 17:06

Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run the following command:

 which abiword

If it returns something like:


then Abiword is installed.

If it returns nothing, then you'll have to install it, using the command:

sudo apt-get install abiword
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Don't you know if AbiWord is installed? Just press the super (Windows) key and type "Abiword", you'll see if it's installed on Ubuntu.

If it isn't installed, you can install it opening a terminal (super, type Terminal) and running this command:

sudo apt-get install abiword

Or, alternatively, you can open the Software Center and search for AbiWord.

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protected by Community Oct 25 '14 at 16:58

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