How to Open, Edit, & Convert ABW Files

What to Know

  • Use the free AbiWord word processing program to open an ABW file.
  • After opening a file in AbiWord, you can save it under a new format like DOCX.

This article explains how to open, edit, and convert ABW files, a file extension that's an AbiWord Document file. Similar to Microsoft Word's DOCX format, the AbiWord word processor uses this XML-based format to store rich text, images, tables, etc.

How to Open an ABW File

AbiWord ABW files can be opened with the free AbiWord word processing program. LibreOffice Writer is also free and works well with ABW files on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

ABW files in a folder
ABW Files.

If an application on your Windows PC tries to open the file but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open it, see our guide for how to make that change.

How to Convert an ABW File

If you're already using AbiWord or LibreOffice Writer, you can open the file in one of those programs and then save it under a new format. AbiWord, for example, can convert to MS Word formats like DOCX and DOC, as well as to RTF, TXT, EML, ODT, SXW, etc.

Another option is to use CloudConvert. It's a free file converter website, so you just have to upload the file there to convert it to a different format like PDF.

Although it has nothing to do with the AbiWord Document file format, ABW also stands for Alcohol by Weight. You can convert ABW to ABV (Alcohol by Volume) with this converter at

Still Can't Open It?

If you can't open or convert the file with one of the programs listed above, you might be confusing a different format, like Amazon Kindle eBook (.AZW), with this one. Since their file extensions are so similar, this is fairly easy to do. The same is true for A2W files.

Other technology terms use these letters but they don't have anything to do with the file format. Examples include available bandwidth, average bandwidth waste, and abandonware.

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