AbiWord Portable Support

Many of the most common issues that arise when using AbiWord Portable are addressed here. Please read through the various topics to see if any of them address your question. You can also post a question in the AbiWord Portable Support Forum.

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AbiWord Portable-Specific Issues

General AbiWord Issues

Installing AbiWord Portable

To install AbiWord Portable, just download the portable package at the top of the AbiWord Portable page and then double-click it. Select the location you wish to install to and click OK. Am AbiWordPortable directory will be created there and all the necessary files installed. That's all there is to it.

Using AbiWord Portable

To start up AbiWord Portable, just double-click AbiWordPortable.exe file where you installed Portable AbiWord on your portable drive. Then, use it just like you would a local copy of AbiWord. There are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Stay Safe - When using portable apps, it's always a good idea to practice Safe Portable App-ing.
  • Removing Your Drive - When you're done, exit AbiWord and then wait for the activity light on your removable drive to stop flashing. Then select the 'Safely remove [device]' option from the icon in the system tray. If you remove the drive while it is writing, you may lose data.

Upgrading AbiWord Portable

To upgrade to a newer version of AbiWord Portable, just download a new copy and unzip it to your portable drive. You can delete your old copy. If you've saved any preferences, be sure to copy your profile from AbiWordPortable\userprofile\AbiSuite\ from the old copy to the AbiWordPortable\Data\settings\ in the new one. Portable Apps Suite users should copy the abiword and AbiWordPortableCode directories to PortableApps\Apps\AbiWordPortable and the settings directory to PortableApps\Data\AbiWordPortable.

Adding Plugins to AbiWord Portable

To add Import/Export or Tools plugins to AbiWord Portable, do the following:

  1. Close AbiWord Portable
  2. Download a standard plugin installer from the AbiWord website
  3. Follow the prompts as normal. Uncheck the option to create an uninstaller when it comes up (otherwise an entry will be made in Add/Remove Programs on the local PC. When prompted for AbiWord's location, select your portable drive and the AbiWordPortable\App\AbiSuite2 directory (for Portable Apps Suite users, this directory is PortableApps\Apps\AbiWordPortable\AbiSuite2... Suite users will need to temporarily rename the AbiWord directory to AbiSuite2 for this to work)

Change AbiWord Portable to Another Language

By default, AbiWord Portable is set to the machine default. To change to another langauge, start AbiWord Portable as normal. From the main menu, select Tools and then Preferences. Then click the General (first) tab. From the dropdown, select your language of choice and then click ok. You may need to exit AbiWord Portable and restart for your change to take effect.

Running from a CD (AbiWord Portable Live)

Support for running from a CD is built into AbiWord Portable. Just extract it to a local drive and run it at least once to generate a set of default settings. Next, make any configuration changes you'd like, add plugins, etc. Finally, burn the whole AbiWordPortable directory to CD being sure not to change the locations of any files.

Remove OpenDocument Plugin (Save 2.2MB)

If you don't need the OpenDocument plugin, or space is at a premium, you can easily remove it and save 2.2MB in space on your portable device. Just download the [tool is being updated for AbiWord Portable 2.6] to your AbiWordPortable directory and run it. It will automatically uninstall the plugin from AbiWord Portable. You can delete the tool when it is finished.

Known Issues

The following are known issues with this package:

  • Trojan/Virus detected - AntiVir and Avast, on more than one occasion, have claimed there is a trojan or virus in the launcher. This is due to poor trojan detection in both products that will occasionally mis-identify many NSIS-based applications as trojans. It will usually occur after a definitions update. You should contact your antivitus provider and let them know of their mistake.


I made some modifications to the default version of AbiWord to make it more USB key friendly (decreasing total install size and the number of writes to the drive, which will increase drive life). These changes are listed here so you'll know what they are, and so you can recreate the process, if so desired.

  • Friendly Launcher - AbiWord Portable launcher is included.
  • EXEs and DLLs Compressed - All EXEs and DLLs were recompressed using UPX. This gets our installed size down to one that is a bit more manageable. Additionally, it will speed up use of OpenOffice.org when you're running over USB 1.1. The options used were: --best --compress-icons=0 --nrv2d --crp-ms=999999 -k

Version History

  • 2.4.5 - August 10, 2006
    • Updated to 2.4.5
    • OpenDocument included by default
    • Added In-Place Upgrade Support
    • Now compatible with AbiWord Import/Export and Tools Plugin Installers
    • CD Support
  • 2.4.4 - April 17, 2006
    • Updated to 2.4.4
    • Added OpenDocument support package
    • Switched to packages for smaller download size
  • 2.4.2 - January 13, 2006
    • Updated to 2.4.2
    • Improved way of passing profile to AbiWord
    • Fixed side effect of Desktop within File Open/Save going to portable device
  • 2.4.1 - October 15, 2005
    • Updated to 2.4.1
    • Directory structure finalized
    • Options saved to portable drive
  • 2.2.9 Public Beta Release - September 20, 2005
    • Added in User Profile environment wrapper to keep profile on portable drive
    • First public release
  • Internal Alpha - August 2005
    • Initial internal alpha release
    • Custom launcher
    • EXEs, DLLs compressed