AbiWord is a free, well-featured, cross-platform word processor and part of the GNOME Project. In fact, it is the official default GNOME word processor, and is a part of the free office suite GNOME Office, while remaining a standalone application.
While AbiWord is a powerful word processor capable of many different word processing tasks, it is not installed as default in Ubuntu, since Ubuntu uses the potent OpenOffice instead. AbiWord is, when compared to full-featured suites like OpenOffice, a very light-weight word processor. For this reason AbiWord is the default word processor in the Ubuntu derivative Xubuntu. See below for instructions on installing AbiWord on your computer.
Since Ubuntu is focused on stability, you will find that, apart from security updates and bugfixes, the AbiWord package in the repositories will generally only be updated to a newer version with every new release of Ubuntu.
Install AbiWord from repository
The recommended way to install AbiWord is through the official Ubuntu repositories. That way you'll get a stable version, which is supported by Canonical Ltd. as well as the Ubuntu community.
Installing through the repositories is pretty straightforward:
Go to Applications -> Add/Remove...
Search for AbiWord and tick the box with AbiWord.
Press Apply Changes and, if asked, enter your password.
For more info about how to install software from the repositories, see InstallingSoftware.
Installing AbiWord from repository - CLI
Should you want to use the command-line interface to install AbiWord, that is also very easy:
Go to Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal
In the terminal write the following, and press Enter:
sudo apt-get install abiword-gnome
Enter your password if asked, and watch as Ubuntu fetches AbiWord from the repository, and installs it!
Installing current release from official website
AbiWord is only available through the official Ubuntu repositories.
This section deals with other aspects of AbiWord.
Like all software, AbiWord has its share of bugs. However, you can help to improve AbiWord by reporting any bugs you may find.
If you would like to report a bug in AbiWord, there are instructions on how to do so here.
Other applications you may wish to look at
OpenOffice.org - Full-featured office suite incorporating a word processor.
Scribus - A cross-platform desktop publishing tool.
http://www.abisource.com - Official webpage
The AbiWord User Manual, which includes help on configuring AbiWord.
The AbiWord FAQ, which includes commonly asked questions about AbiWord.
For developers and other geeks
AbiWord Development Area - come and contribute to improving AbiWord!