by March 28, 2001 0 comments

Last month, we gave the complete QNX operating system for the desktop. This month, we’ve provided several software that you can use on it. One of them is AbiWord Personal version 0.7.13, a complete word processor on QNX. Let’s see how to install and use it.

Installing AbiWord

You’ll find a file called abisuite-0.7.13-QNX_x86pc_static.qpr in the \\cdrom\qnx directory on this month’s CD. Create a new folder in any directory of your choice and copy this qpr file. A qpr is a compressed file, similar to zip files. Fire up the command prompt terminal from the right shelf, go to the directory you just created and give the following command: 

tar -zxvf abisuite*.qpr

Now fire up the Package Manager from the Launch menu and click on Add repository. In the path, enter the path to the folder where you had copied your qpr file, and give a name to this repository. Now click on this repository and you should see a folder called Public software. Inside this is another folder called Editors, which contains AbiWord. Simply double click it to install, after which you can open AbiWord from your launch menu. 

Using AbiWord

As soon as you open AbiWord you will be presented with a blank document on which you can start typing instantly. There are three toolbars on the top: Standard, Formatting, and Extra to do things quickly via the small buttons. The Standard toolbar allows you to open/save and print your documents. You can also cut and paste things from one document to another. It also allows you to undo and redo changes in your document. The next three buttons allow you to divide your document into two or three columns. You can also view a document in different percentage sizes simply by clicking on the drop-down button and choosing the appropriate size.

The Formatting button lets you change the font and font size. You can also quickly add effects such as bold, underline or italic to your text. The next four buttons are to align your text in left, right, center, or justify mode. Finally you can add bullets and numbering to your document, which is useful for things like lists.
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Handy tools

Apart from these toolbars, the Tools menu also contains some useful things. First amongst these is the auto-spell checker, which checks your spelling as you type, and if it finds a misspelled word it underlines it with a red line. You can add your own words also. You can also quickly find statistics for your document such as pages and word count from the tools menu. 

Page setup

To make changes to the layout of your document, go to the format menu and choose document. Here you can choose your page size from a predefined list such as A3, A4, and B1 or give your own custom size. You can change the orientation of your document to portrait or landscape. Finally you can also make changes to your page margins from the left, right, top or bottom.

Fine tuning the documents

From the Insert menu you can insert page breaks, page numbers, the current date and time or special symbols, which you may need in your document. You can also insert pictures into your documents to add fizz. These pictures have to be in the png, bmp or svg formats. 

Saving your documents

Once you are finished with your document you can save it wherever you want from the file menu. The document can be saved in lots of formats, which include abw, dbk, html, rtf, latex, pdb, psiword and psitext. 

If you have used any word processor before, you should have no problem getting used to AbiWord. Being free, it gives an advantage over other word processors. 

Sachin Makhija at PCQ Labs

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