The ABW file format is the default document format for the AbiWord word processing software and the format is based on XML. The ABW file format allows for advanced document layouts, rich text formatting, lists, tables, images and footnotes. ABW files are similar in nature to Microsoft Word DOC files, however, unlike Microsoft Word files, the AbiWord program can run on almost any computer operating system.
Since 2007, Microsoft began to use a file format docx, which is created by using the Office Open XML. The format is a zip-file containing the text in the form of XML, graphics and other data that can be translated into a sequence of bits using patent-protected binary formats. At first it was assumed that this format will replace the doc, but both formats are still used today.