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.
This format is used to store small personal icons. It is used in website development to create favicons that are displayed in the address bar of the web browser as well as in satellite TV for identifying broadcast channels. It is very similar in structure to a GIF format image.