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 was used to store bitmap and vector images natively on Macintosh computers. It was used for laying out and sharing images between programs. It used JPEG compression algorithms and RLE encoding. Today, the PICT format is used in the Windows environment with the PCT extension.