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.
The SXW file format was originally created for StarOffice Writer, the word processing application for Sun Microsystem's StarOffice suite. Programs that can open SXW files include StarOffice Writer and OpenOffice.org Writer. To open an SXW file in Microsoft Word, it's usually possible by renaming it as a DOC file.