Howto: Eliminate Abiword sluggishness

Short version: disable smooth scrolling in your AbiWord.profile file

Today everyone should know that is great, and I have a grandmother using it, cousins and people who would otherwise have no relation whatsoever to its public licences. I have both Microsoft Office 2000 (+ ) and OpenOffice 2.0 installed on my work computer to handle any Office-related problems. Say, if your MS Word document is hanging due to incorrectly terminated paragraphs, open the file in Open Office Writer and save a new .doc file. Spread the word. This would be embarrassing to Microsoft if they’d had any professional integrity.

But I don’t use Open Office myself. Running a distro at home I prefer the elegant simplicity of . It is just as good as Writer or Word for my purposes, regular writing, and I don’t have to have all the other packages installed either. My problem with it was rather picky, but I’ve seen it’s a widespread one among users with low end hardware on the graphics side. I only have a small 24-bit graphics card, resulting in Abiword (as well as other word processors) being sluggish. The fix is easy, but locations may vary depending on your distro:

1. Make sure you’ve run Abiword at least once before doing this
2. Open a terminal and cd to ~/.AbiSuite
3. Edit AbiWord.profile with gedit or mousepad:
under the Scheme name=_custom_ entry set EnableSmoothScrolling="0"
4. Save, close and there you go!
Enjoy your fast running Abiword installation:)

This tip came out of troubleshooting my problem with the guys at #Abiword on That’s what I call "customer" support! After ending up with this solution one of them filed a request to have this as a GUI option in later versions.

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