When AbiWord opens a new document, a number of styles and other settings are automatically set. AbiWord comes with built-in values for these, but you can also change them if you would prefer a different look. You do this by editing a file called normal.awt -- the normal template.
There are two kinds of normal template: user and system. A user normal template is found in your home directory, and only applies to documents you create. A system normal template is found in the directory where AbiWord is installed, and applies to all documents created by AbiWord on that system. AbiWord will follow a user normal template if one is installed. If not, it follows the system template, if one is installed. If no templates are installed, it uses built-in values.
Finding the Normal Template
The normal template must be in the correct place for AbiWord to make use of it. On Linux, the user template should be in the .AbiSuite/templates directory in your home directory. (.AbiSuite is a hidden directory, so it will not normally be displayed. However, if you are in your home directory, you can move to it by typing its name into the Save or Open dialog.) On single-user Windows systems, it is in the templates folder in the folder where you installed AbiWord.
If the template or the directory does not exist, you can create it. Create the directory in the normal way for your operating system.
To create the normal template, open a blank AbiWord document, and save it in the appropriate directory. Set the file type to AbiWord Template, and the name to normal.awt
Changing the Normal Template
Make any changes you want. You can add and change styles from the Style dialog. You can also make any changes that you can make to a normal document. All of these changes will be reflected in any new documents you create. So, if you add a page number in the footer of normal.awt, all new documents will have page numbers in the footer.
Save the changes. Make sure that you save as a template called normal.awt, in the correct place.
Once the changes are saved, any new documents will follow the template.
You can create other templates in the same way as the normal template. These are available if you select New from the File menu. Pressing the new file button on the toolbar will create a new file based on the normal template.
- This howto came from http://www.abisource.com/