Here’s something interesting: an entire office productivity suite that can run from a USB drive. It’s LibreOffice Portable, a portable-ized version of The Document Foundation’s free open-source suite. It’s compatible with most other productivity suites and tools, including Word, WordPerfect, and Lotus, and packs the tools you need, including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation maker, drawing tool, and database.
At 412 MB, LibreOffice Portable is a substantial package, but who cares? With multigigabyte USB drives and memory cards, storage isn’t an issue. The installer offered an experimental option to exclude Multilanguage support, which saves 150 MB, but we chose the full installation. The program runs on any Windows PC from 98 to 7, which is a lot of machines. Opening the program’s folder, we found portable versions of LibreOffice Base, Calc, Draw, Impress, Math, and Writer, as well as an HTML-based Help file and data folders. Interestingly, these tools won’t run from a directory containing spaces, and we had to change our folder from “Portable Apps” to “PortableApps.” Once we’d done that, all the tools opened normally. We certainly have no complaints about LibreOffice, which many users have found to be a good performer and a viable alternative to expensive suites.
By installing the jPortable portable Java runtime environment, users can add features such as document creation wizards to LibreOffice Portable. LibreOffice has a lot to recommend it on its own, like LibreOffice Math; some well-known bundles have nothing to compare to it. Being able to take it all with you sets LibreOffice Portable apart from many similar tools. Since this portable version was created by PortableApps, it’s reliable and highly recommended.