Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Holiday Edition: portable word processors

Tech–for Everyone is taking a short break for the Holiday, and I am re-posting a prior article. This post appeared 10/19/07. I sincerely hope you all are having a safe and a happy holiday. My online Tech Support business is open as usual.  

One of my more popular articles discussed using a thumb drive to run applications (to read it, click here), and my two previous articles discussed Microsoft Word (click on “MS Word” in the Tag Cloud), which led to two reader questions which I think are worth posting — in the Q’s and their A’s format.

Q: Is there a version of Word I can run on my U3 thumb drive?
A: There are tremendous advantages to running programs from a thumb drive (particularly when using someone-elses’ computer), and there are many programs already developed that are designed to do this, which are called “portable”.
The answer to this question is: no… and yes. Microsoft has not released a portable version of any of the programs in the Office suite, and I have not read of any plans to do so in the future. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot find warez and hacks out there. Loyal friends and true of this blog know that I would never advocate advocate the use of this kind of software; aside from the question of legality, the security risks are simply too great.

That is not to say you cannot run a word processor from your thumb drive. If you have loaded your thumb drive with the Portable Apps suite, palogo.jpg(wildly popular, and previously recommended here) you already have the free Open Source suite of programs called Open Office which includes a “clone” of Word called “Write”. This works so much like Word (and can open Word docs) that there’s practically a zero learning-curve.
Users of the U3 system of thumb drives u3logo1.jpgcan download Open Office to add it to the installed programs. To do this manually, visit http://software.u3.com/, which will show you all of the U3 programs available– listed by category. But the easiest way is to plug in your thumb drive and launch the U3 “Launchpad” from the System Tray, and click on the “Add programs>>” link.

[Update: Bill Mullins has brought to my attention a program for running apps on your thumbdrive that seems superior to others I have mentioned. To read his review, click here.]

Q: Can I use portable Write to read Word documents?
A: The two main portable word processors (and there are others, if you’re the experimental sort) — Open Office’s Write, and the platform-independent AbiWord— allow you to open, and edit MS Word documents. They also allow you to Save to HTML, PDF, and Word formats (this step is taken in the Save As menu) which allows you to send your documents to anyone.
And the best part? These programs are free!

[I also wrote an article which explains the steps for installing regular, not “portable”, programs onto a thumb drive: https://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/12/12/how-to-install-a-program-on-your-thumb-drive/]

Today’s free link(s): You needn’t put these word processors on a thumb drive to use them (and get to know and love them). Click the links in the paragraph above to get free word processing power.

Copyright 2007 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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December 27, 2007 - Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, MS Word, PC, tech, Windows, word processors | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Useful, thanks

    Like

    Comment by VoiD | February 16, 2008 | Reply


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