Is it possible to put apps such as Word and Excel onto a flash drive?

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YOU CAN PUT apps on a fl ash drive, but only those designed for that use. And Microsoft Office was not made for such portability. Think about how you put most Windows programs onto your PC: You don’t just copy the files, you run an installer. The installer integrates the application into Windows, changing the Registry and altering the operating system. (By the way, this is a major reason why Windows becomes less reliable over time and sometimes requires reinstallation from scratch—too many OS-altering installations.)

Clearly, if you simply copied the program folder to a fl ash drive and tried running it on another PC, you’d be disappointed. A portable application is specifically designed not to require an installation, and is thus able to work from a flash drive. A well designed portable program will not alter the Registry or leave behind any other trace of itself on a computer. Lots of portable programs, many of them free, are available. You can find portable browsers, graphics editors, media players, and programming tools. Utilities, too: I keep a flash drive loaded with sorted portable diagnostic tools that come in handy when someone asks me to help them with their computer. PortableApps.com creates and gives away portable versions of existing free, open-source software. One such offering is an Office alternative, a portable version of OpenOffice.org. It doesn’t do everything that Microsoft Office can do, but it does enough things to satisfy most people. Grab it at fi nd.pcworld.com/63596. For additional fl ash-drive-friendly applications, check out Make use of .com’s list of portable software at find.pcworld.com/63593.

Source of Information : PC World November 2009

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