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August 25, 2007

Slimming down OpenOffice.org Portable

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Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that deleting any file from the OpenOffice.org Portable installation is not recommended by the portableapps.com website, as evidenced by their OOoP FAQ and support forum. By following the steps outlined in this article, in part or in whole, you agree that I am in no way responsible for messing anything up. But, as one Linux motto says, "Go for it. You can always reinstall."

OpenOffice.org Portable is a great little office suite, ideal for working with documents on the go. Unfortunately, while the download is only around 70MB, the full install is 181MB, which may be more than you want to give up -- or even more than you have available, after installing your other portable apps. Fortunately, the full install comes with some fairly large nonessential files that can be gotten rid of ;)

This guide assumes you've installed OOoP to the directory "\OOP".

Dictionary files
These files are used for spellchecking. Languages that come in the default installation (to the best of my knowledge), are: three variations of German (de_*), two variations of English (en_*), Hungarian (hu_*), Italian (it_*), Dutch (nl_*), Swahili (sw_*), and Thai (th_*). (language codes , two-letter codes are under the ISO639-1 list).
While all these languages are nice, I know that, unless I get a German penpal or something, I won't be needing anything other than English, and it's reasonably safe to delete the other dictionary files to save space.
The dictionary files can be found in the \OOP\App\openoffice\share\dict\ooo directory. Files you want to delete are in the following formats (the asterisk [*] is a wildcard, in most of the following cases indicating one of the two-letter language codes):

  • *_*.aff
  • *_*.dic
  • hyph_*_*.dic
  • README_*_*.txt
  • th_*_*.dat
  • th_*_*.idx
For my intallation (keeping only the US English dictionary), I kept only the files DictOOo.sxw, dictionary.lst, en_US.aff, en_US.dic, FontOOo.sxw, hyph_en_US.dic, and WordNet_license.txt. This cleared up about 52MB. You may also want to keep the files th_en_US_v2.dat and th_en_US_v2.idx, which seem to be either word definition or thesaurus files, but they will add an extra 20MB to your setup.

I know that some people out there use templates when creating new documents, but I'm not one of those people. I just create a new document, maybe set up its margins and stuff, and start typing. If you don't use templates, either, you can delete the entire \OOP\App\openoffice\share\template directory, to save almost 8MB.

I really don't know what this directory would be used for in the OOoP program, but a quick look at the files inside indicates that it's not important for daily document-editing rituals. Delete \OOP\App\openoffice\share\gallery to save almost 5MB

If you have no use for the README files, delete \OOP\App\openoffice\share\readme to save a whopping 76KB

Help Files
You may actually want to keep the help files, located in \OOP\App\openoffice\help , in case you ever need a quick how-to or what-is on something in the program. If not, delete the directory to save 22MB

Java "class" files
OOoP comes with the option to add java support, but I haven't yet seen the need to have this support. If you don't care for Java support, either, delete \OOP\App\openoffice\program\classes to save 8.5MB

Extraneous Icon Sets
OOoP comes with a few nice icon sets that you can customize your toolbars with, but the cost is 18MB in icon set files. Open Writer, Calc, or another OOoP program, look through the icon sets (Tools->Options..., then OpenOffice.org->view in the left pane, in Writer). Once you've found an icon set you like, go to \OOP\App\openoffice\share\config and delete the three images_*.zip files that you DON'T want. I chose to keep the Crystal icon set, images_crystal.zip. This saves around 13MB

And that's it! You should now have slimmed your OpenOffice.org Portable installation from 181MB to 70-75MB. Congratulations :)

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