How to create portable Excel applications?

Jan 27, 2018
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I have a holiday home abroad which has a fairly basic PC without Office and a very slow Internet service. When I go there - usually for several weeks at a time - I would like to run one or two (mainly read-only) Excel applications to keep up-to-date with my personal and financial affairs and to help with doing Cryptic Crosswords.

I am a retired programming afficionado. So all my applications refer to standard workbooks that I have created myself in VBA:
  1. Personal.xlsb - including a personalised Ribbon and Quick Access Bar, and many utility subroutines
  2. A user-defined .XLAM file with a large number of utility functions
Ideally I would like to create portable, stand-alone, fully-working programs of those applications.
  1. Is that possible at all? If so, how?
  2. If not possible, could I make a portable version of the Microsoft Excel Viewer that would enable me to use my read-only programs incorporating interactive macros to search their (large) databases?


Aug 3, 2011
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Welcome to the forum :)

I don't know much about writing programs from scratch, but you could always just download OpenOffice - their equivalent to Excel is called Calc. It's open source software, so completely free. You should be able to view your Excel documents with it no problem.



Microsoft MVP
Mar 2, 2012
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AFAIK, the Excel viewer - which MS is retiring in April - doesn't support macros, etc., so you're out of luck there.

There are such things as Excel compilers, which will turn a given workbook into a stand-alone program, but they're unlikely to be any less demanding on a system that Excel itself.

Even a basic PC running anything from Win 7 or later should be able to run, say, Excel 2010, without too much effort - just don't expect stellar performance; expect more leisurely performance in keeping with the reasons you're probably not taking your std PC/laptop anywhay... Excel 2010 will likely give you access to all your personalisations & customisations, too. I doubt OpenOffice Calc would support either.

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