No offline help for LO portable, why?

I just downloaded LO portable (x86), and installed LO 7.2 Help Pack (English (United States)), yet when requesting help a pop up says, “The LibreOffice built-in help for current UI language (English (USA)) is not installed on your computer.” What am I doing wrong?

The help file needs to be the exact same language and same 32 bit or 64 bit.

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Doesn’t work even with the 32-bit offline help installed. Same language. I changed the winhlp32.exe file in the Windows folder so that I could use the help files from winXP on old programs. Does LO rely on winhlp for the offline help?

No, it doesn’t uses winhlp. It uses your default browser, if it says something like file:///C:/Program Files in the address bar then it is local.

I personally always have a recent (rather fresh) 64-bit LibO with help in at least two languages installed the default way using the default paths.

A whole lot of 32-bit versions of LibO I have also installed to different paths from PortableApps (TM?) packages to be able to test concerning reported issues, and for probable differences between versions.

If I also want offline help for such a version, I want to avoid any interference. Therefore I don’t just call the installer and wait for its suggestions, but use msiexec.exe in a command with explicit paths to the .msi source file and to the correct target folder as well.

The guide how to do this which I wrote in 2016 is available as .odt or as .pdf from Index of /LibOPortableGuide
There are no changes or updates needed.

The exact command I just used again for a test in a Win 10 cmd.exe command prompt window was

msiexec /a C:\Install\OfficeAndEditors\LibO\LibreOffice_7.2.0.4_Win_x86_helppack_de.msi /qb TARGETDIR=C:\PreservedPortableVersions\PortableApps\LibreOfficePortable7.2.0.4\App\libreoffice\

Of course, the used paths are specific to my system.
Anyway: The TARGETDIR is tzhe libreoffice folder of the PortableApps LibO tree also containing the subfolder program. The subfolder help and therein the subfolder for the respective language will be created by msiexec.exe if not already existing.


Yes, @Lupp Your solution is better than mine for a couple of reasons which I won’t go into. On that basis I’ll delete my ‘method’ and point to your post which is the better solution and hope that @jerryemerydelacruz1 reads your solution and adopts it for the future.

With respect to your documents for doing this I would only suggest one improvement: What do you do if your paths contain spaces? The example you give doesn’t so no problems:

However if your paths have spaces you do need to enclose the paths in double-quote marks at the command prompt, like this (for example):

msiexec /a "W:\My MSI Files\LibreOffice_7.2.1.2_Win_x86_helppack_de.msi" TARGETDIR="W:\LibreOfficePortable\App\libreoffice"

I would suggest as an improvement to your guide that you include mention of this spaces and double-quote marks issue. Lots of people, like me, who are not very familiar with using the command prompt might not know to do that and hence, when they try to follow your instructions, they don’t work. They might be getting everything right except enclosing the paths in double-quote marks if the paths have spaces.

In any case, great guide, I will be using it in the future myself.

I followed Radish’s instructions and it worked fine. Now he took them down and I know that by the time an update to LO portable comes around I will have forgot what I did. I don’t use PortableApps, so I doubt that Lupp’s way will help. At least put up the link to the help archives.

It should be sufficient to adapt the target-directory in the commands found above according to your needs.

And you find the download-instructions in the “instructions from 2016” also linked above…

@Radish: I didn’t want to criticize your post. It might have been preferable in different cases, and the questioner obviously got what he(f/m) needed. Your answer was marked correct. You should probably restore your original answer.

What I had in mind when I wrote the guide was my specific situation where I wanted to have full controll over the paths from the beginning. Somebody else may have similar needs. In addition your answer contained a faint doubt. So I applied my own guide another time to be sure it worked without changes, and posted the link to it. .

Hmmm. That’s faintly problematic for me. I strictly deprecated names of the mentioned kind for all the decades they were allowed for (imo) bad reasons. On all my sytems I only created folders and files with “clean names”. Having downloaded a file with a “dirty name”, I immediately clean it.
[Windows introduced the silly “Prgram Files” (e.g.) one day… But their file manager isn’t even capable of listing (exactly) all files and folders contaning a space in the name. Well, not MS exclusively have bad ideas.]

I think Windows will accept a file-path-name containing spaces if (and only if) it’s enclosed between two doublequotes. If needing this crook, be sure you didn’t copy names with esacped spaces wrongly using “typographic quotes”.

I don’t thinkl I will update my mentioned guide. Windows users still working with command lines occasionally should know the trick - or (better) also avoid dirty names.



What portable version did you use?

PortableApps seems to be layer that services portable apps. I tried it, didn’t like it. For one, the only portable app it addressed of the many I have, is LO. I prefer portable apps since I have a limited M.2 memory that I use for graphics and audio stuff. I didn’t even know LO had a portable version until I started messing with trying to get the offline help working on the installed version.

What’s “PortableApps”
From my non-expert-point-of-view: There’s no unambiguous meaning so far.

There’s PortableApps Packaging which is a way to package Win-32bit applications into a self-extracting archive in a way allowing it to work after extraction without an additional process of installing. To make this possible the extraction creates a little subtree of folders, partly with content, among them a “launcher” folder containing a file in good old .ini style controlling the startup process. Information that otherwise would be written into the Win Registry is provided in a file “registrymodifications.xcu”. A foilder for additional fonts is also created …

Then there is the PortableApps Platform which itself comes packaged the way described above, It’s purpose is to help with extracting PA-packaged applications in a unified way to a specified location, and to give uniformly structured access to them. You don’t need the platform for extracting/accessing a package.

Then there is the PortableApps Site

Then was, and still may be somewhere one or more bundles containing the platform and a few packaged apps …

I dont use the platform myself for my “preserved versions range”, but I keep it installed and accessible from the desktop for a few special “apps”…

Again: Everything seems to be well considered and flexible.

The portable versions downloadable from the download archive of LibreOffice are packaged in PortableApps format, but -again- don’t rely on the PortableApps Platform.


I have removed my guide for getting Offline Help working in LibreOffice Portable from this post as @Lupp’s guide given below is the better solution and should really be marked as the solution to this thread. Download Lupp’s guide and use that for getting the help working.


Removing an answer wich poses no danger is not the best solution on this site. Upvoting the other answer would have been better, or adding a line at the top.
So at this moment the “accepted answer” reads as “use the other answer” and the details you’ve given are lost…

(Reinstated post.)


Your situation is a little bit complicated because you are using LibreOffice Portable. I provide a guide below for getting Offline Help to work in LibreOffice Portable. However, before you follow the guide if you have already installed the Offline Help Pack, and even it if it isn’t working, uninstall it now via your normal Windows uninstall routine.

A Guide to Get Offline Help to Work for LibreOffice Portable
In this guide I will assume you have LibreOffice Portable installed to the following path: W:\LibreOfficePortable If it is not installed there then just adjust the path below to suit what is on your own system.

  1. Launch LibreOffice Portable Writer and get the full version number of the install. Also get the bit-ness of LibreOffice that you have downloaded 32-bit (aka x86) or 64-bit (aka x64). To get this information just go (menu) Help > About LibreOffice.For PortableApps LibreOffice you will almost certainly have LibreOffice 32-bit as PortableApps does not currently pack LibreOffice 64-bit. Portable Apps doesn’t give the full version number on the download page. The help file that you download must match the full version number and must match the bit-ness of your installed LibreOffice Portable and must match the language of your installed LibreOffice Portable.

  2. Download the help file that matches the full version number and ‘bit-ness’ of your LibreOffice. To get the download go to here: and once at that page use your browser’s ‘Find/Search’ function to find the version of LibreOffice you are looking for (just type in the full version number).

  3. Once you have found the version click on that entry to open the next page, which is available downloads for that version of LibreOffice.

  4. On that (new) page click on the ‘win/’ entry (assuming you are using Windows). Do not click on the ‘portable/’ entry as that will only offer a LibreOffice Portable (itself) installer, there will be no Help Packs in that folder. So click on the ‘win/’ folder.

  5. Once in the ‘win/’ folder click on the ‘x86’ folder. (This will give you a download of a 32-bit Help Pack.) Now in the folder that opens up select the Help Pack that you want (e.g. *en-GB.msi, *en-US.msi, etc… (Unless you actually want to check your download using a PGP hash you can just ignore the *.asc files that are offered on that page.)

  6. Now that you have the Help Pack you need downloaded launch its installer and the install routine will start. For the routine do the following:

  7. Just follow the installer’s suggestions until you get to the part that says Check the destination folder. There, because you are using LibreOffice Portable, click on the ‘Change…’ button and in the dialogue that opens up drill to the folder W:\LibreOfficePortable\App\libreoffice\ (note: you will have to alter that path according to where you actually do have LibreOffice Portable installed to). Once you have pointed the installer to the correct path, click the ‘OK’ button; double-check the install path you entered and, if it is okay, click the ‘Next>’ button then the ‘Install’ button and click ‘Yes’ to the User Account Control prompt if one shows up.

  8. The installer will now install the Help Pack to the location W:\LibreOfficePortable\App\libreoffice\help in a sub-folder that is the abbreviated ‘title’ of the Help Pack installed. (Note that the installer installs to this path automatically, it is not something that you should do in step ‘7’ above.)

  9. Now when you request Help from LibreOffice it will use the offline Help just installed. However, the Offline Help will open in your browser (which is really tacky compared to OpenOffice’s help).

I should add that I have never tried installing Offline Help to LibreOffice Portable and then seeing if the offline help still works if LibreOffice Portable is used from, say, a flash drive on another computer. So I would give that experiment a try and see how you fare.

Also note that every time you update your LibreOffice Portable you will need to go through the above steps again. And before you do those steps you will need to remember to uninstall your previously installed version of Offline Help.


P.S. Posted this, deleted it, and now reinstated the post – I’m beginning to feel a bit silly now. Argh!! Apologies for the mess.

I copied your answer and it’s now a text file in my LO folder. Should have done it the first time I read it, but I didn’t think you’d have taken it down so soon.