20 Portable Applications Web Designers Should Have On Their USB Sticks

March 22, 2010 • By

Portable applications have been known to be used by the professional “on-the-go” for quite some time now. These amazingly lightweight applications allow us to use them without the need of installation. This makes them highly accessible and easy to use.

If you’re an on-the-go freelance web designer, then these useful and popular applications that you can always take with you will be useful! Below we’ve taken the time to compile 20 portable applications that we feel should benefit designers one way or another.


Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. t is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.

GIMP Portable

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.


PhotoFiltre is an image retouching application that lets you complete an array of tasks ranging from simple to advanced. It’s extremely easy to use and has a fast learning curve.


Artweaver is a simple painting application that allows you to record all of your painting steps and replay them at a later time. It’s ideal for creating detailed video tutorials. Artweaver also comes packaged with several predefined brushes that let you configure each individually. You’re also able to create new custom brushes and overall simulate natural brush tools.


Blender is a free open source animation tool that allows you to create 3D graphics and edit them as well. You’ll receive various useful tools, while you’re able to control them through a fluid user interface. This is essential for an application on-the-go.


The portable version of Cyberduck is easy to interact with and allows you to manage and control the uploading of files to your website with little or no issues. You’ll be able to carry this app around with you everywhere you go, allowing you to upload any needed files while you’re away from your work area.

Diagram Designer

Diagram Designer is a simple vector graphics editor that allows you to create quick flowcharts, UML class diagrams, illustrations and more. Designers can find this app useful for creating quick wireframes or mock-ups.

Greenfish Icon Editor Pro

This easy to use icon editor application lets you design and retouch icons, cursors, animations, and static images. It’s an all-in-one icon solution. It has multi-language support and works with ICO, CUR, ANI, PNG, XPM, BMP, JPEG and GIF files.

Nvu HTML Editor

If you’re on the go and can’t reach a notepad or text editor in time, then use the reliable portable version of Nvu. It’s the complete web authoring system that lets you swiftly edit your website while you’re on the go.


SiteShoter is a small utility that allows you to save a screenshot of any Web page into a file. It automatically creates hidden window of Internet Explorer, loads the desired Web page, and than save the entire content of the Web page into an image file (.png, .jpg, .tiff, .bmp or .gif). You can also use SiteShoter to convert .html file on your local drive into image file.


Because many clients like to use Word documents as a way to interact with designers and send vital information such as web design contracts, project details, and more. It was only fair that we add a portable Word processing application that allows you to view, edit, manipulate, and collaborate Word documents.

AMP Font Viewer

This program is an easy to use but powerful font manager, which allows getting a quick overview of both installed and non installed fonts. It can install and uninstall fonts, and organize them in categories. Perfect for the designer who works with fonts on a regular basis.

Firefox Portable Edition

Although there are a variety of browsers that are great for designers. The usual choice would be Firefox. The portable edition of Firefox is a full-featured and powered web browser that has a wide-range of improved features for a much better portable experience. A few other portable browsers are Google Chrome Portable
and OperaUSB

XAMPP Portable

XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use – just download, extract and start.

Oiko CSS-Editor

Oiko CSS comes with a visual editor that allows you to separate definitions of structured documents such as HTML, XHTML, and XML from their content so that you’re able to access and edit any CSS.

PicPick Tools

PicPick is an all-in-one software for software developers, graphic designers and home user. It has an intuitive interface and simple, elegant operation. After starting the software, you simply select one of the tool from the PicPick Tools trayicon menu when you want.


MobaPhoto is a nice freeware for managing your digital photos. MobaPhoto allows you to resize, crop, correct red-eyes of all your pictures very easily in “batch-mode”. It allows you to create automatically some beautiful photo galleries and upload them on your website without having any knowledge in website creation.


ToDoList is a fee portable application that allows you to keep track of tasks and freely manage your time. Tasklists are stored in XML format so that your then able to view them in a wide range of ways such as your desktop or on the web. This is a nifty tool for the freelance designer who needs to have his/her memory refreshened once in a while.

7-Zip Portable

As designers we’re constantly interchanging important files and applications. What better way to compress your files with a high-compression ratio then with this Windows based portable application.


FontMatcher is a handy portable tool that lets you match a font based on an image. Ideal for designers who use various fonts for a variety of projects. It only supports TTF fonts, but it’s definitely effective and worth the try.