Since more and more clients are upgrading to 64-bit Windows operating systems, we’d like to discuss in a little more detail the issues surrounding the use of our Microsoft Excel add-in, CDXZipStream, in the 64-bit environment.
CDXZipstream can be run in 64-bit Windows, but is not currently compatible with 64-bit Office/Excel. It is only compatible with 32-bit Excel. When you install Office, you do have the option of installing either the 32 or 64-bit versions since both are included in any download or disc. In fact Microsoft generally recommends the 32-bit installation due to compatibility concerns with third-party applications such as CDXZipStream. (Microsoft has quite a few applications that are 32-bit as well.) If you’ve already installed 64-bit Office/Excel and would like to install 32-bit, here is what you should do:
- Go to the Control Panel, and select Programs – uninstall a program
- Right-click on Microsoft Office 2010 or Excel 2010 (if not part of the Office suite) and select Uninstall
- Follow the prompts to uninstall
- When uninstallation is complete, reboot your computer and install the 32-bit version
Microsoft Windows and Office products that are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are installed with the same product key and use the same license. Uninstalling the 64-bit version and installing the 32-bit version will have no impact on your licensing, and you will not lose your existing files or data.
It may feel a bit odd not going with the more powerful 64-bit Office experience, but remember that the main selling point of 64-bit Excel is its ability to handle enormously large files that use in the neighborhood of 2 GB of RAM (this is memory, not just file size). Since the overwhelming majority of Excel users will not require that amount of memory (our unscientific guestimate is that covers about 99.9% of us), you probably shouldn’t feel like you’re missing out on the advantages of the latest technology. Also, the 64-bit version does not support ActiveX controls used in many Office solutions, or 32-bit ODBC drivers.
Unfortunately 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Excel 2010 cannot be run on the same computer. However, you can install older versions of Excel (such as 2003 or 2007) as 32-bit and run 64-bit Excel 2010 version at the same time. This may also come in handy if you’re nostalgic for the older (non-ribbon) Excel menu, available with Excel 2003, although keep in mind if you work with large files that Excel 2003 contains fewer rows and columns than more recent versions.
Note: At the time of this writing Office 2013 has not yet become available for purchase, but from information available through Microsoft support, the statements above will continue to hold true. Microsoft still recommends the 32-bit version of Office 2013, because it helps prevent compatibility issues with most other applications, especially third-party add-ins. You can, however, install on a single PC both the 64-bit version of Excel 2013 and 32-bit version of Excel 2010, the latter being compatible with CDXZipStream.