Co-existing Office 2003 & Office 2010

Posted on 2012-09-06
Last Modified: 2012-12-03
Hi experts,

I'm wondering if there's any way to control which application would launch for ms office files.  I installed two version of ms office suites (2003 & 2010) and I want to launch 2003 when I open files for example when I open excel 2003 files (suffix:.xls) I want to open it with excel 2003 even when excel 2010 file(s) are opened in other excel 2010  instance.  

To do that I tried the famous
""C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\EXCEL.exe" /regserver" from "Run".

I can open .xls files with excel 2003 when there's no .xlsx files are opened in excel 2010.
And when I open .xls files with any of .xlsx files are opened, the .xls file is automatically opened in excel 2010.  I noticed I can do the above by opening the .xls file in excel 2003 instance which is manually launched, but this is reducing my productivity and hopefully I want do the same thing by a double-click on file name.  

Is there any trick to do this?

Thanks very much in advance!
Question by:Kyotokyo
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

     You may try file type option.

    expore-> tools -> folder option-> file type

    try to edit xls to excel 2003 and xlsx to excel2010

    Author Comment


    Thanks for the quick response.
    I tried that too but still having the same situation.

    Maybe because the .exe file for 2003 and 2010 are named the same.

    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    Try creating shortcuts to both the 2003 and 2010 versions on the desktop and drag a file into the relevant one to open it maybe.

    Author Comment

    I didn't try that!  I will get back to you with the result very soon.
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    I'm not sure if even that helps.

    Excel massively tries to prevent opening multiple instances of itself. Because of that a newly opened instance would try to find out if an Excel process is already running, and if so
    pass the open command over to the already open instance
    commit suicide thereafter

    I presume Excel doesn't make differences for verions in that attempt, so this behaviour couldn't be circumvented. I presume that this works vice-versa if Excel 2003 is open and you try to open an xlsx file (that would be opened thru compatibility filters ...).

    BTW it is said that it's not to be wise to let different versions of office coexist.

    P.S.: If you need to have both Excel versions open, you might try for the second version to open an empty excel and afterwards just drop the designated file on it. How good two running Excel instances of separate versions might coexist, is at least questionable. Two instances of the same version are definitely not recommended, because both at least try to exclusively open PERSON.XLS (the Excel equivalent to Word's NORAML.DOT). The second instance would at least complain over a write protected file in that case. There might be more tripwires ahead ... never fully tried that out, just tripped over that when I accidently open a second empty Excel sometimes.

    Author Comment

    I created the shortcut for excel 2003 and excel 2010 on on desktop and by dragging the .xls file on the 2003 shortcut icon and so do 2010, I was able to have two separate instances at the same time.  I also confirmed by opening the files from each empty excel instance, I can do the same thing.  Thanks for the tweaks.  

    I understand that it's not recommended to have two different office versions on the same computer as there might be unknown pitfalls and the office suites might become unstable.
    Actually, the request is from one of my customers and I have explained it to him but he's too damn to understand the things and I'm kind of under pressure to do this...  He don't care about the pitfalls and instability.  

    I'd wait on the solution to do the same thing by double-clicking on the .xls and .xlsx files..

    Author Closing Comment

    I came to the conclusion maybe there is no good practice to have the two versions of Excel to open in different instances.  Thanks very much for your comments and help anyway...

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