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Excel 32-bit vs. 64-bit Development

Posted on 2013-11-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-06
Greetings EE Professionals.

I'm developing a spreadsheet and wanted to make sure it ran in both 32-bit and 64-bit Excel.  I'd also like to make it completely compatible with Excel 2007, 2010 and the latest version of Excel if possible.  The workbook will contain complex macros, conditional formatting, data validation and range names.  So here are my two questions;

1.) If I build it in 64-bit, is it compatible and will run in 32-bit mode?  And vice versa?

2.) Is Excel, beyond 2007 compatible with previous versions?  How about 2010?

Any other advice would be helpful.

Thank you in advance.


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Question by:Bright01
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39619862
1. If you build it in Excel 64-bit, the worksheet should work in 32-bit. Test that. If you build it in 32-bit, it will work in 64-bit.

2. The current format for Excel (.xlsx) is compatible across 2007, 2010, and 2013 (which I use).

A couple of things:

1. Most people (probably in excess of 90%) use 32-bit Office so that I recommend your base project be in 32-bit.

2. New versions might contains functions not in older versions (compatibility aside). So you need to test with older versions. Anything built in V2013 that works in V2007 will also work in V2010.

I send spreadsheets around from Excel 2013 and everyone can use them. If I need complete compatibility, I save as .XLS (old format).

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:Bright01
ID: 39620055
I have it written in Excel 2010 32 bit; .xlsm.  People with excel 2007 are having problems opening the WB......

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by:John Hurst
ID: 39620167
The two versions have completely compatible file formats, so you must be using a function not backward compatible. I keep separate machines on my laptop with different versions of Office to test .

Try stripping out some functions to regain compatibility.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:Bright01
ID: 39620251
Would the formatting between xlsm and xlsx make any difference?

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by:John Hurst
ID: 39620295
I cannot directly answer that. You would have to try it. But keeping functions at a simpler level is likely to have more effect.
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by:jkpieterse
ID: 39621119
What kind of problems are they experiencing exactly?
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Author Comment

by:Bright01
ID: 39626231
Thanks for asking!  Well, I developed a very complex business model (Macros, Conditional Formatting, Splashscreen, data validation, etc. etc.) in 32-bit Excel 2010.  I've used LOCKXLS which is suppose to be completely compatable with 32 or 64 bit Excel 2010 to create a EXE file.  When people open the file they get a runtime error....but generally only when running 64-bit Excel.

That spawned the question.

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by:jkpieterse
jkpieterse earned 100 total points
ID: 39626690
Does it open properly when you leave lockxls out of the equation?
What runtime error exactly?
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John Hurst earned 400 total points
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but generally only when running 64-bit Excel.

Even Microsoft does not recommend 64-bit Office unless everything around it is 64-bit (Flash, Java, Adobe, and all other like applications).   The 64-bit Office users may have a conflict that is only showing up this way.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Closing Comment

by:Bright01
ID: 39627501
I'll  need to set up another Test environment outside LockXLS; great comments!

Thank you,

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by:John Hurst
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@Bright01 - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.

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