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Run two versions of Microsoft Office applications simultaneously


Is it possible to have two versions of Microsoft Office applications running simultaneously?

My most recent version is MS Office 2013. However, after I began using the 2013 apps, I realized that for Outlook, at least, 2013 was not going to do it for me. Visio was available only in Office 2010 so knowing I would already have separate folders for Office 2010 and for 2013, anyway, I decided to stick with Outlook 2010 and install the remainder as 2013 apps. The following screenshot from [Start > All Programs] shows my current configuration:

• Is it possible to have more than one version of a particular application simultaneously available or even running? For example, could an Excel 2010 window (with its worksheets, ribbon, QAT, etc.) be open on one side of the screen and an Excel 2013 window (with its characteristic appearance and attributes) open on the other side?
• If the previous scenario is not possible, is it possible to specify one of the two versions for opening a particular file, then, after saving and closing that file, immediately reopen it in the other version?
• How big of a problem is it reverting back to office 2010 if someone has been using Office 2013 for quite a while?
• Are all of the 2013 files back-compatible to 2010?
• What would you say are the 2-3 biggest/most important features one would lose going from 2013 to 2012 (especially in Excel which is the Office app I use the most?
• What other questions should I be asking?

Microsoft OfficeMicrosoft ExcelWindows OSPower BI

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8/22/2022 - Mon
Neil Russell

My simple answer to your first question would be....

You have them installed, so try it! Launch both excel apps, does it work?
Phillip Burton

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Phillip Burton

The biggest thing is Excel 2013 i would miss are PowerView and PowerMap. There's not much else. The animation is smoother, but it's not a huge step forward.
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Rob G

Technically in windows Xp you could run more then 2.. So i guess it could be possible..

Left Shift and Right click..
Run AS..
Run multiple versions simultaneously, from different user accounts..
Technically then you could be up to as many as the PC could take accounts on a domain, and have all different versions of office outlook running all at the same time..
.... Until you ran out of virtual memory and either dumped, or BSOD'd
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William Peck
Rory Archibald

Are all of the 2013 files back-compatible to 2010?

Largely yes, but not all. There are feature differences, as has been mentioned, and if you use PowerPivot for example, a 2013 version won't work with 2010 (you can 'upgrade' but not 'downgrade')

Pretty much the only thing I miss (I have 2010 at work) is the multiple monitor support. I don't miss the colour scheme ('snowblind') or performance at all...

Keep in mind that You can't have multiple versions of Outlook on the same PC. Also, you're supposed to install the earlier version first. See here for more info:

Keep in mind that You can't have multiple versions of Outlook on the same PC.
You can't have multiple versions of Outlook installed from .msi files on the same computer, but a Click to Run version of Outlook (such as will be installed with Office 2013) should co-exist with a .msi version of Outlook 2010. I don't run two versions of Outlook now (because it is time-consuming to keep them synchronized), but I did during the beta for Office 2013.

It is also worth noting that Microsoft recommends 32-bit Office as being more compatible with drivers. Even if you use 64-bit Windows, most people do not need 64-bit Office. The exceptions would be people running documents, workbooks or Power BI apps with extremely large amounts of data. It is also the case that all versions of Office on a given computer/virtual machine need to be either 32-bit or 64-bit--you can't have 32-bit Office 2010 and 64-bit Office 2013.

FWIW, I run 32-bit Office 2003, 2007, 2010 & 2013 all in the same virtual machine (with 64-bit Windows 7) on my Mac laptop. To control which version of Excel opens a given file, I first launch the desired version and then use the File...Open menu item to open a file rather than double-clicking the file.
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Thanks for the comments.