4/1/2013 11:55:09 AM
32-bit vs. 64-bit Microsoft Office
By Richard Rost
Lots of people have been emailing me asking whether or not they should install the 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Microsoft Office.
Here's the general rule of thumb:
Unless you ABSOLUTELY NEED the increased capacity of the 64-bit version, then you should DEFINITELY install the 32-bit version of Office.
The 32-bit version is the MOST COMPATIBLE with everything else that is out there. The 64-bit version does not include compatibility with most of the ActiveX controls, 3rd-party add-ins, and ALL of the 32-bit databases that you'll find out there (including MINE).
Chances are, you probably don't NEED 64-bit Office anyway. The main reason for the 64-bit version is to allow file sizes over 2 GB. If your Excel spreadsheets are that big, THEY SHOULD BE IN ACCESS! To make things worse, even 64-bit Access still has the 2 GB file size limit! If you have a single Access database FILE that's larger than 2 GB, you can split it up into multiple tables or upsize to SQL Server (which you probably should with that much data anyway).
Sure, 64-bit is the future... but it's a long way off. If you want to maintain any kind of compatibility with the rest of the world right now, stick with the 32-bit version. Large enterprises that are running a single solution may want to consider 64-bit, but the rest of us should just stick with 32-bit.
Even Microsoft agrees with me: "If users in your organization depend on existing extensions to Office, such as ActiveX controls, third-party add-ins, in-house solutions built on earlier versions of Office, or 32-bit versions of programs that interface directly with Office, we recommend that you install 32-bit Office 2013 (the default installation) on computers that are running both 32-bit and 64-bit supported Windows operating systems."
How to get MY sample databases to work on 64-bit Access:
Now, I personally don't have any 64-bit installations of Office here in my office (pun intended). So all of my databases that I post are 32-bit versions. You will NOT be able to use any of the ACCDE (encrypted) test databases, but if you purchase a seminar or template, when you get the FULL version (ACCDB file) you will be able to create a new blank ACCDB file on your 64-bit machine and then IMPORT all of the objects out of my 32-bit database (tables, queries, forms, etc.). Some of my databases use 32-bit specific controls, like COMDLG32.OCX, but the majority of them should work just fine after you import the objects into a 64-bit database file.
Here's another article about the topic.
Keywords: 32 bit 64 bit office