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9.30. 64 Bit Versions of Microsoft Office

Summary

Occasionally, users will ask use why AttachPlus does not support integration with the "latest" 64 bit technology.  Often, users see a bigger number, and think that means "better".  This article provides some information about exactly what 64 bit applications are useful for, and why adding support for 64 bit Office is not a development priority.

Discussion

Using a 32 bit application is not going backwards in technology.  There is almost no practical case where a 64 bit address space is at all useful for an office application.  In fact, 64 bit applications are proven to be slower and bigger memory hogs than their 32 bit counterparts.

The only reason to implement a 64 bit application is if the app truly needs to directly access more than 4GB of RAM.  There is absolutely no way that you are working with documents that could be that big.  It *might* be possible to get an Excel spreadsheet to be that big - but it would be the mother of all spreadsheets.  If you have XLS files even beginning to approach that size, you would want to rethink it and use a real database instead.

Conclusion

The reason that AttachPlus and most of the rest of the world aren't killing themselves over creating 64 bit applications is because 64 bit is totally unnecessary for end user applications.  For big iron servers, 64 bit is awesome - for end users, it's a total waste.

So don't get caught in the marketing flap - in this case, the bigger number means that your software is actually running slower.

How to Change a Workstation from 64 Bit Office to 32 Bit Office

Per Microsoft, this involves uninstalling and re-installing Office, choosing the 32 Bit option in the installer

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