When installing three versions of Microsoft Office in parallel, should I choose the 32-bit or 64-bit versions?

Kazza August 20, 2011
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I have purchased a brand new computer: Windows 7 Toshiba Satellite P750.

I am a trainer and still have to train in Microsoft Office applications 2003, 2007 and now 2010. I want to partition my new computer, so that I can run all three versions on it. The quick installation guide says that during the installation I have to “select one version of operating system if prompted 32-bit or 64bit”. I am leaning towards selecting 32-bit version, but am not sure if this is the correct choice.

Can anyone please advise what would be the correct choice?

Also, can anyone point me to an easy instruction on how to partition the drive to enable me to run these three versions of Office software?

Thanks heaps!

  1. Blair A. Yates
    August 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Partitions? Boot Manager?
    As a Profi Trainer so a complicated way of doing Training!
    I use VMWare and do everything Virtual, faster, easier and not so complicated!!

    Check it out VM Ware Google it!

  2. De1138
    August 21, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Hi Kazza

    Simple answer just use the 32 bit versions as all addons exc... work properly.

    I had a simular problem and exacly the same situation as a trainer i needed office 2000,2003,2007,2010,and I needed each version of outlook as well,  so I sugest for you 3 partitions if you can install windows 7 64 bit then use 64 bit for 2010 otherwise 32 bit is fine,,,, just means you spreedsheet wont handle as many cells, not such a problem as I cannot see you filling 16 million approx cells (x each sheet) with info. as for all other office versions, use 32bit for 2007 and then 2003 should install by itself without that option

    Make sure to install the latest operating system first if you are going to install other operating systems eg start with win 7 then vista then xp etc...

    One last thing. reading the licence and talking to microsoft you need to have a licence for each operating system and each partition even if you use the same operating system on 3 partitions you will need 3 licences, this is because microsoft consider a partition to be a completely new computer system.

    • De1138
      August 21, 2011 at 7:48 am

      oops sorry didnt read it right

      I use win7 64 bit with office 2010, win7 32 bit with any other older versions of office
      I have had no problems with this arrangement.

    • Bruce Epper
      August 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      If you are setting up a machine to multi-boot various versions of Windows, you need to install the OLDEST first, not the latest.  If you doubt me, check the MS website on the issue.  For example, installing XP after Vista or Win7 will hose the MBR and complete f**k up the boot manager for the new OSes.  You can sometimes recover from this, but it is rather uncommon.

  3. Anonymous
    August 21, 2011 at 6:52 am

    you can direct Office to install on another drive, but only some of it will install there. Some of Office must install on the C drive.

    Microsoft instructions

    It's generally safe to install multiple versions, as long as you follow the rules:
    ---ALWAYS install them in order, starting with the OLDEST version.
    ---Always choose a CUSTOM install. Typical installs will usually delete earlier versions of Office apps. Be VERY persistent in telling the installer NOT to update/upgrade/improve/whatever your earlier programs or they'll get removed.
    ---Install each Office version into its own individual folder.
    ---After installing each version of Office, install any service packs or other updates you plan to use. Don't go back and install them after you've installed later versions of Office.

    Want To Run Different Versions Of Microsoft Office On Your Windows Xp Computer?

  4. Mike
    August 20, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    As for the Office part of your question:

    You can install and run multiple versions of the Office suites on the same computer and the same Windows installation [without partitioning].

    You have to install them in [version] order duo to the registry entries, shared programs and other stuff installed. Start with Office 2003, then 2007 and at last install the Office 2010 suite.

    You cannot have multiple Outlook versions on one system! This means you will have to make up your mind which version you want to use. By default each Office installation will remove prior versions and install the one included. If you want to keep a prior version e.g. Outlook 2003 you will have to select this during the installation of both, Office 2007 and 2010.

  5. Jeffery Fabish
    August 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    As Tina said, find out what architecture of Windows you are running. Go to start -> Control Panel -> System, there you will see whether you are running 32 or 64 bit.

    If your system is 64 bit ready, but you're using a 32 bit operating system, you should still install the 32 bit version. You can always install the 32 bit version (regardless of your processors architecture) however 64 bit allocates memory in larger heaps and therefor is much quicker and efficient. Again, only install x64 if your OS is also x64. 

    I'm not familiar with Office, however you should be able to install all three side by side without any partitioning. 

  6. Tina
    August 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm


    are you referring to 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Microsoft Office?

    This depends on whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7! I believe you can install either if your operating system is 64-bit, but you can only install 32-bit if you have a 32-bit operating system!

    Regarding your website, I tried to add it for you, but apparently it did not go through. However, a website is optional and not required to ask a question.

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