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Running Multiple Versions of Microsoft Excel
Article ID: 166692 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q166692
Although Microsoft does not recommend installing more than one version of Microsoft Excel on a computer, it is possible to install and use more than one version. For example, you can install and use both Microsoft Excel 97 and Microsoft Excel 7.0 on the same computer.
This article describes the problems you may encounter when you install more than one version and offers advice about preventing the versions of Microsoft Excel from conflicting with each other.
Order of InstallationTo install and use more than one version of Microsoft Excel on a single computer, install earlier versions of Microsoft Excel first.
For example, if you want to use both Microsoft Excel 5.0 and Microsoft Excel 97 on the same computer, you must install Microsoft Excel 5.0 FIRST. This is necessary because of the way registry keys, shared programs, and other settings are managed for each version of Microsoft Excel.
NOTE: The following sections assume that you installed the versions of Microsoft Excel in ascending order.
Running Multiple Versions of Microsoft Excel SimultaneouslyAlthough it is possible to run more than one version of Microsoft Excel simultaneously on the same computer, Microsoft strongly recommends that you avoid doing this. For example, if you want to start Microsoft Excel 5.0, first quit all other versions of Microsoft Excel that may be running.
Double-Clicking Files in the Windows ExplorerWhen you double-click a Microsoft Excel workbook (.xls) file, chart (.xlc) file, or add-in (.xla) file in Windows Explorer, the following rules apply:
If you receive this error message, start the later version of Microsoft Excel. Then, open the file by double-clicking it or by using the Open dialog box (click Open on the File menu).
<Filename>: file format is not valid.
Reassociating Microsoft Excel FilesWhen you start Microsoft Excel 5.0, Microsoft Excel files (.xls, .xlc, and .xla files) are automatically associated with it.
When you start them, Microsoft Excel 7.0 and Microsoft Excel 97 are not automatically associated Microsoft Excel files; they perform this task only when you install these programs.
Because of this difference in behavior, if you start Microsoft Excel 5.0, a Microsoft Excel file that you double-click is always opened in Microsoft Excel 5.0, unless another version of Microsoft Excel is already running.
If you want to double-click a file and open it in a newer version of Microsoft Excel, you can associate Microsoft Excel files with Microsoft Excel 7.0 or 97 by using either of the following methods.
Method 1Run Microsoft Excel Setup or Microsoft Office Setup with the /y switch. Using /y instructs the Setup program to register all of the registry keys that are used by Microsoft Excel and to associate Microsoft Excel files with the version of Microsoft Excel that you are installing.
Method 2Use the File Types tab in the Options dialog box to associate Microsoft Excel files with Microsoft Excel 7.0 or 97. To do this, use the following steps:
Inserting Microsoft Excel Objects into Other ProgramsIf you install multiple versions of Microsoft Excel on a single computer and you insert a Microsoft Excel Worksheet object into another program (for example, Microsoft Word), the latest version of Microsoft Excel is used when you insert the worksheet object.
For example, if you install the following programs on your computer
Microsoft Word for Windows, version 6.0 Microsoft Excel for Windows, version 5.0 Microsoft Excel 97
and then insert a Microsoft Excel Worksheet object into Microsoft Word, a Microsoft Excel 97 worksheet is added.
Using Automation to Control Microsoft ExcelIf you install multiple versions of Microsoft Excel on a computer, you may experience difficulty when you attempt to use Automation to control a specific version of Microsoft Excel.
For example, if you run the following Visual Basic for Applications subroutine in Microsoft Word 97
the subroutine always creates an Automation session in the version of Microsoft Excel that you most recently installed. So, if you install both Microsoft Excel 5.0 and Microsoft Excel 97 on the same computer, the message box in the example displays 8.0, the version number of Microsoft Excel 97.
If you want to control a specific version of Microsoft Excel using Automation, you use the class names that are listed in the following table.
Version of Microsoft Excel Class Name ------------------------------------- 97 Excel.Application.8 7.0 Excel.Application.5 5.0 Excel.Application.5
NOTE: Microsoft Excel 5.0 and 7.0 both use the same class name, Excel.Application.5. Therefore, if Microsoft Excel 5.0 and 7.0 are both installed on the same computer, Excel.Application.5 always applies to Microsoft Excel 7.0. There is no way to prevent this behavior. Because Microsoft Excel 5.0 and 7.0 both use the same file format and offer similar features, you should be able to use Microsoft Excel 7.0 instead of Microsoft Excel 5.0.
Shared ProgramsYou should not experience any problems when you use shared programs, such as Microsoft Equation Editor and Clip Gallery, with any version of Microsoft Excel. Note that the Object dialog box may display more than one entry for each shared program; this behavior occurs because there may be multiple versions of the shared program on the computer.
Article ID: 166692 - Last Review: August 17, 2005 - Revision: 1.3