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Will Calc ods file created on 64-bit LO work in 32-bit LO?

asked 2015-09-14 17:53:14 +0100

vo81 gravatar image

updated 2015-09-16 12:29:45 +0100

Alex Kemp gravatar image

48 hours ago I upgraded to Win 10 (64-bit Free upgrade form win 8.1). While fighting with EDGE ended up loading 64-bit Chrome. Speed improvement was superb. So, I want to try LO 5.0.1 in 64-bit version. My current LO is and (mostly) 32-bit (How to confirm? The build ID is huge). If I do check-for-updates available under Help. I get "LibreOffice 4.4 is up to date". My other Linux machine is 32 bit and runs the same version and that LO is definitely 32-bit (since OS - Mint - is 32 bit).

I want to ensure that I can process any ods file generated by me on either machine.

Here is my worry - (1) The ods generated on 32-bit LO will (mostly) open and work on 64-bit without problem. But while the file is saved will it become a 64-bit file format and thus not be able to open on 32-bit LO? or (2) If i generate a fresh ods/xls on the 64-bit LO, will I be able to use it on LO 32-bit and expect someone who might be using 32 bit LO or MS xcel to be able to work with it?


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answered 2015-09-16 13:57:00 +0100

Alex Kemp gravatar image

Interesting questions...

1) (32- or 64-bit) How to confirm?

A good question. AFAIK the version will not help (LO are missing a feature here).

The only way that I know is to examine the name of the install file for the presence of certain strings:-

  • 'x86' : 32-bit intel-compatible
  • 'i386' : 32-bit intel-compatible
  • 'x86-64' : 64-bit intel-compatible
  • (nothing): 32-bit intel-compatible

2) Are Office Files 64-bit Format When Saved?

3) Are Office Files Inter-Operable between Systems & Formats?

LO/OO files are designed to be fully portable between Windows, Linux & Mac OS systems, and regardless of the cpu bit-size. Further, you should be able to open + save M$-Office files on all 3 systems by LO/OO, independent of the cpu bit-size.

The intention (notice my careful use of that word) is that LO/OO becomes a transparent replacement for M$-Office. It is bound to never hit 100% compatibility due to feature differences between the 2 suites, but I cannot ever recall any discrepancies due to CPU bit-size, either within each individual suite, nor between them.

In general:
The principal difference that folks will notice is that 64-bit systems can store files that are > 2 Gigabyte. If your LO/OO files are bigger than 2 gig, then respect, but you will not be able to transfer them to systems with a miserable 32-bit (2nd class) (like mine!) CPU. Files that are smaller than 2GB can be freely swapped.

Problems that I have observed since the introduction of 64-bit CPUs seem all to have been due to programmer assumptions about the Integer bit-size (reminiscent of the millennium Clock scares), and that has been in scripts rather than compiled progs (faults due to bit-wise operations that required a 32-bit Integer, as I recall).

I am unaware of any feature of the Office file-formats that is bit-sensitive, or undeclared within the format (most are XML, and the encoding is declared at the top of the file, which implicitly declares the bit-size as part of the encoding).

If this helps then please tick the answer (✔)

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Thanks Alex, 1) "_x86_" so 32-bit :-) 2) Fighting W10 hanging at random - black screen, preparing security options - so at the moment not in a mindset for experimenting with 64 bit LO on W10. Also if the current 32 bit LO is removed automatically then I will have to uninstall 64-bit and then re-install 32 bit. On my Linux Mint I can have multiple version of LO installed at the same time. 3) My files are below 2GB so no problems there. I have used xcel and calc interchangably - but both 32-bit.

vo81 gravatar imagevo81 ( 2015-09-16 16:32:04 +0100 )edit

answered 2017-05-22 11:21:37 +0100

Mike Kaganski gravatar image

updated 2017-05-23 11:27:20 +0100

There is no such thing as "64-bit file format". So, if you work on same file on either 32-bit LO, or 64-bit LO, the saved file would be identical and openable on either bitness.

On Windows, all 4.x and earlier versions of LO were 32-bit, so no need to guess. However, since 5.x, Windows 64-bit versions have this data in Help-About (like Version: (x64)). Anyway, if you run 32-bit Windows software, you may find that out by using Task Manager which shows that information next to task name.

Having said all the above, it's not guaranteed that any file saved with 64-bit LO would definitely open with 32-bit one. This is because 64-bit LO can use more than 2 GB memory, and thus documents which require that much memory would open in 64-bit LO while fail with 32-bit one. File size doesn't actually matter. Here is a sample file that takes only 141 KB, but requires 4.7 GB in memory (it has no data, just 10000 empty sheets).

This isn't a bug, it's just the reason to use 64-bit version, that exists mainly for the purpose of being able to handle more data. The 64-bit architecture is just about that. Limitations of 32-bit systems are actually limitations. Of course, something could be improved in LO to allow smaller memory usage in some scenarios, but whatever would change, there will always be documents that require more than 32-bit systems may handle.

Another note: even files saved in 32-bit version may fail to open in 32-bit version due to insufficient memory, and require 64-bit LO to open. This is because when file is read from disk, the program creates temporary memory data used for import only, and freed after open completed. So, imagine a file that is OK for 32-bit, but large enough. It is opened in 32-bit, and memory usage was, say, 1.7 GB during opening, and dropped to 1 GB after opened. Then the file is edited, and more data added, so edited memory usage is now 1.4 GB. Then the file is saved, and save completes successfully (memory consumption during save temporarily rised to 1.6 GB). If you will try to open this file again in 32-bit, you'll need memory more than available for 32-bit (during opening phase: like 2.1 GB), even though it would require only 1.4 after opening. This situation happens from time to time, and that's something to take account for (see e.g. this question, where it was exactly this problem - found out after private consulting).

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thanks .i understand what is the problem.i install the Ubuntu 64bit and libreoffice 64 bit on the same machine where was 32bit early (have 2 GB Ram) its work :) on 64 bit libre version. ok i will try to create new file on 32bit machine.thanks a lot for help .for the last i think if i pached somethings it will work :)

MediCooL gravatar imageMediCooL ( 2017-05-22 12:24:03 +0100 )edit

answered 2017-05-22 10:58:19 +0100

MediCooL gravatar image

updated 2017-05-22 11:05:05 +0100

Hello i have the same problem,i create documents on Libreoffice 5.0x64bit-calc ,it work but when i run it on Libreoffice 5.0x32bit i take error "bad allocation" and crashed- size of file is 940KB.i cant update file(need 3 point ) .can aniboade help me thanks i upload it on free host name file PONTAJ_CADRE.ods

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Asked: 2015-09-14 17:53:14 +0100

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Last updated: May 23 '17